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Beyond the Barrier Reef: Australia’s 3 other World Heritage reefs are also in trouble

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kate-marie-quigley-1400512">Kate Marie Quigley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/james-cook-university-1167">James Cook University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-hamilton-baird-11285">Andrew Hamilton Baird</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/james-cook-university-1167">James Cook University</a></em></p> <p>The Great Barrier Reef is world famous – it’s the largest coral reef system in the world and home to tens of thousands of species. No wonder it is World Heritage listed.</p> <p>But Australia has three lower profile reefs which are also World Heritage listed –  Ningaloo and Shark Bay in Western Australia, and Lord Howe Island, 600 kilometres off the New South Wales coast, the <a href="https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/612288-most-southerly-coral-reef">southernmost coral</a> in the world. Ningaloo has 260km of coral reef, while the reefs of Shark Bay have less coral but are home to ancient stromatolites, vast seagrass beds and iconic species such as dugongs.</p> <p>This month, the World Heritage Committee will meet in New Delhi. On the agenda will be how the world’s natural World Heritage sites are faring. The Australian government will be under increased scrutiny to prove it has upheld its <a href="https://www.dcceew.gov.au/parks-heritage/heritage/about/world/management-australias-world-heritage-listed/managing-world-heritage-australia/protecting-world-heritage#regulation">international commitments</a> to protecting these reefs.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.17407">new research</a> has found all four of these reefs are in greater danger than we thought – even those in subtropical waters, such as Lord Howe Island. Our two Indian Ocean reefs at <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/578/">Shark Bay</a> and Ningaloo actually face more species and function loss than the Great Barrier Reef.</p> <p>At 1.5°C of warming, we are likely to lose about 20% of the 400-odd coral species which currently live across these four reefs (equating to about 70 extinctions). At 2°C warming, our modelling of species abundance and ecosystem functions predict an almost complete collapse in reef ecosystems – even for the subtropical reefs. This aligns with <a href="https://www.annualreviews.org/docserver/fulltext/animal/12/1/annurev-animal-021122-093315.pdf?expires=1721002489&amp;id=id&amp;accname=guest&amp;checksum=A9A203CC0F3AEB7D1FE9420F50EDF69A,%20https://backend.orbit.dtu.dk/ws/files/238807594/AGR2020.pdf">predictions</a> by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the future of coral reefs.</p> <p>We believe our work adds to the need to consider whether Australia’s four iconic reefs should be <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/danger/">on the list</a> of World Heritage sites in danger.</p> <h2>What does it mean when a reef is World Heritage listed?</h2> <p>Declaring a natural or cultural site as World Heritage is done to encourage the preservation of locations of immense ecological and cultural value. Nations have to <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/nominations/">nominate sites</a> they think are worthy of protection. Australia has 20 World Heritage sites, <a href="https://www.dcceew.gov.au/parks-heritage/heritage/places/world-heritage-list">of which</a> 12 are natural.</p> <p>When sites are formally listed, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) requires the country’s government to look after it. If the site is degrading, it can be listed as in danger.</p> <p>UNESCO has considered listing the Great Barrier Reef as in danger twice, in 2021 and again in <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/article/2024/jun/24/set-more-ambitious-climate-targets-to-save-great-barrier-reef-unesco-urges-australia">June this year</a>. For the reef to keep its World Heritage status, the government must prove its policies are sufficient to keep the reefs in <a href="https://www.dcceew.gov.au/parks-heritage/heritage/about/world-heritage/outstanding-universal-value">good health</a>.</p> <p>In the debate over the Great Barrier Reef, two things have been missed – first, any mention of Australia’s other World Heritage reefs, and second, whether the federal government’s current policies to cut greenhouse gases are enough to protect the reefs into the future.</p> <h2>What did we find?</h2> <p>Our new results suggest all four reefs are in trouble. Given current warming trends, they will only deteriorate further in the future if we stay on this course.</p> <p>While the Barrier Reef has drawn a great deal of attention, it’s actually the ecosystems at Ningaloo, Shark Bay and Lord Howe Island which are projected to warm the most. When standardised to park boundaries, temperatures here are projected to increase by up to 1.3°C by the end of the century. (This temperature estimate is for sea temperatures, not the overall surface temperature which we use as shorthand when we talk about 1.5°C or 2°C of warming).</p> <p>While that might not sound like much, it will be enough to push many corals to potential extinction. Many coral species already exist within 1-2°C of the maximum temperature they can tolerate.</p> <p>Our modelling shows Shark Bay and Ningaloo actually face a greater risk of species and function loss than the Barrier Reef. It also suggests the ability of our reefs to bounce back will be overcome when warming tips over 1.5°C globally.</p> <p>While these models incorporate the baseline heat tolerance of coral species on these reefs, they don’t yet include their <a href="https://www.annualreviews.org/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-animal-021122-093315;jsessionid=mfIBuwjZ-ru5bkBMhWXDjumNnsvZgxkl02fPAg63.annurevlive-10-241-10-101">potential for genetic adaptation</a>. The question of whether some corals could adapt to this rapid warming is still open. A lot is riding on their ability to do so.</p> <h2>Looming danger</h2> <p>This year, the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sentinels-of-the-sea-ancient-boulder-corals-are-key-to-reef-survival-in-a-warmer-world-223207">Great Barrier Reef</a> and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2024/mar/06/lord-howe-island-coral-bleaching-moving-south-fears-ocean-temperatures">Lord Howe Island</a> have suffered intense stress from high sea temperatures – the direct result of burning fossil fuels and producing heat-trapping greenhouse gases. This year is <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/2024-could-be-worlds-hottest-year-june-breaks-records-2024-07-08/#:%7E:text=The%20latest%20data%20suggest%202024,so%20far%2C%20some%20scientists%20said.">on track</a> to again be the hottest year on record, overtaking the previous record holder of 2023.</p> <p>Australia is already in the midst of an extinction crisis. Australia has one of the worst track records for extinctions. Since European colonisation, 34-38 mammal species have <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.adg7870">gone extinct</a> compared to just one from the contiguous United States, which covers a similar area.</p> <p>You might have read that coral cover – a measure of how much coral there is in an area – <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00338-024-02498-5">hit historic highs</a> on the Great Barrier Reef last year.</p> <p>Coral cover is a helpful and important metric, but it’s <a href="https://theconversation.com/record-coral-cover-doesnt-necessarily-mean-the-great-barrier-reef-is-in-good-health-despite-what-you-may-have-heard-188233">not perfect</a>. For instance, fast-growing heat tolerant coral species might expand as less heat tolerant species die off. Importantly, relying on coral cover alone can mask significant changes in how the <a href="https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2019.2628">reef is functioning</a>.</p> <p>It’s hard to assess how species in our oceans are doing, given the difficulty of access and the large number of species, including many <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-first-step-to-conserving-the-great-barrier-reef-is-understanding-what-lives-there-146097">unknown to science</a>. If warming continues unabated, we will likely start to lose species before we have even documented them.</p> <p>Our results are based on “moderate” climate models of global surface temperature changes. Australia has committed to cutting emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030. While that sounds good, it’s not enough – this decrease is compatible with <a href="https://environment.govt.nz/what-you-can-do/climate-scenarios-toolkit/climate-scenarios-list/ipccs-ssp-rcp-scenarios/">hitting 3.2ºC by 2100</a>. To limit warming to 1.5ºC or below by 2050, we would need to commit to much greater cuts in emissions – 90% below 2005 levels by 2030.</p> <p>Our results clearly suggest Australia’s four World Heritage reefs will be dramatically affected by warming in the near future. They will no longer qualify as being maintained under “conditions of integrity”. It’s hard to see how they can avoid being added to the in danger list.<!-- 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/234268/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/kate-marie-quigley-1400512"><em>Kate Marie Quigley</em></a><em>, DECRA Research Fellow in molecular ecology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/james-cook-university-1167">James Cook University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-hamilton-baird-11285">Andrew Hamilton Baird</a>, Professorial fellow in coral reef ecology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/james-cook-university-1167">James Cook University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/beyond-the-barrier-reef-australias-3-other-world-heritage-reefs-are-also-in-trouble-234268">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Domestic Travel

