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Author Topic: Australia by Tibrogargan January 2007 - present and 155216+ views later!  (Read 581876 times)
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ARUBA: It's all about Natalee...we won't give up!

« Reply #800 on: October 02, 2009, 09:06:37 PM »

Thank you for posting the articles Tibro. 

So much devastation!   

And I didn't know about Sam's death either.


I stand with the girl, Natalee Holloway.

"I can look back over the past 10 years and there were no steps wasted, and there are no regrets,'' she said. "I did all I knew to do and I think that gives me greater peace now." "I've lived every parent's worst nightmare and I'm the parent that nobody wants to be," she said.

Beth Holloway, 2015 interview with Greta van Susteren
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« Reply #801 on: October 02, 2009, 09:23:26 PM »

G'day monkeys,

I started this thread when I first joined SM to share my wonderful country with the monkeys that were here then, and many of them asked questions and made suggestions about things of which they would like to know more. The thread began more as a travelogue and an explanation of our way of life which I hope I have covered adequately, but there are still lots more areas to explore.  We are a large country with unique people, but the more I have compared our differences I have also seen so many similarities between the USA and Australia. 

Now it seems appropriate to also add news items from our part of the world and our perspective.  I hope all our monkeys enjoy reading here and will also contribute ideas and questions about the Great Southern Land we call Australia.

....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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« Reply #802 on: October 02, 2009, 09:29:05 PM »

Thank you for posting the articles Tibro. 

So much devastation!   

And I didn't know about Sam's death either.


You are welcome Texasmom. There are some heart wrenching stories being told on our TV by the survivors.

It was sad that Sam died also after becoming an icon of the bushfires- but I am not sure how I feel about her becoming an exhibit in a museum, even if it is to draw awareness of the devastation fires can cause.

....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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« Reply #803 on: October 03, 2009, 06:24:05 PM »

Samoan tsunami victims saved by Queensland medical students

Article from: The Sunday Mail (Qld)

John Ferguson, Lucy Carne and Kelmeny Fraser

October 04, 2009 12:00am

THEY'RE the angels of Samoa - five Queensland medical students who survived the tsunami then stayed in Samoa and worked in terrible conditions to save hundreds.

With little more than a few bandages, simple first aid tools and amazing courage, they blocked out their own terrifying experience to tend to the scores of battered bodies carried into the hospital, many of them in need of a miracle.

        * Body count: Tsunami toll rises to 170
        * Socceroo star: Tim Cahill to launch appeal
        * Gallery: Tsunami hits Samoa
        * Multimedia: Pacific quake and tsunami
        * In-depth: Indonesian earthquake disaster

In the gruesome reality that exists in emergency triage, the student doctors helped treat those who needed aid first, comforted those who could wait . . . and witnessed the sad toll inflicted by the killer 3m waves which smashed into the Pacific island paradise after a deep-sea earthquake last Wednesday morning.

"(There were) a lot of horrific wounds . . . really, really awful injuries. A lot of broken bones . . . shock and pain," said Kellie Wight, 29, a final-year student at Griffith University's School of Medicine on the Gold Coast.

Working shoulder to shoulder with Ms Wright amid the anguish and despair after the disaster were Ryan Adams, 25, Niesh Ney, 28, Aimee Hood, 30, and Lucy Barnett – all Griffith University med students.

Yesterday, as they continued their humanitarian work by joining Red Cross workers in scouring the beach on a final search for survivors, the five said they had acted on instincts they had learned from their years of study.

"Being medical students, you see things. But in Australian hospitals, everything is controlled and organised. This was in your face. So sudden, so constant," Ms Ney said.

Many of the patients they treated were viciously battered by the powerful surge, lungs pumped full of seawater to the extent that some drowned long after the tsunami receded.

"A lot of chest X-rays were taken," Ms Ney said, her voice drifting off before she could finish explaining that by then many of the victims were gasping for life. "(There were) people with massive fractures. Big, lacerated cuts."

Mr Adams, 25, recalled how he helped local medical staff rotate patients on lifesaving lung ventilators as the demand quickly outstripped the availability.

"At the time, you don't even think about it. You get in and do your best," he said.

The five Queenslanders got only a few hours of broken sleep in the first two days after the disaster.

Yesterday, they insisted the real heroes were the Samoan doctors and nurses who knew personally many of the victims they were treating.

But for several strokes of fate, the five young medical students could easily have been among those carried into the hospital.

The group, who finished their final exams just a few months ago, arrived in Samoa just over a week ago to do work experience medical electives.

They were on their way home after a similar five-week stint in a hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Staying at a beachside hotel on the north side of the Samoan island, they were awoken by tremors on Wednesday morning.

They came out of their hotel to see the ocean being sucked away – almost 200m back from the shoreline, exposing the reef and seabed.

Instantly, they knew what was coming and knew they had to run, joining hundreds of others sprinting as fast as the could along the street towards higher ground.

