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The voice in your head may help you recall and process words. But what if you don’t have one?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/derek-arnold-106381">Derek Arnold</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p>Can you imagine hearing yourself speak? A voice inside your head – perhaps reciting a shopping list or a phone number? What would life be like if you couldn’t?</p> <p>Some people, including me, cannot have imagined visual experiences. We cannot close our eyes and conjure an experience of seeing a loved one’s face, or imagine our lounge room layout – to consider if a new piece of furniture might fit in it. This is called “<a href="https://theconversation.com/a-blind-and-deaf-mind-what-its-like-to-have-no-visual-imagination-or-inner-voice-226134">aphantasia</a>”, from a Greek phrase where the “a” means without, and “phantasia” refers to an image. Colloquially, people like myself are often referred to as having a “blind mind”.</p> <p>While most attention has been given to the inability to have imagined visual sensations, aphantasics can lack other imagined experiences. We might be unable to experience imagined tastes or smells. Some people cannot imagine hearing themselves speak.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.sciencealert.com/we-used-to-think-everybody-heard-a-voice-inside-their-heads-but-we-were-wrong">recent study</a> has advanced our understanding of people who cannot imagine hearing their own internal monologue. Importantly, the authors have identified some tasks that such people are more likely to find challenging.</p> <h2>What the study found</h2> <p>Researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/09567976241243004">recruited 93 volunteers</a>. They included 46 adults who reported low levels of inner speech and 47 who reported high levels.</p> <p>Both groups were given challenging tasks: judging if the names of objects they had seen would rhyme and recalling words. The group without an inner monologue performed worse. But differences disappeared when everyone could say words aloud.</p> <p>Importantly, people who reported less inner speech were not worse at all tasks. They could recall similar numbers of words when the words had a different appearance to one another. This negates any suggestion that aphants (people with aphantasia) simply weren’t trying or were less capable.</p> <h2>A welcome validation</h2> <p>The study provides some welcome evidence for the lived experiences of some aphants, who are still often told their experiences are not different, but rather that they cannot describe their imagined experiences. Some people feel anxiety when they realise other people can have imagined experiences that they cannot. These feelings may be deepened when others assert they are merely confused or inarticulate.</p> <p>In my own <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychology/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2024.1374349/full">aphantasia research</a> I have often quizzed crowds of people on their capacity to have imagined experiences.</p> <p>Questions about the capacity to have imagined visual or audio sensations tend to be excitedly endorsed by a vast majority, but questions about imagined experiences of taste or smell seem to cause more confusion. Some people are adamant they can do this, including a colleague who says he can imagine what combinations of ingredients will taste like when cooked together. But other responses suggest subtypes of aphantasia may prove to be more common than we realise.</p> <p>The authors of the recent study suggest the inability to imagine hearing yourself speak should be referred to as “anendophasia”, meaning without inner speech. Other authors had suggested <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8551557/">anauralia</a> (meaning without auditory imagery). Still other researchers have referred to all types of imagined sensation as being different types of “imagery”.</p> <p>Having <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0010945222000417">consistent names</a> is important. It can help scientists “talk” to one another to compare findings. If different authors use different names, important evidence can be missed.</p> <h2>We have more than 5 senses</h2> <p>Debate continues about how many senses humans have, but some scientists reasonably argue for a <a href="https://www.sensorytrust.org.uk/blog/how-many-senses-do-we-have#:%7E:text=Because%20there%20is%20some%20overlap,sensation%20of%20hunger%20or%20thirst.">number greater than 20</a>.</p> <p>In addition to the five senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing, lesser known senses include thermoception (our sense of heat) and proprioception (awareness of the positions of our body parts). Thanks to proprioception, most of us can close our eyes and touch the tip of our index finger to our nose. Thanks to our vestibular sense, we typically have a good idea of which way is up and can maintain balance.</p> <p>It may be tempting to give a new name to each inability to have a given type of imagined sensation. But this could lead to confusion. Another approach would be to adapt phrases that are already widely used. People who are unable to have imagined sensations commonly refer to ourselves as “aphants”. This could be adapted with a prefix, such as “audio aphant”. Time will tell which approach is adopted by most researchers.</p> <h2>Why we should keep investigating</h2> <p>Regardless of the names we use, the study of multiple types of inability to have an imagined sensation is important. These investigations could reveal the essential processes in human brains that bring about a conscious experience of an imagined sensation.</p> <p>In time, this will not only lead to a better understanding of the diversity of humans, but may help uncover how human brains can create any conscious sensation. This question – how and where our conscious feelings are generated – remains one of the great mysteries of science.<!-- 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/230973/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/derek-arnold-106381">Derek Arnold</a>, Professor, School of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-voice-in-your-head-may-help-you-recall-and-process-words-but-what-if-you-dont-have-one-230973">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

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Condolence messages that will help you find the right words