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"Hero" teens steer bus to safety after driver has a heart attack

<p>Two teenagers have worked together to steer a school bus to safety after the driver had a heart attack. </p> <p>The pair were among 20 other students from Aquinas College, who were on board the bus yesterday afternoon when the 70-year-old driver had the medical episode. </p> <p>A 15-year-old girl, not yet old enough to drive, and Daniel Knight, a year 12 student sprung to action to stop the bus. </p> <p>"We were only going like five [kilometres an hour], 10 k's, so I was like I better just stop the bus before it gets any worse," Knight said. </p> <p>"She opened the door up, she was calming everyone down."</p> <p>Bennet Rogers, a student on the bus  recalled the moment the incident happened. </p> <p>"Us students on the bus, we didn't know what was happening and everyone was screaming," Rogers said. </p> <p>"She had to steer the bus so we didn't crash into a building," he added. </p> <p>Knight and the 15-year-old girl's actions have been commended by the school in a letter to their parents. </p> <p>The bus driver remains in hospital and is recovering from surgery, and the principal has said that there would be an investigation into what happened. </p> <p>Many are calling for the teen girl to be recognised with a bravery award, with Queensland Premier Steven Miles telling <em>Nine News</em> he would personally nominate her. </p> <p>"She's a hero for that, definitely," another fellow student, Brodie Wilkinson, said.</p> <p>"I really hope she gets an award or something."</p> <p><em>Image: Nine News</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Drawings by teen Queen Victoria to go up for auction

<p>A set of 19th century drawings made by a teenage Queen Victoria will be put up for sale at the Old Master, British and European Pictures auction in Roseberys, London next week. </p> <p>A few of the sketches were made when the royal - who reigned from 1837 until her death in 1901 - was still a princess and just 14 years old. </p> <p>Dated July 1833, the drawings depict a knight, a woman, and a veiled woman on a horseback. </p> <p>The fourth drawing was made a year after she ascended the throne, and depicted a woman sitting with a crown and sash, similar to herself, with the inscription: "by Her Majesty." </p> <p>Charlotte Russell, Head of Sales at the auction house, said: "These slightly early drawings show that maybe she was still learning a lot, that she was still honing her craft." </p> <p>"She was very curious and keen as an artist," Russell told <em>CNN</em>.</p> <p>Roseberys set an estimated sale price of £1,500 to £2,500 ($AU2853 to $4755) for the album with the four sketches, as well as works by other artists.  </p> <p>Russel added that the album was likely assembled by Augusta Hayter, daughter-in-law of George Hayter, who was the Queen's court painter and painted her coronation portrait. </p> <p>The album also features royal ephemera, including an invitation to the coronation of King George IV at Westminster Abbey in 1821.</p> <p>"I'm interested to see how it performs," Russell said. </p> <p>Queen Victoria was very passionate about art, receiving her first drawing lesson at just eight years old. </p> <p>She went on to be tutored by renowned artists like Edwin Landseer, William Leighton Leitch and Franz Xaver Winterhalter.</p> <p>"She is known to have experimented quite a lot with different subjects," Russel said, adding that Victoria would make "little sketches of costumes of people in the areas" where she travelled.</p> <p><em>Images: Roseberys Fine Art Auctioneers &amp; Valuers via CNN/ Shutterstock</em></p>