Everyone was desperately trying to flag down passing cars, but none would stop as they were already dangerously overloaded, people even clinging to the sides as the vehicles sped to safety.

Finally, a ute pulled over and the group of young medicos joined about 20 others, who somehow squeezed into the back. They drove to the top of a nearby mountain where they waited for almost two hours as the tidal surge tore the heart out of the southern side of the island.

When the immediate danger had passed, the five knew what they had to do. They asked the ute driver to take them straight to the main hospital in the island's capital, Apia.

Nothing in their medical text books prepared them for what they were about to see.

Mr Adams, using a public telephone outside the emergency room, managed to get a short call to his mother, Margreet, a doctor who lives in the Brisbane suburb of Graceville.

"He just wanted me to know he was all right, but I could hear in his voice he was shaken," Dr Adams said.

"It was quite devastating . . . he said there were about 100 people dead. He said it was really bad, a lot of kids were dead.

"He said it was hot and a lot of people had very severe injuries.

"They were doing chest X-rays and a lot of people had drowned. He took one young man into intensive care but there was nothing that could be done for him. It was all very distressing."

Dr Adams said her son felt frustrated that, being a medical student, he knew he didn't yet have the expertise needed in such a life-or-death situation.

"It's very distressing, especially seeing such young people die and thinking perhaps if they were someone else (a more experienced doctor) they could have been saved," she said.

Ms Ney's mother, Irena, who lives at Capalaba in Redland City, said she could hear the fear in her daughter's voice when she called last Wednesday night to say she was alive.

"She was in shock and she was shaking," Mrs Ney said.

But then her daughter added: "I know we have to stay and help."

Ms Ney's father, Emil, said his daughter tried to explain how difficult it was in the hospital emergency room as she and her friends desperately tried to help save lives.

"They had no bandages, no antiseptic, nothing. They were trying to treat the wounds without basically anything," he said.

Later, in a quick email she was able to send from the hospital on Friday, Ms Ney showed how remarkably stoic she was in the face of tragedy.

"Hey, Mum and Dad. I am doing really good," she wrote.

"It is pretty horrible in the hospital. All the wounds people have received treatment for have become infected.

"It is going to be hard to keep most people alive and some will lose their legs and arms.

"It is really bad and horrible."

Ms Ney told her parents that one of the injured patients she treated was a man whose face had been shredded by debris in the waves. Another was a woman who was the sole survivor from the car she was driving. Her children had been washed away.

But she said it was the injuries to the children and the pain they were now in that affected her the most.

"In many cases, just sitting down and talking to the families was all that she could do," Mrs Ney said.

Mr Adams is due to start as a first-year doctor at Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital in January,

His mother, a practising GP, believes her son will be a better doctor for the traumatic experience.

"He probably will never see anything like this again, but he will be able to see how the surgeons responded, " she said.

"It's in his character to be a good doctor. He has great empathy for people, consideration and care.

"I'm sure he will never forget this kind of thing. It's very difficult to go through, but he will be fine.",23739,26161179-952,00.html

....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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« Reply #804 on: October 04, 2009, 05:57:42 PM »

Indonesian earthquake: No hope of finding more survivors

Article from:

By staff writers

October 05, 2009 06:55am

RESCUERS have abandoned hope of finding any more survivors as they dig through the rubble and debris caused by the Indonesian earthquake in Sumatra last week.

Estimates of the death toll vary, but the United Nations has said the 7.6-magnitude quake which struck last Wednesday night off the coast of Padang could have killed up to 3000 people.

 Strong tremors have been felt in the region since, the latest being a 6.1-magnitude quake which was felt in West Papua on Sunday.

    * Pictures: Indonesian earthquake disaster
    * Gallery: Tsunami hits Samoa
    * Multimedia: Pacific quake and tsunami
    * In-depth: Indonesian earthquake disaster

In and around Padang, entire villages have been "obliterated", according to reports from on the ground.  Hospitals and schools collapsed and hundreds of houses have been destroyed.

The Foreign Affairs department has said 24 Australians remain unaccounted for.  Embassy staff are searching hospitals for more information.

In Samoa, where the Pacific tsunami struck after an earthquake offshore hours before the Indonesian quake, five Australians have been confirmed killed among the 176 dead.

Survivors remain huddled in makeshift shelters on high ground, too frightened to return to their beachfront villages in case another wave hits.  The death toll could still rise, with many people still missing.

Planeloads of medical supplies are arriving in Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga as roads and beaches are cleared of debris.  An estimated 3000 people lost their houses in the tsunami and many families are now living together in overcrowded houses while others are camping out or living under tarpaulins.


Search teams are still picking through the disaster zone, but experts have said that the chances of survival for those buried in rubble shrink dramatically after 72 hours.  Searches continue, but with little or no hope of success.

"We can be sure that they are dead.  So now we are waiting for burials," Vice-President Jusuf Kalla has said, according to the Associated Press.  Heavy rain and loss of power have also hampered relief efforts.