<h2>Condolence messages for every situation</h2> <p>When someone you care about has lost someone they care about, it’s important to reach out and show your love. “We’re hard-wired as human beings to connect with others, especially when we’re grieving,” says Abigail Nathanson, a licensed social worker and professor of grief and trauma at New York University. “Being able to talk about the pain and loss and receive support from others is an essential part of the grieving process.” While you may eventually engage in longer discussions, condolence messages are the first step after any loss.</p> <p>These messages of sympathy are a simple and beautiful way to connect with a grieving loved one. But even though death and grief are universal experiences, it can be hard to find the right things to say to someone who is grieving or know what to write in a condolence card—probably because there aren’t any words that can take away their pain.</p> <p>But it’s proper etiquette to say something rather than to stay silent. Otherwise, the person who’s grieving might think you don’t care.</p> <h2>What can you say to comfort someone who’s lost a loved one?</h2> <p>“Just like there is no one ‘right’ way to grieve, there is no one script for what to say to someone who has experienced a great loss,” Nathanson says. “However we do know that there are some things that many people find comforting and supportive.”</p> <p>When thinking of what to say when someone dies, Nathanson offers these tips:</p> <ul> <li>Lead with sympathy or empathy.</li> <li>Offer to listen (and then listen without interrupting).</li> <li>Don’t offer banal platitudes, like: “Everything will turn out for the best.”</li> <li>Don’t tell them how to feel, like: “Your father wouldn’t want you to be sad.”</li> <li>Reinforce your love and support for them.</li> <li>Offer to help in meaningful ways.</li> <li>Don’t offer advice unless they ask for it.</li> </ul> <h2>How to write a condolence message</h2> <p>“Remember that the goal of a condolence message is not to talk the person out of being sad or to ‘cure’ their grief,” Nathanson says. “It’s to offer love and support during a trying time.”</p> <p>Expressing condolences in person is incredibly powerful, but if you can’t be there with them, sending a condolence message is the next best thing. In this digital age, you have lots of options.</p> <ul> <li>Video messages offer the added bonus of face-to-face connection.</li> <li>Condolence text messages are an immediate way to reach out.</li> <li>Email is a great way to share longer thoughts, including pictures or memories of the loved one. They can also be read at the person’s leisure.</li> <li>Handwritten notes show extra care and are often sentimental keepsakes.</li> <li>Comments on social media show public support and allow you to interact with others who may be grieving the loss as well.</li> </ul> <p>Regardless of which method you choose to convey your love and support, keep your message relatively short. Grief can induce brain fog, making it difficult to concentrate on long messages, Nathanson says. And send your message as soon as you can (but better late than never!), and consider attaching it to one of these beautiful sympathy gifts.</p> <h2>Short condolence messages</h2> <p>To help you find the right words, here’s a list of heartfelt short condolence messages messages. Your kind words will be appreciated more than you know.</p> <ol> <li>I’m so sorry for your loss.</li> <li>My heart breaks for you.</li> <li>This hurts, and it sucks!</li> <li>You are in my prayers.</li> <li>My heart is with you at this time.</li> <li>I love you, and I’m here for you.</li> <li>I’m so sorry you are hurting.</li> <li>Sending love and peace.</li> <li>You are in my thoughts.</li> <li>May you find comfort at this time.</li> <li>Blessings for you and your loved ones.</li> <li>I’m with you during this difficult time.</li> <li>I hope you can feel my love.</li> <li>Love and support for you and yours.</li> <li>I wish I could give you the biggest hug.</li> <li>Sending you peaceful and loving vibes.</li> <li>Praying you feel comforted.</li> <li>You can cry on my shoulder.</li> <li>I’m devastated for you.</li> <li>My heart goes out to you at this difficult time.</li> </ol> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/inspirational/condolence-messages-that-will-help-you-find-the-right-words" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Caring

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"I'm shocked": Queen of the jungle crowned in I'm a Celeb finale

<p>The 2024 season of <em>I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!</em> has concluded with the coronation of a new monarch. No, it’s not some royal lineage we’re talking about; it’s the queen of reality TV herself, Skye Wheatley.</p> <p>After weeks of enduring the culinary horrors of the jungle and the occasional emotional breakdown, Australia has spoken and Skye is officially their jungle royalty. Her reign over the camp was nothing short of spectacular, featuring riveting moments such as her triumph over creepy crawlies, her dramatic monologues about missing Wi-Fi, and of course, her unforgettable friendship with that one tree that seemed oddly supportive.</p> <p>In an “incredibly close” result that had us all on the edge of our seats (or couches, let’s be real), Skye managed to outshine her fellow campmates and secure the coveted title of Jungle Queen. But it wasn’t just about the glory; it was about the charity, too. Skye walked away with $100,000 for Bully Zero, proving once and for all that you can battle both bullies and bugs and emerge victorious.</p> <p>In her post-victory interview, Skye expressed her shock at the win, saying, “I’m shocked.” Truly, her eloquence knows no bounds. “I feel absolutely blessed to have had this opportunity, and to go through the things I went through with these boys.”</p> <p>But behind those eloquent words lies the heart of a true champion, one who faced her fears head-on and emerged triumphant, all while looking fabulous in a khaki jumpsuit.</p> <p>Before her jungle adventure, Skye confessed that she thought the public expected her to “fall flat on my face”. Well, Skye, the joke’s on them because you soared like a majestic eagle, or at least like a slightly disoriented possum.</p> <p>And let’s not forget the emotional rollercoaster that was the finale. Tears flowed like the Brisbane River as the top three reunited with their loved ones. It was a moment of pure emotion, a stark contrast to the usual scenes of celebrities eating bugs for our entertainment.</p> <p>As we bid farewell to another season of jungle shenanigans, we can’t help but reflect on the memories created, the friendships forged, and the questionable food choices made. Here’s to Skye Wheatley, the queen of our hearts and the jungle alike. Long may she reign, or at least until the next season starts.</p> <p>And to all the celebrities who braved the jungle, whether voluntarily or not, we salute you. May your next adventure be slightly less bug-infested and involve significantly more room service.</p> <p>New host Robert Irwin had the last word to longtime host Julia Morris: “From the bottom of my heart, I have loved this so much," he said. "It’s been so much fun.” </p> <p><em>Images: Network Ten</em></p>

TV

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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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Biggest spenders of the Voice campaign finally revealed