Art

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"Heartbreaking": Teen dies after collapsing on badminton court

<p>Rising badminton star Zhang Zhijie has died after he collapsed in the middle of a match at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Monday.</p> <p>In an interview with the BBC,  Indonesia’s badminton association PBSI said that the  17-year-old athlete suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. </p> <p>The Chinese athlete was facing Japan’s Kazuma Kawano when he fell to the floor and appeared to convulse. </p> <p>He was stretchered off the floor and taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead after they failed to resuscitate him. </p> <p>Viral footage of the tragic incident has sparked fury on Chinese social media platform Weibo, after it showed that it took first medical responders more than 35 seconds to finally arrive and check his condition. </p> <p>According to a PBSI spokesman, medical teams were only following the rule where they needed to get the referee's permission before entering the court. </p> <p>“That is in accordance with the regulations and standards of procedure that applies to every international badminton tournament,” the spokesman said.</p> <p>The Badminton World Federation said it will investigate if the correct protocols were taken during the tragic incident.</p> <p>“Zhang’s death at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships in Yogyakarta, Indonesia is a tragic occurrence, and we are taking all necessary steps to thoroughly review this matter in consultation with Badminton Asia and Badminton Association of Indonesia,” they told <em>TMZ</em>. </p> <p>It is also reported that the medical responders did not have an AED machine to react to the cardiac arrest. </p> <p>Zhijie's death has been a trending topic on Weibo for days, with many outraged over the medical response. </p> <p>One person wrote: “Which is more important - the rules or someone’s life?” </p> <p>Another added: “Did they miss the ‘golden period’ to rescue him?”</p> <p>The badminton community have since paid tribute to the athlete, and they observed a moment of silence in memory of him at the championship on Tuesday. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">One minute of silence as we pay our respects to the late Zhang Zhi Jie.</p> <p>Rest in peace. <a href="https://t.co/DhP4actMDJ">pic.twitter.com/DhP4actMDJ</a></p> <p>— BAM (@BA_Malaysia) <a href="https://twitter.com/BA_Malaysia/status/1807601602460819621?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 1, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>The Badminton Association of Malaysia also held a moment of silence at tournament on Sunday, as seen in a video posted on X.</p> <p>“One minute of silence as we pay our respects to the late Zhang Zhijie. Rest in peace," they wrote. </p> <p>China’s badminton association also said that they were “deeply saddened” by the loss. </p> <p>“Zhang Zhijie loved badminton and was an outstanding athlete of the national youth badminton team,” they said in a statement. </p> <p>His parents have since travelled to Yogyakarta to retrieve his body. </p> <p><em>Images: Twitter/ Wide Awake Media</em></p>

Caring

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"Worst nightmare": Teen dies one day after flu diagnosis

<p>William Jones was complaining of a sore throat and cough last month and when his mum called the doctor, they were told that it was most likely the flu. </p> <p>However, the following morning when Rebecca Rollason went to check on her 16-year-old son, he was found unresponsive in his bed in their Wellington home. </p> <p>"We ask ourselves how what started as a sore throat, snotty nose and a cough on Tuesday to no longer with us three days later,"  the grieving mum told the <em>NZ Herald</em>. </p> <p>"No one understands, we don't know what happened... it feels like the worst nightmare that we cannot wake from."</p> <p>Rollason explained that her family have to "wait for results" in hopes of understanding what happened and how the teenager, who was barely sick, passed away so suddenly. </p> <p>"We just don’t understand how this can happen to a boy who was barely ever sick and was very healthy," she said.</p> <p> "It is an incredibly hard and devastating time for us."</p> <p>A family friend has helped set up a <a href="https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/rebecca-lost-her-son-william-last-friday" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fundraising page</a> to help relieve the financial pressure on her and William's two brothers while they grieve. </p> <p>"It is every parents worst nightmare and a shocking tragedy to lose a healthy child from a sudden and brief illness," a statement from the fundraising page read. </p> <p>"The money will help the family with funeral costs and ease Financial burden while they grieve and come to terms with Williams passing." </p> <p>On July 1 they shared an update on the fundraising page, saying: "Rebecca and family would like all to know that are incredibly grateful for all the support and kindness." </p> <p><em>Image: Givealittle </em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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Aussie teen becomes instant millionaire in NBA draft