Hundreds of people are missing, including more than 600 from four villages in the hills north of Padang.  Among them were more than 200 guests at a village wedding.

The Australian reported the guests had run from a restaurant when the quake struck, only to be swept away by a landslide.  "When the landslide came, the party had just finished. I heard a big boom of the avalanche. I ran outside and saw the trees fall down," the 19-year-old bride's 15-year-old brother was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

The restaurant remained largely intact, with a slice of green wedding cake still on a table, now covered in flies, AP said.

Many of the dead have not been identified and will probably be buried in unmarked graves.  "I am the only one left," a survivor from a village 40km north of Padang, told Reuters.  "My child, my wife, my mother-in-law, they are all gone. They are under the earth now."

That area was one of the worst affected.  "In one of the villages, there's a 20m-high minaret, it was completely buried, there's nothing left, so I presume the whole village is buried by a 30m-deep landslide," one official at the Indonesian disaster crisis centre has said.

An official in another area has said food was needed urgently.  "We haven't had any food except instant noodles for four days. There are lots of injured and we need medical help," he said.

Australia will commit $2.8 million in an initial response, sending over 60 personnel and specialists, as well as medical and other emergency supplies.

Reports from Padang describe "a pervading stench of decomposing bodies" hanging over ruined buildings.  The area will be sprayed with disinfectant to try to combat the threat of disease spreading through the disaster zone.

"We are trying to help survivors to stay alive.  We are now focusing on minimising post-quake deaths," Indonesia's health minister has said.

In Samoa, a doctor said a second wave of deaths is also looming as the injured continue to trickle into hospitals.  "In a few weeks, we will see many people sick with gastroenteritis and diarrhoea.

"That will affect the young and the elderly. Deaths are inevitable."

- with Reuters,23739,26165911-952,00.html

....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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« Reply #805 on: October 04, 2009, 06:00:10 PM »


Indonesia's 'unlucky' president takes blame for quake

Article from: Agence France-Presse

Aubrey Belford

October 04, 2009 01:28pm

SOME superstitious Indonesians are blaming a supposedly "unlucky" president - and not shifting tectonic plates - for the latest earthquake in this disaster-prone country.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, popularly known by his initials SBY, has long been burdened by murmurs that he carries with him the shadow of cosmic misfortune.

A string of disasters both natural and man-made since his election in 2004, including the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 220,000 across Asia, has seen quips that SBY stands for "Selalu Bencana Ya", roughly meaning "Always A Disaster".

The latest catastrophe, believed to have killed upwards of 1,100 people with another buried 4,000 under rubble, is viewed by many in this Muslim-majority country of 234 million as yet more proof that SBY's stars are crossed.

"SBY, because of his birth date, will always attract disasters to this country, according to the Primbon (a Javanese almanac of mysticism)" Permadi, a veteran politician from the opposition Gerindra party and practising shaman, told AFP.

"Just look at the numbers of his birth date - the ninth of the ninth, '49 - that's unlucky. The more he holds on to power, the more great disasters will happen," he said.

If Yudhoyono stays president, "a much bigger disaster will strike Jakarta for sure," Permadi said, referring to the Indonesian capital.

"If SBY had a big heart, he would step down."

Not everyone believes this theory - and many see SBY's birthday as enviably lucky - but such talk of supernatural misfortune has deep resonance in Indonesia, where Islam and Christianity are for many merged with older traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and animism.

The criticism has been long-standing enough that Yudhoyono lectured local government heads in the quake-hit region of West Sumatra two years ago that they should blame the region's volatile geology, and not him.

"Magma doesn't move because SBY has become president. It's malicious to link it to me being president," he was quoted as saying at the time.

Even the Jakarta Post, one of the top-selling English dailies, suggested a link between the disaster and the extravagance of politicians in a Sunday editorial entitled "The Gods Must Be Angry".

"Whether you subscribe to the theological or secular explanation, the 7.6-magnitude quake that killed more than 1,100 people came on the eve of the multi-billion-rupiah inauguration ball for newly elected members of the House of Representatives and the Regional Representative Council in Jakarta," it said.

Political analyst Bima Arya Sugiarto said that while some, particularly opposition politicians, try to paint the president as a spiritual liability, there are benefits for him in Indonesians' gaze beyond the physical world.

Criticism of the often slow aid response, and the poor planning that allowed shoddy buildings to spring up in the first place, has been muted by fatalism and a widespread belief that the disaster is God's will, Sugiarto said.

"The mystical perspective or the religious perspective is more dominant than public criticism of government policies," he said.

Indonesian media have carried accounts of divine symbols in the aftermath of the quake, including a ring-shaped sun surrounded by a rainbow and God's name inscribed in Arabic calligraphy in the clouds.

In the devastated city of Padang, a commonly heard refrain has been that the quake is a test, or a punishment, ordained by God.