<p>The recently disclosed financial reports of the failed Voice to Parliament referendum in Australia have shed light on the substantial investments made by both the Yes and No campaigns.</p> <p>According to newly released disclosures, the Yes campaign significantly outspent its counterpart, with expenditures nearing $55 million – more than double the amount spent by the No campaign.</p> <p>Under Australian law, any campaign expenditure exceeding $15,200 must be reported to the Australian Electoral Commission. These reports, made public almost six months after the referendum's defeat, offer a comprehensive overview of the financial landscape surrounding the proposal to embed an Indigenous voice within the country's constitution, which ultimately saw a 60-40% defeat.</p> <p>Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition spearheaded the Yes campaign, amassing $47.5 million in donations and spending $43.8 million. Additionally, the University of New South Wales (UNSW), home to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, received $11.12 million in donations, allocating $10.3 million toward campaign efforts.</p> <p>On the opposing front, No campaign groups collectively spent over $25 million. Australians for Unity, also recognised as Fair Australia, invested $11.1 million, while Advance Australia allocated $10.3 million, despite receiving only $1.3 million in donations during the reporting period.</p> <p>A noteworthy highlight of the disclosures is the substantial contributions from various entities. The Paul Ramsay Foundation emerged as the largest individual donor, contributing $7.01 million to Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition. Other notable donors include corporate entities such as ANZ, Woodside Energy, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac, all of which supported initiatives associated with the Yes campaign.</p> <p>Conversely, mineral magnate Clive Palmer's Mineralogy led the No campaign with a spending of $1.93 million. Additionally, political parties played a role in the referendum's financial landscape, with the Liberal Party of Australia, the Nationals, and the Australian Labor Party all making significant contributions.</p> <p>Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull notably donated $50,000 to the Yes campaign, reflecting a bipartisan interest in Indigenous recognition efforts. Moreover, local governments and independent candidates also made notable contributions to the referendum discourse.</p> <p>The Paul Ramsay Foundation, a significant donor to the Yes campaign, has been actively involved in addressing social disparities in Australia. With a focus on enabling equitable opportunities for marginalised communities, the foundation's support for Indigenous recognition aligns with its broader mission of fostering sustainable social change.</p> <p>While the referendum may have concluded, the broader pursuit of Indigenous rights and recognition remains an ongoing journey for the nation.</p> <p><em>Image: Two Way Street</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Who will look after us in our final years? A pay rise alone won’t solve aged-care workforce shortages

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-duckett-10730">Stephen Duckett</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>Aged-care workers will receive a significant pay increase after the Fair Work Commission <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/pdf/2024fwcfb150.pdf">ruled</a> they deserved substantial wage rises of up to 28%. The federal government <a href="https://ministers.dewr.gov.au/burke/fair-work-decision-aged-care">has committed to</a> the increases, but is yet to announce when they will start.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Tens of thousands of aged care workers will receive a major pay rise after the Fair Work Commission recommended the increase. <a href="https://t.co/NeNt1Gvxd9">https://t.co/NeNt1Gvxd9</a></p> <p>— SBS News (@SBSNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/SBSNews/status/1768557710537068889?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 15, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>But while wage rises for aged-care workers are welcome, this measure alone will not fix all workforce problems in the sector. The number of people over 80 is expected to <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-08/p2023-435150.pdf">triple over the next 40 years</a>, driving an increase in the number of aged care workers needed.</p> <h2>How did we get here?</h2> <p>The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which delivered its <a href="https://www.royalcommission.gov.au/aged-care/final-report">final report</a> in March 2021, identified a litany of tragic failures in the regulation and delivery of aged care.</p> <p>The former Liberal government was dragged reluctantly to accept that a total revamp of the aged-care system was needed. But its <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/respect-care-and-dignity-aged-care-royal-commission-452-million-immediate-response-as-government-commits-to-historic-reform-to-deliver-respect-and-care-for-senior-australians#:%7E:text=Minister%20for%20Senior%20Australians%20and,%2C%20dementia%2C%20food%20and%20nutrition.">weak response</a> left the heavy lifting to the incoming Labor government.</p> <p>The current government’s response started well, with a <a href="https://theconversation.com/anthony-albanese-offers-2-5-billion-plan-to-fix-crisis-in-aged-care-180419">significant injection of funding</a> and a promising regulatory response. But it too has failed to pursue a visionary response to the problems identified by the Royal Commission.</p> <p>Action was needed on four fronts:</p> <ul> <li>ensuring enough staff to provide care</li> <li>building a functioning regulatory system to encourage good care and weed out bad providers</li> <li>designing and introducing a fair payment system to distribute funds to providers and</li> <li>implementing a financing system to pay for it all and achieve intergenerational equity.</li> </ul> <p>A government taskforce which proposed a <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-will-aged-care-look-like-for-the-next-generation-more-of-the-same-but-higher-out-of-pocket-costs-225551">timid response to the fourth challenge</a> – an equitable financing system – was released at the start of last week.</p> <p>Consultation closed on a <a href="https://media.opan.org.au/uploads/2024/03/240308_Aged-Care-Act-Exposure-Draft-Joint-Submission_FINAL.pdf">very poorly designed new regulatory regime</a> the week before.</p> <p>But the big news came at end of the week when the Fair Work Commission handed down a further <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/pdf/2024fwcfb150.pdf">determination</a> on what aged-care workers should be paid, confirming and going beyond a previous <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/sites/work-value-aged-care/decisions-statements/2022fwcfb200.pdf">interim determination</a>.</p> <h2>What did the Fair Work Commission find?</h2> <p>Essentially, the commission determined that work in industries with a high proportion of women workers has been traditionally undervalued in wage-setting. This had consequences for both care workers in the aged-care industry (nurses and <a href="https://training.gov.au/Training/Details/CHC33021">Certificate III-qualified</a> personal-care workers) and indirect care workers (cleaners, food services assistants).</p> <p>Aged-care staff will now get significant pay increases – 18–28% increase for personal care workers employed under the Aged Care Award, inclusive of the increase awarded in the interim decision.</p> <figure class="align-center "><figcaption></figcaption>Indirect care workers were awarded a general increase of 3%. Laundry hands, cleaners and food services assistants will receive a further 3.96% <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decision-summaries/2024fwcfb150-summary.pdf">on the grounds</a> they “interact with residents significantly more regularly than other indirect care employees”.</figure> <p>The final increases for registered and enrolled nurses will be determined in the next few months.</p> <h2>How has the sector responded?</h2> <p>There has been no push-back from employer groups or conservative politicians. This suggests the uplift is accepted as fair by all concerned.</p> <p>The interim increases of up to 15% probably facilitated this acceptance, with the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-does-the-budget-mean-for-medicare-medicines-aged-care-and-first-nations-health-192842">recognition of the community</a> that care workers should be paid more than fast food workers.</p> <p>There was <a href="https://www.accpa.asn.au/media-releases/accpa-welcomes-further-aged-care-wage-rises">no criticism from aged-care providers</a> either. This is probably because they are facing difficulty in recruiting staff at current wage rates. And because government payments to providers reflect the <a href="https://www.ihacpa.gov.au/">actual cost of aged care</a>, increased payments will automatically flow to providers.</p> <p>When the increases will flow has yet to be determined. The government is due to give its recommendations for staging implementation by mid-April.</p> <h2>Is the workforce problem fixed?</h2> <p>An increase in wages is necessary, but alone is not sufficient to solve workforce shortages.</p> <p>The health- and social-care workforce is <a href="https://www.jobsandskills.gov.au/data/employment-projections">predicted</a> to grow faster than any other sector over the next decade. The “care economy” will <a href="https://theconversation.com/care-economy-to-balloon-in-an-australia-of-40-5-million-intergenerational-report-211876">grow</a> from around 8% to around 15% of GDP over the next 40 years.</p> <p>This means a greater proportion of school-leavers will need to be attracted to the aged-care sector. Aged care will also need to attract and retrain workers displaced from industries in decline and attract suitably skilled migrants and refugees with appropriate language skills.</p> <p>The <a href="https://theconversation.com/demand-driven-funding-for-universities-is-frozen-what-does-this-mean-and-should-the-policy-be-restored-116060">caps on university and college enrolments</a> imposed by the previous government, coupled with weak student demand for places in key professions (such as nursing), has meant workforce shortages will continue for a few more years, despite the allure of increased wages.</p> <p>A significant increase in intakes into university and vocational education college courses preparing students for health and social care is still required. Better pay will help to increase student demand, but funding to expand place numbers will ensure there are enough qualified staff for the aged-care system of the future. <!-- 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/225898/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-duckett-10730">Stephen Duckett</a>, Honorary Enterprise Professor, School of Population and Global Health, and Department of General Practice and Primary Care, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></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/who-will-look-after-us-in-our-final-years-a-pay-rise-alone-wont-solve-aged-care-workforce-shortages-225898">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Retirement Income