<p>Johnny Furphy, 19, has made it to the NBA, after being selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 35th pick in the draft. </p> <p>The Aussie teen joins the world's top basketball league after just one year of studying at the University of Kansas. </p> <p>Furphy was initially selected by the San Antonio Spurs, but was then on-traded to the Pacers who had pick number 36. </p> <p>The teen received an exclusive invite to the green room for the first round of the draft, but wasn't selected until the second round. </p> <p>According to <em>Fox Sports,</em> Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle told  Furphy that the franchise is “really excited” to have drafted him, and believe that he is a “great fit” for their team. </p> <p>“At the end of the day, it’s about wherever the best fit is, and I think Indiana is the spot,” Furphy said. </p> <p>Prior to the draft, the teen paid tribute to his fellow Australian basketballers with a custom-made suit for the big occasion. </p> <p>“I will be wearing a suit with all the Australia NBA players, who have played in the NBA and my name will be highlighted,” he told <em>7NEWS</em>. </p> <p>According to the publication, the young teen is set to be a millionaire with last year's 35th getting a partially guaranteed $US8 million ($A12m) deal over four years, with similar numbers for those selected either side. </p> <p>Growing up, Furphy also played Australian Rules in the Yarra Junior Football League for Fitzroy Juniors. </p> <p>He said that his footy history helped him throughout his NBA career. </p> <p>“I played until I was about 16. Playing that sport definitely helped my basketball being able to absorb contact,” he said.</p> <p>The teen has a promising career ahead, with Australian basketball legend Andrew Gaze also supporting him. </p> <p>“(He is) a guy that hasn’t come out of nowhere, but it’s been a meteoric rise for someone now considered a first-round draft pick,” he told <em>7NEWS</em>.</p> <p><em>Image: Matthew Lynch/CSM/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Teen athlete's tragic death just weeks before Paris Games

<p>A young Olympic hopeful has tragically died just weeks out from making his debut at the Paris Games. </p> <p>Jackson James Rice, 18, was found dead after a diving accident in Faleloa, Tonga on Saturday from a “suspected shallow water blackout”.</p> <p>The teenager had been set to become the first caucasian to represent Tonga at an Olympic Games, having qualified for the new kite-foiling event.</p> <p>He had been free diving from a boat when the tragedy unfolded. </p> <p>His body was found beneath the boat and despite several resuscitation attempts, he could not be revived. </p> <p>Rice's heartbroken father confirmed the news of the teenager's death to the Matangi Tonga newspaper, as tributes flowed for the young athlete.</p> <p>Rice’s sister Lily paid an emotional tribute to her brother on social media on Sunday, as she wrote on Facebook, “I was blessed with the most amazing brother in the whole world and it pains me to say that he’s passed away."</p> <p>“He was an amazing kitefoiler and he would have made it to the Olympics and come out with a big shiny medal … he made so many amazing friends all over the world.”</p> <p>Other friends paid tribute to the teenager on social media, with one writing, “I can’t begin to put into words what I’m feeling right now. I still cannot believe it, when I woke up to this news I thought you were playing around. You’re the most amazing friend anyone could ask for and anyone who has spent time with you would agree.”</p> <p>Rice was originally born in the US but moved to Tonga at a young age with his British-born parents. </p> <p>He grew up in Haʻapai, where his parents run a tourist lodge, and always viewed himself as Tongan.</p> <p>The talented athlete qualified for what had been due to be his first Olympic Games last December, after placing eighth at a Sail Sydney event.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Caring

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Boomers vs. Bikers: Teens and elderly residents face off over bike rules

<p>A tense intergenerational argument has broken out in Sydney's Northern Beaches, as a group of seniors stopped two teenagers from riding their electric bikes on a footpath. </p> <p>The incident was captured on camera by a bystander and uploaded to social media with the caption, "Battle of the beaches. E-bikes vs. elderly", before quickly going viral. </p> <p>The video shows elderly man and woman standing outside a dental centre in the suburb of Mona Vale, stopping the youths from riding any further and are seen holding the bike as the teens appear to argue for their release.</p> <p>After the video garnered much attention, hundreds of people shared their thoughts on who was in the right. </p> <p>Many appear to have taken the side of the senior citizens, but in this case, with the teen’s ages not immediately clear, both parties could have a case. </p> <p>According to the<a title="www.nsw.gov.au" href="https://www.nsw.gov.au/driving-boating-and-transport/roads-safety-and-rules/bicycle-safety-and-rules/cyclist-road-rules#:~:text=Riding%20on%20a%20footpath,under%20the%20age%20of%2016"> New South Wales Government</a>, cyclists (on both pedal or electric bikes) are not allowed to ride on a footpath. However, children under 16 can ride on the footpath unless there is a “NO BICYCLES” sign. </p> <p>In the comment section, plenty of arguments backed the case of the seniors. </p> <p>“Elderly are right; it’s a footpath, it’s dangerous. Annoying they drive fast,” one wrote.</p> <p>Another said: “Look I don’t know what happened, but yesterday (kids) similar to these guys were zooming on an E-bike at a dog park, almost hit us, no bells or anything and off the path. If you have these, just stay on the road.”</p> <p>Others, however, were quick to side with the teens, as one person wrote, “Entitled old people thinking they are the police.”</p> <p>Another added, “Boomers need to admit they are bored and have nothing to do.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Teen actress' parents share update after five-storey fall