"I think the quake happened because many of the youths in Padang commit sins, especially during Ramadan," chicken-feed factory worker Yasrizat, 36, said near a mosque in the city.

"They've been engaging in sinful activities by the beach. I think God is punishing us with this quake."

AFP ash,23739,26163328-5013016,00.html

....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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« Reply #806 on: October 04, 2009, 06:04:34 PM »

Search teams driven by optimism

Article from: The Courier-Mail

Paul Kent

October 04, 2009 11:00pm

HE walks out of the crumbling building, overalls wet with sweat, and he calls, "core drill".

A few minutes later another Australian rescue worker returns with the core drill, walking across the rubble to hand it to Shane Tinsley, team leader of Bravo One, who heads back into the building.

Five days after the earthquake that shook Padang, it is time for tough men to take the stage.

The Queensland Urban Search and Rescue team, an Australian taskforce, is on the ground to begin the grim work of finding survivors and bring them home.

Tinsley, whose work includes pulling Stuart Diver out of the landslide at Thredbo, is a tall man with an honest face and a heart that, at times, is just a little too sensitive for the horror of his job.

Earlier yesterday, a Swiss urban search and rescue team sent their dogs through the building, a four-storey language school that collapsed on itself.

On the day the quake struck, students were having oral exams, placing only one in each class room, all the rest waiting outside in the hallway.

All were on the second floor. Shortly after arriving the Swiss wanted to go.

"There is nobody in there," one of them says.

Already the building owner has his man walking through the building to take what can be salvaged.

The Indonesians believe nobody is left because it is four days since the quake hit and there is no smell. USAR team leader John Roberts says no.

"There were 19 in the building when it happened," he says. "Eleven got out, there were three or four dead, so we need to find the other five."

They are staying, and so the Swiss send their dogs in while the Australians wait outside.

The dogs turn up nothing and it is Shane Tinsley's turn to go in.

With two rescuers alongside him, the core drill puts holes in the third floor big enough to get a look into the hidden rooms below, into what they call voids.

The lack of smell might only mean that those bodies left have been sealed in an airtight space.

It is hot work and hard, and every hole drilled potentially brings a body or, hopefully, a survivor.

"It can get very emotional at times," Tinsley says.

Once he was sent into a burning building in Brisbane where it was believed there might be three children. There were.

Here in Padang, the potential for worse is everywhere. About 29 buildings have been identified around the city as potential tombs. It is work done one drill hole at a time.

On the third floor, Tinsley peers through the hole into the cavity below, finding nothing. He checks them all, and finally walks out soaked in sweat.

The Swiss dogs are sent back in to sniff at the holes for the scent of people.

If bodies are detected, the Australians will smash a hole into the void and leave it for Indonesian police to retrieve them.

If live people are found, the Australians will begin shoring the building to prevent further collapse, and piece by piece will work to get the survivors out.,23739,26164093-954,00.html

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« Reply #807 on: October 04, 2009, 06:09:45 PM »

Australian man dies after one hour on Kokoda trek

Article from: AAP

October 04, 2009 09:50pm

A SYDNEY man is the second Australian to die within a week while attempting the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea.

Phillip Brunskill, 55, died from a suspected heart attack Sunday afternoon after he began having difficulty and agreed he was too unfit to complete the 96km trek.

He was among a group of 20 Australians who set out on the trail onSunday morning with specialised trekking company Adventure Kokoda, a company spokesman said in a press release.

The group was barely an hour into the adventure when Mr Brunskill began experiencing difficulties.

A company trek leader determined Mr Brunskill was not fit enough for the trek and recommended he return to Port Moresby.

Mr Brunskill agreed and took a rest for lunch before he started back with another trek leader, a team medic and his personal porter.

Within 20 minutes, and during an ascent, he informed the team he felt weak and then later collapsed.

The medic applied CPR while the group and three villagers carried Mr Brunskill on a stretcher back to the start point, where transport was organised in advance by satellite phone.

Mr Brunskill died about halfway into the 40km drive to Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby.

Adventure Kokoda has advised the Australian high commission and will coordinate the repatriation of Mr Brunskill's body to Australia.

Mr Brunskill's wife and son have been advised of his death.

The spokesman said Mr Brunskill had obtained medical clearance from his doctor to attempt the Kokoda Track.

He is the second Australian in a week to die on the Kokoda Track.

Father of four Paul Bradfield, 38, died in his sleep of a suspected heart attack early on September 27 while on the trek.

He was part of a group of 16 trekkers from Townsville raising money for a children's cancer charity.

Earlier this year, a 26-year-old NSW man and a 36-year-old Victorian mother died on the track, a single-file 96km foot thoroughfare that follows the path used by diggers in World War II which has become popular with Australian tourists.,23739,26165335-952,00.html

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« Reply #808 on: October 04, 2009, 06:37:01 PM »

Tibro...I am so glad to see you here again - sharing your area of the world.   

The reports of the tsunami are heartbreaking.  Your medical students are doing something wonderful in staying and trying to help.