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"Words fail me": Rod Stewart devastated by passing of iconic rocker

<p>The world of music is mourning the loss of one of its iconic figures as Steve Harley, the frontman of British rock band Cockney Rebel, has passed away at the age of 73. News of his death, reported by BBC, came as a shock to fans and fellow musicians alike.</p> <p>According to reports, Harley's family confirmed that he "passed away peacefully at home". This sad news marks the end of an era for the music industry, as tributes pour in from across the globe.</p> <p>One of the most heartfelt tributes came from Sir Rod Stewart, who expressed his devastation over the loss of his fellow musician. "Absolutely devastated, words fail me," he wrote. "The Cockney Rebel has left us. Loved you and admired you Steve and always will," said Stewart, as reported by the PA news agency.</p> <p>Harley's recent cancellation of tour dates due to cancer treatment had already alerted fans to his health struggles. "Whoever you know him as, his heart exuded only core elements. Passion, kindness, generosity. And much more, in abundance," his family wrote in a statement.</p> <p>"The birdsong from his woodland that he loved so much was singing for him. His home has been filled with the sounds and laughter of his four grandchildren.</p> <p>"We know he will be desperately missed by people all over the world, and we ask that you respectfully allow us privacy to grieve."</p> <p>The announcement of Harley's hiatus from touring, made through his official website, shed light on his ongoing health journey. "Due to ongoing treatment for cancer, Steve cannot commit to any concerts in 2024," the statement read. However, there was a glimmer of hope for the future as it conveyed Harley's optimism for a different outcome in the following year.</p> <p>Born Stephen Malcolm Ronald Nice in Deptford, UK, in 1951, Harley's journey in music began to take shape in the 1970s when he became the frontman of Cockney Rebel. The band, known for its contribution to the glam rock genre, left an indelible mark on the British music scene.</p> <p>Harley's distinctive voice and songwriting prowess, evident in hits like "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)," endeared him to fans and secured his place as a legendary figure in rock history.</p> <p>As fans and the music community come to terms with Harley's loss, his legacy will undoubtedly endure through his timeless music and the memories he created.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram \ Wikimedia</em></p>

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Young musician dies weeks after writing final song

<p>Cat Janice has died aged 31 with her family by her side.</p> <p>The young musician, who had a large following on TikTok, had been battling cancer since January 2022 when doctors diagnosed her with sarcoma, a rare malignant tumour. </p> <p>She was declared cancer-free on July 22 that same year, following extensive surgery, chemo and radiation therapy. </p> <p>The mum-of-one was sadly re-diagnosed with cancer in June last year and despite fighting hard in the second round of her treatments, Janice told fans in January that her cancer "won" and that she "fought hard but sarcomas are too tough".</p> <p>Janice's family have announced her passing in a statement shared to her Instagram. </p> <p>"From her childhood home and surrounded by her loving family, Catherine peacefully entered the light and love of her heavenly creator," they said. </p> <p>"We are eternally thankful for the outpouring of love that Catherine and our family have received over the past few months."</p> <p>Before she died, Janice publicly announced that all her music would be signed over to her 7-year-old son, Loren, to support him in the future. </p> <p>Just weeks before her death, she released her final song <em>Dance You Outta My Head </em> in the hope it would spread "joy and fun". </p> <p>"My last joy would be if you pre saved my song 'Dance You Outta My Head' and streamed it because all proceeds go straight to my 7-year-old boy I'm leaving behind," she said, before the song was released. </p> <p>The song went viral, and took he number one spot in several countries and the number five spot on the Apple Itunes globally.</p> <p>Her family have said that the love she received for her final song, was unbelievable parting gift she could have ever received.</p> <p>"Cat saw her music go places she never expected and rests in the peace of knowing that she will continue to provide for her son through her music. This would not have been possible without all of you."</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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Luke Davies' final act of kindness for nervous flyer