<p>Mamie Laverock's parents have shared a promising update with fans, after she was left fighting for her life following a five-storey <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/teen-actress-on-life-support-after-devastating-mishap" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fall</a>. </p> <p>Her parents Nicole and Rob updated their GoFundMe page for the 19-year-old and said that she was “out of her big surgeries," and confirmed that doctors say she's “doing well.”</p> <p>"Mamie is out of her extensive surgeries and the doctors say she is doing well," they wrote.</p> <p>“It’s impossible for us to be happier,” her parents continued.</p> <p>“Thank you all for your support.”</p> <p>On May 11, Laverock experienced a “medical emergency” and was hospitalised in Winnipeg, Canada before being transferred to another hospital in Vancouver. </p> <p>At the time her parents said her recovery was “unclear", but she was “showing signs of improvement.” </p> <p>More than two weeks later, they shared a harrowing update on their daughter's condition informing fans that she was now on life support after she fell five stories from a balcony walkway while being escorted out of a secure unit in the hospital. </p> <p>Many of her <em>When Calls the Heart </em>co-stars took to social media to promote the crowd-funding page and express their heartbreak. </p> <p>“I love this family, my heart is broken. A devastating time for all who care for Mamie. Please help if you can. They need all the support they can get to make it through this,"  Laverock’s on-screen mother Molly Sullivan wrote on X. </p> <p>"I just donated. If you have the means to do so, I hope you will too. Link in bio,” wrote the show's leading actress Erin Krakow.  </p> <p>The fundraiser has now exceeded the $30,000 CAD target, raising almost $33,000 CAD. </p> <p><em>Image: GoFundMe</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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Teen Elvis sensation to join best tribute acts in the country

<p>In the bustling corridors of a regional high school in the Victorian town of Colac, where teenage dreams often centre around passing maths exams and surviving gym class, a baby-faced Year 10 student named Charlie Gaylard is gearing up for something far more extraordinary.</p> <p>With a swivel of his hips and a curl of his lip, this 15-year-old is preparing to dazzle audiences alongside Australia’s top Elvis tribute artists at the Cooly Rocks On nostalgia festival on the Gold Coast from June 5-9.</p> <p>The journey from classroom to the spotlight wasn’t something Charlie stumbled upon; it was a destiny orchestrated by a loving grandad and a bit of serendipity. Greg, his 73-year-old grandfather and manager, has been spinning Elvis records for Charlie since he was in diapers.</p> <p>"We have had a lot of time together since Charlie could walk," Greg explains. "We spent a lot of time in the car together when he was young, and all we would play was Elvis. I am from a family of Elvis fans, as we were all brought up in that era."</p> <p>"When he went to primary school in grade two, they had a talent quest, and Charlie decided that he wanted to go as Elvis," Greg continues. "He got up on stage and sang 'Hound Dog', and ended up winning 'St. Mary’s Got Talent'."</p> <p>"From day one, he concentrated on acting and dancing."</p> <p>Charlie’s final transformation into the young Elvis we see today started two years ago after he was mesmerised by Baz Luhrmann’s <em>Elvis</em> biopic. "He went and saw the <em>Elvis</em> movie," recalls Greg, "and then went back again and again, bought the CD, and never stopped watching it."</p> <p>After watching the film, Charlie then said to his grandad, “I want to give up acting. I think I can do Elvis just like Austin Butler.”</p> <p>Balancing school and his newfound passion, Charlie has become a sensation. His classmates might be studying biology, but Charlie’s researching Elvis’ dance moves and perfecting his rendition of “Jailhouse Rock.” </p> <p>The turning point in Charlie's journey came when renowned Australian singer Jack Gatto saw him perform on video. Recognising the teenager's raw talent, Gatto reached out to Greg. “We have to give this boy a go,” he insisted. </p> <p>It wasn't long before the one and only Dean Vegas – regarded as Australia's best ever Elvis impersonator – had flown Charlie and Greg to Brisbane so that Charlie could perform, resulting in an unbelievable response. And then – proving that three really is a charm – prodigious live show promoter Dom Arpa gave Charlie the go ahead to perform in three Elvis festivals.</p> <p>Grandpa Greg could not be prouder. "Everything has just blown me away. I’m truly flabbergasted," he says. "He was brought up in the Elvis world with me, but I didn’t teach him anything. Charlie does it by himself 100%."</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Retirement has turned into a second act for Greg, who now revels in every moment of this rock-and-roll adventure with his grandson. </span>"Tis has come along and suits me perfectly," he says. "I love every bit of it, every aspect of it. I could have never wished for anything better, never."</p> <p>Now, with Australia’s largest nostalgia festival on the horizon, Charlie is set to bring down the house. Cooly Rocks On is expected to attract over 160,000 visitors, all eager to relive the golden age of rock and roll. Among the glittering lineup, Charlie Gaylard stands out as the fresh-faced teen who, with a little help from his grandad, is keeping the spirit of Elvis alive and well.</p> <p><em>Images: Supplied</em></p>

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Teen actress on life support after devastating mishap