Thank you.

_<br />I believe in miracles...!
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« Reply #809 on: October 05, 2009, 07:09:00 AM »

Tibro...I am so glad to see you here again - sharing your area of the world.   

The reports of the tsunami are heartbreaking.  Your medical students are doing something wonderful in staying and trying to help.

Thank you.

Thank you for your comments Mere.  I do enjoy sharing our way of life.

Those medical students are having a very tough introduction to medicine but I am sure it will make them even more dedicated than they are already.

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« Reply #810 on: October 05, 2009, 07:11:19 AM »

Kokoda Track 'like Tour de France'

Article from: AAP

October 05, 2009 05:07pm

HIKING the Kokoda Track places a load on the human body "right up there" with the world's greatest athletic feats including the Tour de France, an Australian expert says.

Professor Kevin Norton says many of those who set out on the arduous Papua New Guinea track have not done sufficient training, and it is a problem Australia should no longer ignore.

His comments follow the death of 55-year-old Phillip Brunskill, the second Australian to die after setting out on the track in a week and the fourth this year.

"There probably should be a coordinated, pre-participation training program that people should go through," Prof Norton, who walked Kokoda in 2006, said.

"It would require a minimum x,y,z completed in the last eight weeks before you go, and that would be much more reliable as a predictor of who is going to make it.

"It would be much more challenging than the training most people do - very fit young people would do it without any trouble but it's the 40, 50-year-olds.

"We should standardise it, and it should be our responsibility ... as the vast majority of those who walk the track each year are Australians."

Physical feat

Prof Norton, who is Professor of Exercise Physiology at the University of South Australia, measured the calories he and fellow hikers burned per day during his experience on the 96km track.

The first few days require about nine to 11 hours of walking each, and Prof Norton recorded a peak of 5500 calories burned in a day.

The average across the whole Kokoda Track for Prof Norton and those in his party - men aged in their mid-40s and the "typical sort of profile of people that do it" - was 4500 calories burned daily.

"Riders in the Tour de France average about 6100 calories a day over 21 days, and the highest value ever recorded for humans is people who walk to the Arctic, or Antarctic poles ... and that's about 7000 calories.

"So it's right up there amongst the toughest physical feats you can do."

Unseen evacuations

The average person is recommended to burn about 150 calories a day, the equivalent of a half-hour walk, to be healthy.

Prof Norton also points to research that shows one person will suffer a "sudden death" for every 700,000 hours of exercise in gyms.

Compared to this, the rate of death on Kokoda was roughly "10 times higher than what we would expect", he said, while the track also promoted a high and largely unseen number of emergency evacuations.

Eight out of the 11-strong group that set out ahead of Prof Norton's party required an emergency airlift out.

"They don't die and that's why you don't hear about it, but a lot are evacuated," Prof Norton said.

He said Kokoda could appear to be more doable because it was "not high intensity" walking but the steep jungle terrain, humid weather and other factors placed an additional load on the body.

"A couple of us got malaria ... the cumulative effect is that you're placing yourself in pretty significant stress, and danger of things like heart attack," he said.

"I don't think we should underestimate its toughness, its physical and mental toughness - I would hate to do it again, to be honest."

Mr Brunskill had a clearance from his doctor but experienced difficulties and was declared unfit to continue within an hour of starting the trek on Sunday.

He collapsed while attempting to walk out and later died of a suspected heart attack - one week after 38-year-old Paul Bradfield died of a suspected heart attack in his sleep while on the trek.

A woman in the same group as Mr Brunskill was today airlifted to Port Moresby for treatment after complaining of nausea and dizziness, the ABC reported.

The woman, in her 60s, began feeling discomfort as she approached the end of the 96km trek.,23739,26168727-952,00.html

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« Reply #811 on: October 05, 2009, 07:21:17 AM »

I found the above article about required fitness and calorie needs to be interesting.  A lot of sport persons do this trek such as football teams using it as a team building exercise.  A lot of the walkers are in the middle aged and older age groups and this is because so many of them treat it as a pilgrimage and a way of honouring their relatives such as fathers, uncles and grand fathers who served a large part of their war years on this track.  Many of those "Aussie Diggers"(soldiers)  did not return, and I think the very high emotional impact of the journey also must greatly affect the walkers.

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« Reply #812 on: October 06, 2009, 04:48:38 AM »

A sad reflection from the family of one of our many missing children.  The parents of Daniel sold their home and business and went on the road visiting schools and youth groups spreading the word about personal safety. 

Daniel Morcombe twin brother Bradley breaks silence

Article from: The Courier-Mail

Sophie Elsworth

October 05, 2009 11:00pm

DANIEL Morcombe's twin brother has broken his six-year silence and spoken for the first time about the disappearance of his teenage brother.

Bradley, 19, revealed the pain he and his family have suffered since his twin brother went missing in 2003, but he still holds hope the mystery will be solved.