<p>The colleagues of slain Qantas flight attendant Luke Davies have shared the 29-year-old's final act of kindness for an elderly couple travelling overseas. </p> <p>In one of the last flights before his untimely death, Davies was on a flight from Sydney to Singapore as an elderly woman boarded the plane with her dying husband who was dealing with dementia. </p> <p>The senior couple were travelling to Switzerland so the man could pay one final visit to his son before succumbing to his illness. </p> <p>The caring flight attendant spent the entire eight-and-a-half hour journey, including his break, with the man and his wife as they flew first-class. </p> <p>"The wife had told him [her husband] had severe dementia, and she was really saddened by it because she kept saying he was the most beautiful husband and kindest man, and she was losing him to this cruel disease," Qantas colleague Brooke Walters told the <em><a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/luke-davies-act-of-kindness-on-one-of-his-last-flights-20240227-p5f84n.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener">Sydney Morning Herald</a></em>.</p> <p>"She was getting exhausted because every 30 seconds he was losing his memory, like a goldfish, and Luke took it upon himself to care for them constantly."</p> <p>Walters shared how her friend and colleague went above and beyond to care for the elderly man, recalling how he tucked the man into his bed, reassured him amid his confusion and consoled his wife, who was at times upset. </p> <p>"Luke had been told they booked the flight a year and a half ago, but the husband had deteriorated in the last three months really badly, so it was going to be their last trip to see their son, and Luke wanted it to be as comfortable as possible," she said.</p> <p>Ms Walters added that Mr Davies had a love of travelling and was a joy to be around.</p> <p>Luke and his partner Jesse Davies' <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/update-on-search-for-bodies-of-murdered-couple" target="_blank" rel="noopener">bodies were found</a> in southern New South Wales on Tuesday, after Constable Beaumont Lamarre-Condon turned himself in over the disappearance of the two men, and has since been <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/police-officer-arrested-amid-search-for-missing-men" target="_blank" rel="noopener">charged</a> with two counts of murder. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

International Travel

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"I'm lowkey dying": Brave young woman with terminal illness shares her final wish

<p>Samantha Bulloch was given three years to live after she was diagnosed with gut-wrenching stage four bowel cancer at the young age of 28. </p> <p>A year later, Bulloch has shared a heartfelt plea on social media in hopes of meeting her idol- pop star Taylor Swift. </p> <p>The Swiftie has scored a ticket to Taylor's final show in Sydney on the 26th of February, but she’s calling on “anyone to hook a sister up” so she can meet-and-greet the singer backstage. </p> <p>“I’m low key dying and honestly this would just make my year,” she said in a video shared to TikTok. </p> <p>“I’m going out on a limb here so I’m just shooting my shot and we’re going to see what happens.</p> <p>“If anyone has any connections... I would love you forever.”</p> <p>Bulloch has been a fan of the megastar since she was 15 years old. </p> <p>“Taylor means so much to me, and I’d love the opportunity to tell her just how much of an impact she’s made on my life,” she told <em>7Life</em>. </p> <p>“I’ve loved her since I was 15, and her music has seen me through so many chapters in my life — including this one.</p> <p>“I love that her music transcends all kinds of walks of life, and so many of us connect with it so personally, despite the differences in our situations.</p> <p>“She has a real talent for making you feel less alone.I recently got a new tattoo of the lyric, ‘For the hope of it all’, from her song called August.</p> <p>“I adopted that lyric during my experience with cancer. I’m choosing to live for the hope of it all.”</p> <p>As she faces terminal cancer, Bulloch said that she is determined to live the rest of her life to the fullest. </p> <p>"I’m hoping and praying for many more years than what I’ve been given. But if not, I intend to try and maximise these few I’ve got left to the best of my ability," she said. </p> <p>“Thankfully I’ve always been quite a positive and hopeful person, and that hasn’t left me during this experience.”</p> <p>Bulloch was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2023, after experiencing low iron levels, fatigue and blood in her stool. </p> <p>She is currently on a chemotherapy regime and an immunotherapy drug and added that she also hopes to tick off many of her bucket list destinations this year, including visiting UK, Paris, New York and Tasmania. </p> <p>“My doctor has said I can, providing the treatment I’m on now works," the hopeful 29-year-old said. </p> <p>“Thankfully treatment has been working so hopefully in a few months I’ll be able to do that."</p> <p><em>Images: Samantha Bulloch </em></p>

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Science finally proves "Money doesn't buy happiness"