<p>Teen actress Mamie Laverock is currently on life support after falling five stories from a balcony. </p> <p>According to a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-us-support-mamie" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> page, the 19-year-old initially suffered a "medical emergency" on May 11 and was hospitalised in Winnipeg, Canada before being transferred to a hospital in Vancouver, where her condition was labelled “unclear” but showed “signs of improvement.”</p> <p>However, her parents Nicole and Rob shared a devastating update over the weekend, saying that she is now on life support after an incident on May 26 where she was "was escorted out of a secure unit of the hospital and taken up to a balcony walkway from which she fell five stories".</p> <p>"She sustained life threatening injuries, has undergone multiple extensive surgeries, and is currently on life support," the GoFundMe page read. </p> <p>"We are all devastated, in shock, at this intensely difficult time."</p> <p>The teen actress who stars in <em>When Calls the Heart</em>, was in intensive care for two weeks prior to the incident. </p> <p>Following the news, her co-stars took to social media to urge fans to keep her in their thoughts and prayers. </p> <p>“I love this family, my heart is broken,” Johannah Newmarch, who plays Laverock's on-screen mother on the show, tweeted on Monday. </p> <p>“A devastating time for all who care for Mamie. Please help if you can,” she added alongside a link to the fundraiser. </p> <p>“They need all the support they can get to make it through this.”</p> <p>Co-stars Erin Krakow and Loretta Walsh also told their followers that they have donated and encouraged them to do the same. </p> <p>The GoFundMe page has so far raised over $23,000 CAD or over $25,400 AUD. </p> <p>Hallmark Media, the production company Laverock is with, shared a statement on <em>Variety</em>. </p> <p>"We are deeply saddened to hear the news about Mamie. As a beloved member of our <em>When Calls the Heart </em>community, we wish her and her family peace, comfort, and many prayers during this difficult time," the statement read. </p> <p><em>Image: GoFundMe/ Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

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Woman's heartwarming encounter with millionaire teen fisherman

<p>A mum has revealed her heartwarming encounter with Keegan Payne just moments before he caught the <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/domestic-travel/this-is-crazy-teenager-goes-fishing-and-emerges-a-millionaire" target="_blank" rel="noopener">million-dollar fish</a>. </p> <p>Sarrita King, an artist from Darwin, took to TikTok to recall the moment when the teenager and his friends helped her and her family after they had crashed their car and became stranded.</p> <p>“These kids came and actually towed us back to safety,” she said in the video. </p> <p>“So it was an hour out of their time, they unhooked a buggy, they were on their way to go fishing for the Million Dollar Barra, and they were absolutely amazing.</p> <p>“They restored both my partner and I’s faith in kids these days.”</p> <p>The mum said that the group of teenagers made them feel “really safe”.</p> <p>“For a terrible situation - the car was wrecked - they were the best,” she said.</p> <p>“At the time we were like ‘I hope these guys have the best life’, they have so much going for them.”</p> <p>She then shared her surprise when she found out that Payne won the life-changing prize.</p> <p>“We have just been over the moon for him ever since,” she said.</p> <p>“And we just can’t stop smiling and thinking about it. So congratulations. Good karma.”</p> <p>King's followers shared their support for the teen and called it a "beautiful story". </p> <p>“His story just gets better and better, I think he’s going to be a full-on Aussie icon,” one wrote. </p> <p>“Darwin kids have a heart of gold,” another added. </p> <p>King later on told <em>NT News </em>about what a "wonderful young man" Payne was and how kind the teenager was. </p> <p>“He was kind, he spoke proudly about being from Katherine – where I’m from too, so we spoke about that.</p> <p>“He spoke about his family and his love of fishing. It was just what you want your own kid to be like that at that age.</p> <p>“The way he’s handled himself through everything, he’s going to be someone in the future with all the pressure and all the scrutiny, he’s got his head screwed on.”</p> <p><em>Images: TikTok/ Facebook</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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"He's a good kid": Teen fisherman's boss defends young millionaire

<p>The former boss of teenager fisherman Keegan Payne has spoken out in support of the new millionaire, just days after Peter Stefanovic and <em>Sky News</em> were slammed for a "harsh" interview. </p> <p>On Wednesday, Stefanovic made headlines after he used his <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/peter-stefanovic-slammed-for-harsh-question-to-young-million-dollar-winner" target="_blank" rel="noopener">interview</a> with 19-year-old Payne, who had just won a million dollars in a fishing competition in the Northern Territory, to quiz the young man about a petty crime he committed when he was 16. </p> <p>"There is a claim online that you stole a Polaris Ranger and Polaris quad that you and your friends stole and damaged from a business a few years back, first of all, is that true?" Stefanovic asked from his Sydney studio during the live interview.</p> <p>Payne, who was speaking from the Darwin, simply answered, "Yes".</p> <p>Payne explained he and his friends "were young", and "weren't thinking at the time" but having come up with the idea they "went for it".</p> <p>Stefanovic asked Payne if he regretted the act and he said he did "big time".</p> <p>The interview was widely condemned online, with many saying Stefanovic "ripped the carpet from underneath" Payne and chose to focus on a past mistake rather than celebrate his life-changing win. </p> <p>The backlash to the interview prompted both Stefanovic and Sky News to issue an apology to Keegan, saying he "regrets" his line of questioning. </p> <p>“An apology from me, last Wednesday we invited Keegan Payne onto our show to discuss his win in the Million Dollar Fish competition in the Northern Territory,” Stefanovic said during First Edition on Monday. </p> <p>“During that interview I asked him about a theft that had occurred several years earlier. I should not have asked him about those claims and I regret doing so. </p> <p>“I apologise sincerely to Keegan and his family.”</p> <p>Now, the teenage fisherman's former boss, Bob Cavanagh, has spoken out in defence of Keegan, saying "he is a good kid" who had a lapse of better judgement.  </p> <p>Cavanagh ran the business that Payne stole the vehicles from a few years ago, but said he does not hold a grudge and holds no ill will to the teenager. </p> <p>“He’s a good kid who made a mistake,” Cavanagh told the <em><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13384033/Keegan-Payne-Peter-Stefanovic-fishing-Bob-Cavanagh.html">Daily Mail</a>.</em></p> <p>“What was meant to be a celebratory moment was stolen from him. I’m glad he [Stefanovic] apologised to Keegan, he deserved that apology.”</p> <p>Cavanagh said he believes Stefanovic has learnt a lesson.</p> <p>“We all make mistakes and I bet he regrets it,’ he said. ‘The fact that he’s come out and apologised to Keegan and his family, I think he’s realised he’s overstepped the mark.”</p> <p>After his big win, Keegan offered to pay back the stolen vehicles.</p> <p>“Out of the blue this morning, his father rang me and said, ‘Keegan wants to repay you’, and you could have knocked me down with a feather,” Cavanagh said.</p> <p>“He said Keegan has always felt so terrible for what he did.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p> <p style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 24px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-size-adjust: inherit; font-kerning: inherit; font-variant-alternates: inherit; font-variant-ligatures: inherit; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-variant-position: inherit; font-feature-settings: inherit; font-optical-sizing: inherit; font-variation-settings: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"> </p>