"We all live in hope it will be solved," he told New Idea magazine.

"Without really knowing what happened to Daniel, there's no final closure."

Daniel, 13, was last seen about 2.10pm on Sunday, December 7, 2003, under the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass on the Nambour Connection Rd about 2km north of the Big Pineapple.

Bradley said that hardly a day passed when he doesn't think of his twin brother.

"I constantly think of him, we all do," he said.

"He was not only my twin, but my best mate.

"Birthdays are the hardest. It was our special day, blowing out candles together and taking turns opening presents. We shared a lot of good times."

He still remembers the day Daniel begged him to go Christmas shopping with him at Maroochydore's Sunshine Plaza, but he chose not to go.

"Daniel, myself and our older brother Dean were home together after mum and dad had gone to Brisbane for a work Christmas party," Bradley said.

"They wanted us to go, but we stayed back to do some passionfruit picking on a neighbouring farm.

"Daniel was really happy and so excited about heading off to the Sunshine Plaza to buy mum and dad something special for Christmas."

Bradley said he pleaded with Daniel to wait until the next day to go shopping but he refused and went alone.

He said he feels lost without Daniel by his side.

"I'll never forget how sad and lonely I felt about being dropped off at school by myself for the first time since Daniel's disappearance," he said.

Bradley now lives with his older brother Dean at Mountain Creek on the Sunshine Coast.

Despite many leads to Daniel's disappearance, his whereabouts still remain a mystery, with a $250,000 reward on offer to help solve one of the country's biggest murder investigations.,23739,26171238-3102,00.html

Link to the foundation's website :

....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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« Reply #813 on: October 14, 2009, 02:30:13 AM »

Climb aboard Jessica Watson's boat

Article from: The Sunday Mail (Qld)

Rosie Squires

October 10, 2009 11:00pm

FOR 240 days and 22,000 nautical miles, teenage sailing adventurer Jessica Watson will call these cramped and cluttered quarters home.

Pictures: Check out Jessica's boat
Indepth: Special Jessica Watson section

Her only companions on the lonely and dangerous trek will be a teddy bear named "Big Ted", a stuffed toy chicken, and messages of support from friends and family scrawled in marker pen on the walls alongside instructional reminders of essential tasks.

Meals will consist of canned vegetables, and a variety of freeze-dried and long-life food.

Welcome aboard the Ella's Pink Lady.

Just days away from the start of the 16-year-old Sunshine Coast schoolgirl's quest to become the youngest person to sail nonstop around the world unassisted, The Sunday Mail was invited to get a feel for what life will be like for her for the next two-thirds of a year.

Climbing aboard the 10.23m yacht, the first thing that hits you is that space is at an absolute premium.

Ducking under the roof, which Jessica says is called a dodger, we step down off the deck and into the cabin.

The tiny room is just five steps long and very narrow; in fact we can almost touch both walls with arms outstretched.

"It's squashy," she said with a smile "But it's home."

On the right is the kitchen, which is the same size as a wheelie bin, and boasts a gas stove, cutting board and a sink which pumps both salt and fresh water.

On the left is the navigation station where Jessica will spend most of her time.

The "nav station", as she calls it, is the technology centre of the vessel.

There are instruments to tell her the boat's speed and what the wind is doing.

She also has a small flat-screened chartplotter, a compass and her marine radio.

She has radar, alarms and an automatic ship identification system.

"A lot of the gear is more fancy than what they have on the big ships," Jessica said.

On the mast is radar enhancement equipment, which makes her vessel appear larger than it is to avoid collision.

"It's a precaution after last time," her mother, Julie said with a laugh, referring to her crash with a Chinese freighter off Stradbroke Island.

Walking deeper into the cabin, we look around at the blue walls, bearing encouraging messages and drawings from friends and sponsors.

One reads: "You have always been the best friend!! Thinking of you always! – Pam". Another says: "Be brave, be strong, be in control – Deana".

There are two bunks, one on either side, and each the width of a park bench. She will sleep on one (with a seatbelt to keep her secure in rough weather), and the other will be her "wet bed" where she can get out of wet clothing without soaking the rest of the room.

Between the bunks is a trunk that holds the engine fuel.

"You constantly have to be on watch so I will probably be sleeping in 20-minute catnaps and I will aim for four or five cat naps a day," Jessica said.

"But once you get out and it's a bit more stable I can sleep for a bit longer."

On a shelf above her bed are her companions – the stuffed chicken, which her mum calls "the chick with attitude", and "Big Ted".

Further down the hull is a tiny room just big enough to fit the toilet, and at the bow is a triangular room where supplies are stored. "We are just cramming all the food in here and then I will eat my way through it," she said.

"We bought 250 packet meals and I will have one each night. They actually taste pretty good. I tried all the sports bars and power bars but that stuff was gross."

She is very confident and talks about her around-the-world trip like it's child's play.

"I'm just really ready to get out there and I'm sick of negativity," she said.