<p>A new study has proven that the old adage "money can't buy you happiness" is true. </p> <p>Historically, economic wealth and higher income households are often seen to have an increased level of wellbeing and happiness, with the extra money making way for less stress and more general comfortability. </p> <p>However, researchers from Canada and Spain have concluded this may not be true, with such surveys often including responses from people in industrialised areas only. </p> <p>People in small-scale societies where money does not play a central role in every day life are often excluded from these studies, as the livelihood of residents in these small communities usually depend more on nature. </p> <p>Now, 2,966 people from Indigenous and local communities in 19 locations across the globe have been included in a study, with researchers now finding that societies of Indigenous people and those in small, local communities report living very satisfying lives despite not having a lot of money. </p> <p>The researchers wrote, "The striking aspect of our findings... is that reported life satisfaction in very low-income communities can meet and even exceed that reported at the highest average levels of material wealth provided by industrial ways of life."</p> <p>Researchers concluded the findings are strong evidence that economic growth is not needed to be happy, with only 64 percent of households included in the survey reported having any cash income.</p> <p>Eric Galbraith, lead author of the study, said, "Surprisingly, many populations with very low monetary incomes report very high average levels of life satisfaction, with scores similar to those in wealthy countries."</p> <p>Researchers added that high life satisfaction is shown in these communities "despite many of these societies having suffered histories of marginalisation and oppression."</p> <p>Galbraith added, "I would hope that, by learning more about what makes life satisfying in these diverse communities, it might help many others to lead more satisfying lives while addressing the sustainability crisis."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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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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Newly revealed diary entry shows Queen Elizabeth's final moments

<p>A previously unseen diary entry from Queen Elizabeth's private secretary has revealed the final moments of the late monarch's life. </p> <p>Sir Edward Young dutifully recorded every moment of the Queen's life, including Her Majesty's last moments at Balmoral surrounded by her family. </p> <p>“Very peaceful,” he wrote. “In her sleep. Slipped away. Old age. She wouldn’t have been aware of anything. No pain.”</p> <p>The private diary entry was lodged in the Royal Archives and has not been made public until now.</p> <p>Queen Elizabeth passed away at the age of 96 on September 8th 2022 at her beloved Balmoral Castle in Scotland, as she was surrounded by the royal family.</p> <p> </p> <p>Others who were by the Queen’s bedside included the Queen’s senior dresser and trusted confidante, Angela Kelly, along with the Rev Kenneth MacKenzie, a minister, who read to her from the Bible.</p> <p>The diary entry comes from a new book <em>Charles III: New King, New Court. The Inside Story</em>, written by royal expert Robert Hardman, who shared other details from the Queen's final moments.</p> <p>The book notes that after King Charles sat by his mother's bedside for hours before her death, he went out to forage mushrooms to clear his head.</p> <p>It was when he was returning to Balmoral Castle that he was informed his mother has died.  </p> <p>After her death, a footman brought a locked red box of paperwork found by her deathbed.</p> <p>In it, were two sealed letters: one to her son and heir, Charles, and the other, addressed to Young.</p> <p>The box also contained her final royal order: her choice of candidates for the prestigious Order of Merit for ‘exceptionally meritorious service’ across the Commonwealth.</p> <p>Hardman writes in the new book, “Even on her deathbed, there had been work to do. And she had done it.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Final goodbyes to Sydney dad after Bali scooter crash

<p>Kevin Malligan, 24, who was critically injured in a horror <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/heartbreaking-update-after-young-father-critically-injured-in-bali-scooter-crash" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Bali scooter crash</a> has been taken off life support, after he was declared brain dead by doctors.</p> <p>The young father-of-two was left fighting for his life after the accident. He suffered a brain bleed and a fracture to his neck, and was put into an induced coma at the BIMC Hospital in Nusa Dua.</p> <p>On Friday, his mother-in-law confirmed his death via a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/kevin-malligan-accident#xd_co_f=NDIzY2U3YjUtNTQ2Yi00MjhjLWEwNTMtNGNhZTMyZmNiMzc0~" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> page that was previously set up to raise funds for his return to Australia. </p> <p>“Our last hours with our son-in-law Kevin were this morning as we all said our goodbyes,” she wrote, with a heartbreaking photo of Malligan's heavily pregnant wife, Leah and young daughter Ivy at his bedside.</p> <p>“We had to go through a traumatic time that no wife, father, mother, dad and family should have to go through.</p> <p>“Leah and his dad made the beautiful, generous choice to donate his internal organs," she added. </p> <p>She then thanked everyone who has supported their family during these tough times, with over  $122,000 raised by generous donors in the fundraiser.</p> <p>“We are forever grateful for so much support over these last two weeks from family, friends, work colleagues, community and complete strangers.</p> <p>“Leah is overwhelmed by the support to bring Kevin back home and to have the opportunity to farewell her beloved husband and father to Ivy and her soon-to-be bub – due early February 2024.”</p> <p><em>Images: GoFundMe</em></p>

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Coroner finally reveals Sinead O’Connor’s cause of death

<p>The cause of Sinead O'Connor's unexpected death in July 2023 has been officially disclosed by a coroner, initiating a global response of grief for the renowned Irish music icon known as the "Daughter of Ireland".</p> <p>According to British authorities, the 56-year-old singer died of natural causes, a revelation that has led to an extensive outpouring of condolences and remembrance from her admirers worldwide.</p> <p><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/sin-ad-o-connor-passes-away-at-just-56" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Discovered unresponsive in her London home last July</a>, the sudden passing of O'Connor prompted an emotional worldwide reaction. John Thompson, a clerk of Southwark Coroners Court in London, confirmed the natural cause of death, leading to the cessation of the coroner's involvement in the case.</p> <p>A prior statement on the Coroner's website had indicated that a decision regarding the need for an inquest would be made once the cause of death was determined. O'Connor was pronounced dead at the scene in her Herne Hill penthouse in South London, with no immediate disclosure of the medical cause of death. The Coroner opted not to provide additional details regarding the specific circumstances of her passing following the autopsy.</p> <p>In the period leading up to her death, O'Connor had taken to social media to share personal updates, expressing a newfound sense of happiness after moving back to London. This phase marked a fresh start for the singer following the tragic loss of her son Shane, who, at the age of 17, took his own life in January 2022 after escaping hospital while under suicide watch.</p> <p>A year later, in January, O'Connor was admitted to the hospital after revealing on social media that she had decided to follow her son's path. The singer had been open about her mental health struggles, using platforms like Twitter to convey the depth of her grief, referring to herself as an "undead night creature" since the loss of her beloved son, whom she described as "the love of my life, the lamp of my soul".</p> <p>A funeral procession for O'Connor through her hometown in Bray, Ireland, witnessed a gathering of thousands of mourners. Draped in blue, white and pink flowers, her coffin rolled through the streets after a private memorial service attended by family, friends and fellow musicians such as Bono and Bob Geldof, the latter observed riding behind the cortege.</p> <p>Geldof, reflecting on O'Connor's tumultuous life, spoke of the "terrible loneliness and terrible despair" that had haunted her many times. The procession, passing along the seafront south of Dublin, where O'Connor had lived for 15 years, marked the final chapter in the life of a music legend whose legacy will forever be intertwined with the pain and beauty she brought to the world.</p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