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Teen with Down Syndrome sets new world record

<p>A 19-year-old teen with Down Syndrome has conquered the London Marathon and became a Guinness World Record after just five months of training. </p> <p>Lloyd Martin from Cardiff completed the 42.1 km course across the capital with his mother cheering him on. </p> <p>Guinness World Record has awarded him the certificate for becoming the youngest person in his learning disability category to finish a marathon. </p> <p>"I'm so excited to run London. I love being fit and healthy and I want to make my family and friends proud," the teenager said. </p> <p>Mum Ceri Hooper also told the<em> BBC</em> how proud she was of her son's accomplishment. </p> <p>"In Lloyd's words, it's achieving his dream," she said. </p> <p>"Really anything is possible if you put your mind to it. With a bit of work, you can achieve it."</p> <p>Recalling the experience, the proud mum said: "He ran continuously for 14 miles which is the longest he's ever run before." </p> <p>Although Lloyd walked for a bit after his 14-mile-long streak, the crowd cheered him on every step of the way, and despite the challenge the mother-and-son duo had "a ball". </p> <p>The pair were at a loss for words when he finally crossed the finish line and they both "burst into tears." </p> <p>Lloyd is also now the third Welsh Special Olympics athlete to compete in the London Marathon. </p> <p>Prior to completing the world-famous marathon, Lloyed had completed an astonishing 30 Parkruns. </p> <p>Until last Christmas the teenager had never run further than three miles, but his mother was determined to get him marathon-ready. </p> <p>Ceri, who has taken on the London Marathon four times, created a specialised training regime for her son which included weekly runs. </p> <p>Lloyd managed to secure a spot in the marathon thanks to the help of the Special Olympics GB, where he is also a footballer and a gymnast. </p> <p><em>Images: Facebook/ Twitter</em></p>

Caring

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"Other cities will follow": Big trouble ahead for SUV owners

<p>Paris residents have voted to charge SUVs triple the cost of parking compared to standard sized cars in a bid to tackle air pollution and improve safety. </p> <p>54.6 per cent of residents voted to pass the plan, with the new parking tariffs expected to start in September. </p> <p>The price increase will apply to on-street parking for vehicles with combustion or hybrid engines weighing more than 1.6 tonnes and electric vehicles weighing over two tonnes.</p> <p>The change means that the vehicles will pay €18 (A$29.69) an hour for parking in the centre of Paris, up from €6 (A$9.90), and €12 (A$19.79) an hour in the rest of the city, up from €4 (A$6.60).</p> <p>"Parisians have made a clear choice … other cities will follow,” Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said. </p> <p>Experts are onboard with the move and believe the Australia should do the same thing. </p> <p>Urban access consultant and author of the book<em> Rethinking Parking</em> David Mepham said that the move could help improve safety as: “SUVs are actually some of the most unsafe vehicles on the road for pedestrians with a fatality rate that is significantly higher than other vehicles.”</p> <p>“The injury and fatality rate should be a concern in highly pedestrianised areas such as city centres.”</p> <p>In 2022 alone, SUV and light commercial vehicles made up 76.8 per cent of car sales, coming in eighth on the top 10 vehicle sales according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.</p> <p>With spaces in the cities limited, Mepham added: “If you’ve got a larger car you should expect to pay more for that, you should pay for what you use.”</p> <p>Standards Australia has recently proposed to increase the size of off-street parking spaces by 20 centimetres in Australia, from 5.4 metres to 5.6 metres, which would make it easier for larger vehicles to park, but would limit car spaces. </p> <p>Executive director of the Australia Institute, Richard Dennis also said that SUV owners need to face the consequences of owning a larger vehicle. </p> <p>“If we want to drive much bigger cars, are we going to widen all of our city streets, are we going to have less car parking spaces?” he said.</p> <p>“Because if we want to drive these cars we need to own the consequences.”</p> <p>Marion Terrill, an independent transport expert, also agreed that higher parking fees for large vehicles are “absolutely reasonable.”</p> <p>“If you want more of it you can pay more, it’s the same principle as paying for parking at all," she said. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Teen arrested over alleged stabbing of grandmother