"I look up to all sailors and anyone who gets out there and just says: 'I can do this', regardless of what people say, and gives it a go.",,26192235-3102,00.html

....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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« Reply #814 on: October 16, 2009, 08:51:53 PM »

Another    moment. 

Astro Boy star Kristen Bell has blonde moment on koalas, kangaroos

Article from: The Daily Telegraph

October 15, 2009 08:16am

US actress Kristen Bell has had an a-typical blonde moment when asked about her recent Australian tour and she tried to explain her experience with koalas and kangaroos.

As a member of the all-star voice cast of new animated film Astro Boy, she has just returned to Los Angeles after a promotional tour in Australia.

The actress, who plays the Peter Pan-like orphan Cora alongside characters voiced by Nicolas Cage, Charlize Theron, Freddie Highmore and Nathan Lane, says she was disappointed when she landed in Sydney.

``I, like every other stupid American, assumed the kangaroos would meet us at the airport and they would want to hug us as much as we wanted to hug them,'' Bell tells AAP in an interview in Los Angeles.

``That's really the perspective we have here.

``Going there kind of opened my eyes that that's not the case.''

The 29-year-old, who shot to stardom in 2004 in the TV series Veronica Mars, is a cast member of the new series Gossip Girl and stars with Vince Vaughn in the American box office's number one comedy, Couples Retreat, did get to meet some of Australia's furry friends during a VIP tour of Taronga Zoo.

``We did get a backstage tour of the zoo and got to see some of the marsupials they reared there,'' Bell says.

``I did find out about the koalas and how eucalyptus makes them high and why they sleep all day.

``They're little druggies.''

The new Astro Boy feature film is the latest version of the story about a young boy transformed into a robot and disowned by his father. The character was created by manga king Osamu Tezuka in  1952, became a TV series in 1963 and enjoyed other TV series and big screen incarnations.

The new Astro Boy film has an environmental message, with Astro Boy banished from Metro City, a metropolis hovering above polluted Earth.

``Astro Boy, when he is rejected by his father (voiced by Cage), falls to the surface of the Earth and meets up with Cora,'' Bell explains.

``The two of them have a connection, form a friendship and then she feels very betrayed when she finds out he is a robot.''

Bell missed out on a kangaroo welcome at the airport, but she did enjoy plenty of Australian fare.

The actress made headlines recently when she revealed she is so picky with her food she always packs plenty of her American favourites when she travels abroad.

She did not have to worry while in Australia, dining at Icebergs at Bondi and feasting on pizzas from restaurant Made in Italy.

``I loved Australian food,'' Bell says.

Astro Boy opens in Australian cinemas October 15.,23739,26212973-5001026,00.html

....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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« Reply #815 on: October 16, 2009, 10:03:57 PM »

Been sitting here wondering what would happen if we did have kangaroos at our international airports to greet overseas visitors    The airports would be closed for sure with the roos bounding all over the runways.

And I don't think that referring to your countrymen as "stupid" is a good way to win fans.  All the monkeys I have posted with over the past 4 years know I have a very high regard for Americans and our Monkey family especially.

From what I know of Icebergs - they serve seafood and pizza.  Pizza is not considered traditional Australian food yet   Monkey Devil!


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« Reply #816 on: October 16, 2009, 11:02:01 PM »

Hi Tib    it's good to see you!  I enjoy reading your posts 

  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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« Reply #817 on: October 22, 2009, 03:11:06 AM »

Hi Muffy.  Glad you enjoy reading this thread.  I try to bring items that I think will interest my USA friends.

A sad report for this time :

Television star Don Lane dead at 75

Article from:

October 22, 2009 03:51pm

LATEST: BERT Newton has paid tribute to veteran television entertainer Don Lane, a familiar face on the small screen for decades, who died aged 75.

Channel 9, the station that hosted the expatriate Americans' long-running show has reported the death this afternoon.

        * Your say: Leave a tribute for Don Lane
        * In pictures: Remembering Don Lane

The six-time Logie winner died from a dementia-related illness this morning, his manager Jayne Ambrose said.

"His son is devastated and Australia has suffered a great loss today," Ambrose said.

Ambrose said the funeral for the 75-year-old would be held on Friday with a public memorial to be announced.

"He passed away late this morning. It was a dementia-related illness," she said.

"It's a very sad day for the family."

Lane's old sparring partner Bert Newton described him as the most generous performer in showbiz.

It was on The Don Lane Show that the pair formed a close friendship.

Newton said that despite his first words to Lane on the show being "go home Yank", the pair "clicked" immediately.

"He was one of the leading Australian television stars and certainly one of the most successful in the history of television," Newton told reporters at Sydney's Capitol Theatre, where he's performing in the musical Wicked.

"He was certainly the most generous performer that I worked with - he didn't mind where the laughs were coming from and who was getting the laughs.

"All I can say is that I can't think of anyone who I liked more in the industry, anyone I enjoyed working with, more than Don Lane."