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"It was hard to watch": Sean Connery's final days revealed

<p>Sean Connery's final moments have been revealed in a new book, <em>Connery, Sean Connery</em>, which dives into his decades-long career and the obstacles he faced in life. </p> <p>The Scottish actor, who rose to fame as the original <em>James Bond</em>, passed away on October 31, 2020, at the age of 90. </p> <p>The book written by Herbie J Pilato, features never-before-published commentary from Connery's friend, Brendan Lynch about the actor's final days. </p> <p>The Oscar winner struggled with dementia before his passing, and the book claims that Lynch was requested by Connery’s wife, Micheline Roquebrune, to visit his friend “as much as possible in his last days." </p> <p>In the book, Lynch recalled: “Because he wasn’t well at all, Micheline did ask me to try and see a bit more of him in the end.” </p> <p>“He didn’t want to have people that he didn’t know hanging around, so I would stop in to visit.”</p> <p>“I was crying at times to see this mountain of a man — this monumental human achievement in such a terrible state — frail (mentally and physically) unable to carry on a conversation or finish off a sentence,” Lynch said. </p> <p>“To see his body weak and flawed at the end… it was very sad. We tried to have a conversation. I tried to tell him what was going on in the sporting world, despite knowing that he wasn’t actually taking it all in.”</p> <p>Pilato told <em>Fox News Digital </em>that he spoke to numerous other sources and co-stars to get a better understanding of the man behind the iconic character.</p> <p>“Dementia is not just a mental issue. You’re affected physically in other ways… It affects everything. So it’s not just the mind. And to see someone who was so strong battling this disease — it was difficult," Pilato said. </p> <p>“If anybody looked like a movie star, it was Sean Connery,” he shared. “But towards the end, when he was frail, it was hard to watch. It was hard to see that.”</p> <p>According to the book, the actor's health was kept private “for some time" as he spent his final days  surrounded by “sprawling golf courses, near wide-open silky sands and… clear blue Bahamian waters.” </p> <p>Connery died in his sleep, and according to his wife it was exactly "what he wanted.”</p> <p>“At least he died in his sleep, and it was just so peaceful,” she told <em>The Daily Mail </em>on Sunday. </p> <p>“I was with him all the time, and he just slipped away. It was what he wanted."</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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Matthew Perry's cause of death finally revealed

<p>The sudden and tragic death of <em>Friends</em> actor Matthew Perry <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/you-were-loved-tributes-flow-over-tragic-passing-of-matthew-perry" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shocked fans worldwide</a>. Now the County of Los Angeles' medical examiner has finally released its report detailing the cause of his demise, attributing it to the acute effects of ketamine.</p> <p>Perry, best known for his role as Chandler Bing in the iconic TV series, passed away at the age of 54 on the morning of October 28, after a game of pickleball. He returned home and sent his assistant on an errand. Two hours later, the assistant returned to find Perry unresponsive in the spa. Emergency services were called, but paramedics pronounced Perry dead at the scene.</p> <p>At the time, the coroner's report listed only drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of opioid buprenorphine as contributing factors, ultimately ruling the death as an accident.</p> <p>Ketamine, a dissociative anaesthetic with hallucinogenic effects, has now been determined to have played a significant role in Perry's demise. The autopsy revealed that Perry was undergoing ketamine infusion therapy to manage depression and anxiety. However, the ketamine found in his system at the time of death could not be attributed to the most recent therapy session, as its half-life is only three to four hours. The report stated that the high levels of ketamine in his postmortem blood could lead to cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression.</p> <p>Perry had a history of substance abuse, openly discussing his battles with addiction dating back to his time on <em>Friends</em> in the 1990s. Despite being reportedly clean for 19 months before his death, the toxicology report revealed ongoing ketamine infusions. Perry had detailed his experiences with ketamine in his memoir, describing it as a "giant exhale" that made him feel as though he were "dying".</p> <p>“Ketamine was a very popular street drug in the 1980s," Perry wrote in his book <em>Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing</em>. "There is a synthetic form of it now, and it’s used for two reasons: to ease pain and help with depression. Has my name written all over it – they might as well have called it ‘Matty’.” </p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">During the pandemic, Perry received ketamine infusions in a Swiss rehab clinic, as revealed in his memoir. He explained that the drug, known for its pain-relieving and antidepressant properties, provided a unique and different experience. However, he also acknowledged the rough hangover associated with ketamine, ultimately stating that the drug was not for him.</span></p> <p>“Taking K is like being hit in the head with a giant happy shovel," he wrote. "But the hangover was rough and outweighed the shovel. Ketamine was not for me.”</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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King Charles' final message to Barry Humphries hours before he died