<p>A 15-year-old boy has handed himself in amid the investigation into the alleged murder of Vyleen White, who was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/grandmother-fatally-stabbed-in-front-of-granddaughter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fatally stabbed</a> in front of her six-year-old granddaughter while on a grocery run in Ipswich. </p> <p>The boy, who was allegedly one of four males shown in CCTV footage released by police, has not been charged in relation to the 70-year-old’s death.</p> <p>Instead, he was charged with one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle for allegedly stealing the car used by the attackers to flee Redbank Plains Shopping Village on Saturday evening. </p> <p>The boy handed himself into Ipswich Police Station at around 9.30pm on Sunday, and is due to appear at Ipswich Children’s Court on Monday. </p> <p>The 2009 Hyundai Getz the boys used to escape was found in Springfield Lakes on Sunday morning and is being forensically examined.</p> <p>The other four males have not yet been found. </p> <p>White had just finished grocery shopping with her six-year-old granddaughter at Redbank Plains  when she was stabbed in the chest in the centre’s underground carpark at about 6pm on Saturday.</p> <p>The young girl was unharmed but left traumatised after witnessing the violent incident, and was reportedly screaming and crying for help. </p> <p>White died at the scene a short time later, after attempts to revive her failed. </p> <p>While police are still looking for the other attackers, Detective Acting Superintendent Heath McQueen said one man was responsible for the alleged murder. </p> <p>“There is still one person involved in the attack,” he told a media conference on Sunday, and said that robbery was the motive. </p> <p>They are appealing for anyone who might have seen the car between 6pm and 7pm on Saturday to contact them. </p> <p>“It’s a cowardly crime like I’ve not seen in my time as a detective,” McQueen said.</p> <p>“This is a (alleged) murder of a 70-year-old grandmother in front of her six-year-old granddaughter.</p> <p>“Now is not the time to remain tight-lipped. Now is the time ... to provide us with the information we need to identify the offenders who are responsible for this (alleged) murder.”</p> <p><em>Image: Facebook/ Queensland Police</em></p>

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Teen lifesaver's heroic rescue after cliff jump

<p>A teen lifesaver has been praised for her heroic effort to rescue three boys stranded in a cave, after a cliff jump went wrong. </p> <p>With temperatures soaring up to 37C near the coast in Sydney, many locals decided to go to the beach to escape the heat. One group of teenage boys decided to go cliff jumping over the Warriewood Blowhole, north of Manly. </p> <p>But, things started to go wrong when one 15-year-old boy slammed his head on the water after diving from the cliff, leaving him semi-unconscious. </p> <p>As his two friends clambered over rocks to move him into a cave below the cliff, the trio quickly became stranded as waves pounded the rocks. </p> <p>Lifesaver Saskia Rundle Towbridge, 16, was quick to jump into action, hopping into the rubber duck and bravely manoeuvring her way through rough waves to rescue the boys. </p> <p>“The waves were pretty big, especially when I was coming in,” she told <em>Nine</em>. </p> <p>“I got thrown up against them, and the cord of my rescue tube was stuck on the rocks, so I was being battered for about two minutes.”</p> <p>She eventually made it onto the rocks and was able to swim the boys back to the boat.</p> <p>The injured teen was treated by lifesavers before an ambulance was called, as he was disoriented and couldn't remember where he was. </p> <p>The 15-year-old was taken to Northern Beaches Hospital and is in a stable condition. </p> <p><em>Images: Nine</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Shocking twist on teen accused of pushing elderly man off pier

<p>Just hours after a 14-year-old boy was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/teenager-arrested-after-shoving-elderly-man-off-pier" target="_blank" rel="noopener">arrested for allegedly shoving an elderly man </a>off the Mornington Peninsula pier, the teenager has been accused of previously assaulting a woman. </p> <p>Jamie Tilbrook, 35, was allegedly bashed by the same group of teens who pushed the 79-year-old off the pier. </p> <p>Shocking CCTV footage of the alleged attack showed two boys throwing a series of punches towards Ms Tilbrook's head in broad daylight, after she confronted them for vandalising a bus and tipping bins over. </p> <p>"I said, 'What the f--- are you doing?' They turn around and jump me," she said. </p> <p>"Two boys just come and started smashing me in the head. I was telling my girlfriend to get away, like, I didn't want her to get attacked."</p> <p>The 35-year-old had to be rushed to hospital after losing consciousness and spent a night at The Alfred, where doctors had to glue her wound shut. </p> <p>Ms Tilbrook told <em>9News</em> that she no longer goes out and night and has to constantly watch her back after the alleged assault. </p> <p>The incident came just two months before the alleged attack of the elderly man, and the 14-year-old boy was on bail when he pushed the man off the pier. </p> <p>Ms Tilbrook revealed she was "disgusted" that the same boy who was charged after allegedly assaulting her, was now accused of pushing a fisherman off the pier. </p> <p>His friends had filmed the horrific incident before posting it online. </p> <p><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/melbourne-news-teen-who-allegedly-pushed-elderly-man-off-melbourne-pier-was-on-bail/db6c8d5e-7e49-4ccc-ab47-cb4738979dc6" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>9News</em></a> revealed that the teenager has since been charged over the assault and allegedly breaching his bail conditions. </p> <p>He will reportedly face children's court at a later date.</p> <p><em>Images: 9News</em></p> <p> </p>

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