Lane had been living in a care facility since 2008, when reports surfaced that he was suffering from dementia.

The American-born Lane was best known for his work on the hugely successful Don Lane Show, which ran on the Nine Network from the 1970s until 1983.

Lane won more than 15 Logies during his career and in 2003 he was inducted in the Australian Logies Hall of Fame.

He made a guest appearance on the ABC's Late Show in 1993 and hosted American NFL broadcasts for the ABC in the 1990s.

John Farnham said Lane's passing is a huge blow to the entertainment industry.

"What a sad loss, as a young singer I worked on the Don Lane Show often and we became good friends as he helped me over my nerves at being on live TV," Farnham said.

"He always had something positive to say and always gave me much needed advice, which I still rely heavily on today."

Early career

Lane was born in New York City and raised in The Bronx.

Although he was lured to the showbiz industry early in his life, Lane was drafted into the US Army in the 50s and commissioned as an officer. After he left, he returned to tour as an entertainer for the US troops for several years.

He rubbed shoulders with some of the industries most famous names, learning his craft alongside greats such as Sammy Davis Jr, Wayne Newton and Johnny Carson.

It was Newton that first saw Lane’s potential however, and after Irish comedian Dave Allen was sacked from a Sydney talkshow, Newton told Nine producers that Lane was the man for the job.

Given six weeks to prove himself, Lane based his Tonight Show on Carson’s version of the same name in the US.

He was hired permanently within a month and his run extended to 40 shows, but by the end of the Sixties, he had returned to work in the US.

In 1975, he returned to Australia with The Don Lane Show to huge acclaim, becoming at the time the highest-paid performer on Australian TV. The show was a rating smash hit, running through to 1983 and still remains the highest rating variety show in Australian television history.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, Lane made several guest appearances on Australian TV and became a popular regular in the States as a guest broadcaster on NFL Superbowl days.

He publicly announced he was battling Alzheimer’s Disease in 2008.


Lane’s career was not without controversy, however. He was once sent to prison for importing marijuana into Australia, but was found not guilty after claiming the drugs were planted on him by a vengeful associate.

He was also a supporter of celebrity psychic Uri Geller and one of his most famous television moment came when sceptic James randi appeared on Lane’s show to debunk Geller’s work.

Lane grew increasingly heated during the interview and ended it by standing up, sweeping props from the table and telling Randi to “piss off”.

He later made a televised apology to Randi.

In the early 80s, Lane was ejected from the Logie Awards ceremony after attempting to punch TV identity Ernie Sigley, with whom he had developed a long-running feud.

In 2003, he was inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards Hall of Fame.,23739,26245589-952,00.html

....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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« Reply #818 on: October 24, 2009, 09:21:04 PM »

Californian sailor Abby Sunderland takes on Jessica Watson

Article from: The Sunday Mail (Qld)

Carly Crawford

October 24, 2009 11:00pm

A YOUNG Californian sailor is preparing to break Jessica Watson's solo yacht record - even before the hopeful Queensland teen achieves the feat.

Backing 16-year-old Watson's quest to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone, Abby Sunderland says critics of young yachties should bite their tongues.

"I think that people our age should be allowed to do this if they are capable of it," Sunderland told The Sunday Mail.

Watson, now one week into her journey, is five months older than Sunderland, who aims to set off in late November on her six-month voyage.

    Pictures: Going solo

Sunderland's brother Zac completed his around-the-world solo mission in July at age 17.

Far from trash-talking her Sunshine Coast rival, Sunderland gave Watson her blessing.

"I've been following her trip. It's nice to know there's somebody else out there who is as crazy as me," she said.

She said Watson's infamous cargo ship collision was not her fault and urged the Sunshine Coast teen to realise her dreams.

"I felt bad for her after she hit the ship because freak accidents happen out there," she said.

"You fall asleep at the wrong minute and you end up hitting a ship.

"She's got a lot of people telling her she shouldn't do it but it could happen to anybody, no matter their experience."

Watson's yacht, Ella's Pink Lady, collided with a cargo ship off North Stradbroke Island during a trial run.

Critics including Premier Anna Bligh encouraged her to rethink her ambition but Sunderland, who has dreamed of achieving the same goal since she was 13, is backing Watson's bid.

"Hitting a cargo ship looks really bad but stuff like that just happens," Sunderland said.

"It's the ocean, things happen out there."

Sunderland, who has English heritage but lives in California, hopes to one day meet Watson, who left on her seven-month journey last week and spent Friday adrift of Lord Howe Island, according to her latest blog entry.

"I'd like to make the record but there's still such a big possibility that something will mess up in my trip," Sunderland said.

"It's an attempt – nothing's for sure."

She is on the verge of securing a boat but says she needs more money to properly deck it out with the required technical facilities.,23739,26254355-3102,00.html


....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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« Reply #819 on: October 26, 2009, 07:41:30 PM »

   These young people are really courageous 

  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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