<p>In a touching tribute to the late comedian Barry Humphries, the King has sent a personal message to be read out at the state memorial. The King, who shared a close friendship with the legendary comedian, expressed his deep sadness following Humphries' passing at the age of 89.</p> <p>The King, at 75, was not just a monarch but a friend who spoke to Humphries mere hours before his passing on April 22. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson at the time conveyed the King's profound sadness and mentioned that he was privately reaching out to Mr Humphries' family.</p> <p>Charles' connection with Humphries extended beyond formalities. The duo's friendship was a source of joy and laughter, exemplified by Humphries' memorable performance as Dame Edna at the 2013 Royal Variety Performance. </p> <p>Lord Archer, a close friend of Humphries, has also revealed that the King attended many of the comedian's shows, even bringing his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, backstage when they were young boys.</p> <p>The Australian newspaper also revealed recently that Charles sent Humphries an email just hours before his passing, with film director Bruce Beresford sharing the story:</p> <p>"Barry said, 'Well, I always admired him. We always got on well and I really liked his company and enjoyed being with him'," <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Mr Beresdord told the newspaper. </span>"Barry was one of those people, he had a great capacity for friendship. He was so interested in people."</p> <p>Now, years later, the state memorial service at the Sydney Opera House promises to be a fitting tribute to Humphries as family, friends and fans gather to celebrate the comedian's illustrious career. The Australian Chamber Orchestra, a favourite of Humphries, will perform, adding a touch of elegance to the proceedings. The presence of Humphries' widow, Lizzie Spender, and his children at the memorial underscores the profound impact he had on those closest to him.</p> <p>Humphries' association with royalty was not limited to the King; he was a mainstay at royal performances, meeting Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana at various events. The comedian's contributions were acknowledged with a CBE by the late Queen in 2007, and he continued to be a familiar face at royal gatherings, including a delightful encounter with Queen Camilla at The Oldie of the Year Awards in 2021.</p> <p>The state memorial, with its mix of laughter, music and shared memories, will undoubtedly be a fitting tribute to a man who brought joy and laughter to millions around the world. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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Surprise choice for "Word of the Year"

<p>The Oxford University Press has named its word of the year, and the results are not what you expect. </p> <p>From "Swiftie" (an evid Taylor Swift fan), "situationship" (an informal romantic or sexual relationship)  and "prompt" (an instruction given to an AI program), it's clear that this year's line up was heavily influenced by Gen Z. </p> <p>This year's winner truly speaks volumes about the impact of the younger generation, after results from a public vote reveal that "Rizz" is the word of the year. </p> <p>Rizz is believed to come from the middle of the word charisma, and it is often used to describe someone's ability to attract or seduce someone else. </p> <p>The publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary also said that it can be used as a verb as in to "rizz up"  which means to attract or chat someone up. </p> <p>"It speaks to how younger generations create spaces — online or in person — where they own and define the language they use," the publisher said.</p> <p>"From activism to dating and wider culture, as Gen Z comes to have more impact on society, differences in perspectives and lifestyle play out in language, too."</p> <p>In a news release,  Oxford Languages President Casper Grathwohl said: "Rizz is a term that has boomed on social media, and speaks to how language that enjoys intense popularity and currency within particular social communities — and even in some cases lose their popularity and become passé — can bleed into the mainstream."</p> <p>One of the first instances of a celebrity using it, was when earlier this year <em>Spiderman</em> star Tom Holland said that he had "no rizz whatsoever", during an interview with <em>BuzzFeed</em>. </p> <p>"I have limited rizz," he said at the time, joking about his relationship with co-star Zendaya. </p> <p>Rizz was one of eight words that made it to the shortlist, which included a few other words like: “beige flag”, “parasocial”, “heat dome” and “de-influencing”. </p> <p>Rizz is heavily used online with the hashtag racking up billions of views on TikTok.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Books

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Johnny Ruffo's final kind act revealed

<p>Johnny Ruffo's final act of kindness has been revealed, just weeks after his tragic passing. </p> <p>The former <em>Home and Away</em> actor passed away in November at the age of 35, after a years-long battle with brain cancer. </p> <p>Now, his last performance has been shared, as he took part in a Christmas charity appeal for Starlight Children's Foundation, in collaboration with Amazon Australia. </p> <p>A clip of the performance shows the late star performing a rendition of <em>Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)</em> on the xylophone, alongside Indigenous Australian singer Budjerah and a group of sick Starlight kids. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C0XoZ4mOPaW/?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/C0XoZ4mOPaW/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Amazon.com.au (@amazonaustralia)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>According to <em><a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/christmas-charity-campaign-johnny-ruffo-starred-in-before-he-died-family-gives-permission-for-release/news-story/0cc640ff2043504d8fecf879ff13fa0b" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener">The Daily Telegraph</a></em>, the video was meant to be released on November 14th, days after Ruffo's death, but it was put on hold to due to his passing.</p> <p>However, Ruffo's family and partner Tahnee Sims have since given permission for the video to be released. </p> <p>"Being part of this campaign for so many years, you would think I wouldn't be surprised by what these kids can do but they continue to surprise me with their creativity," Ruffo had said, according to the publication.</p> <p>"I was particularly excited to see the kids in action in the music video as being a singer myself, it was so incredible to see the joy it brought them."</p> <p>Amazon Australia pledged to donate $1 from every view of the video, up to $100,000, to the charity who help support seriously ill children.</p> <p>Johnny Ruffo <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/beautiful-soul-johnny-ruffo-passes-away-at-35" target="_blank" rel="noopener">died</a> on November 10th at a Sydney<a id="mol-5fd7e010-7f6d-11ee-afc5-c3a07096b475" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/sydney/index.html" target="_self"> </a>hospital, with the heartbreaking news being announced on his Instagram page. </p> <p>"It is with a heavy heart that today we had to farewell our beloved Johnny," a statement read.</p> <p>"Surrounded by his partner Tahnee and family, Johnny went peacefully with the support of some incredible nurses & doctors."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Amazon</em></p>

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