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Author Topic: Australia by Tibrogargan January 2007 - present and 155216+ views later!  (Read 566971 times)
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« Reply #920 on: October 13, 2010, 01:25:26 AM »

Just wanted to stop by and thank you once again for all your info on the passport questions on Zahra's thread. I didn't realize that the laws on privacy would be that tight. I thought with Google, genealogy sites, news sites etc. just about anyone could be located. I know although I'm in the US I look up people in Canada and Ireland with no problem. Again thank you.
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« Reply #921 on: October 13, 2010, 03:36:17 AM »

I've just been skimming through this thread and wanted to say what an amazing job you have done and it has answered the question I was going to ask about your username, I never knew all of that, you learn a new thing everyday.
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« Reply #922 on: October 14, 2010, 09:22:31 AM »

Just wanted to stop by and thank you once again for all your info on the passport questions on Zahra's thread. I didn't realize that the laws on privacy would be that tight. I thought with Google, genealogy sites, news sites etc. just about anyone could be located. I know although I'm in the US I look up people in Canada and Ireland with no problem. Again thank you.

Thank you for your kind words.  It is not all that often that I can offer much to a case of missing persons here on SM except support and prayers. 

Our laws on privacy are tight and I have been amazed at how much personal information is "out there" for people living in America.  You have to be newsworthy here to make Google, which leaves the average person anonymous, and that is how we like it.     Genealogy sites are available for a fee but do not go into current generations.  You can find people on our white pages telephone listings but have to know the vicinity in which they live and hope they do not have a silent number.

I hope to follow up on any other ways to find information on anyone here of interest and will post if I find any more sites.  If there is any other way I can assist please let me know. 

By the way - I love donkeys and I enjoy reading about your "kids".
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« Reply #923 on: October 14, 2010, 09:29:19 AM »

I've just been skimming through this thread and wanted to say what an amazing job you have done and it has answered the question I was going to ask about your username, I never knew all of that, you learn a new thing everyday.

Glad you found this thread Nightowl.  I plan to start posting news items in here again soon.
My favourite place in Australia has to be the Glasshouse Mountains and hinterland which includes Montville and Maleny.  We lived in Brisbane for almost 20 years and it was my favourite destination.  I much preferred a day trip there or the Sunshine Coast compared to the ritzy Gold Coast.

I hope you will visit this thread again and please feel free to add any items about Australia and our lifestyle if you wish.
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« Reply #924 on: October 14, 2010, 04:34:27 PM »

Just wanted to stop by and thank you once again for all your info on the passport questions on Zahra's thread. I didn't realize that the laws on privacy would be that tight. I thought with Google, genealogy sites, news sites etc. just about anyone could be located. I know although I'm in the US I look up people in Canada and Ireland with no problem. Again thank you.

Thank you for your kind words.  It is not all that often that I can offer much to a case of missing persons here on SM except support and prayers. 

Our laws on privacy are tight and I have been amazed at how much personal information is "out there" for people living in America.  You have to be newsworthy here to make Google, which leaves the average person anonymous, and that is how we like it.     Genealogy sites are available for a fee but do not go into current generations.  You can find people on our white pages telephone listings but have to know the vicinity in which they live and hope they do not have a silent number.

I hope to follow up on any other ways to find information on anyone here of interest and will post if I find any more sites.  If there is any other way I can assist please let me know. 

By the way - I love donkeys and I enjoy reading about your "kids".
I thank you for the valuable info on privacy in Australia..I guess we just assume everyone has the same access to records that we have here.
My donks are really characters and keep me on my toes.
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« Reply #925 on: October 25, 2010, 11:57:58 PM »

I, too, want to thank you for this thread. It is so interesting to see how different the privacy is there compared to here. Especially since we have HIPPA.
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« Reply #926 on: November 04, 2010, 12:40:20 AM »

Many thanks for all the information for Zahra.
Left a prayer in her thread . . . may our Lord listen with his wisdom.
Blessings.
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« Reply #927 on: November 06, 2010, 02:41:02 PM »

Thank you for your assistance with the laws in Aus and with answering our many questions, Tib.    Very informative.  
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« Reply #928 on: November 06, 2010, 09:04:41 PM »

pfaubush, Sister and Muffy - thank you for your kind comments.  I am happy to help in any way that I can, it is just so tragic that it has to be in a case such as Zahra's.

I also plan to return to posting items in this thread and will do so once more news leading to arrests in her case is announced.
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« Reply #929 on: November 06, 2010, 09:20:44 PM »

pfaubush, Sister and Muffy - thank you for your kind comments.  I am happy to help in any way that I can, it is just so tragic that it has to be in a case such as Zahra's.

I also plan to return to posting items in this thread and will do so once more news leading to arrests in her case is announced.
I imagine it must be frustrating for Australians not to have an arrest in this case. I hope an arrest or two occur quickly. Zahra and her Mom deserve justice.
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« Reply #930 on: December 14, 2010, 04:46:24 AM »

6000 fans descend on Oprah House for Oprah Winfrey shows

    * Andrew Carswell, Janet Fife-Yeomans and Holly Byrnes
    * From: The Daily Telegraph
    * December 14, 2010 5:48PM

A SPECIAL wild welcome was reserved for Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban when they arrived for Oprah's second show but Hugh Jackman was left a little worse for wear after a flying fox stunt went horribly wrong.

The Kurbans came before Olivia Newton-John who showed off her famous tight pants worn in the hit musical, Grease.

Oprah then gave her fans a pink diamond argyle necklace with a pendant in the shape of an 'O' . The diamonds are from Western Australia at a Rio Tinto mine. They are worth $450 each.

Their arrival comes after Hugh Jackman's landing was rough after he came down a flying fox and crashed, injuring his eye.

Jackman was nearing the stage of the Opera House  when his leg struck a studio light – forcing a piece of debris into his eye.

Winfrey rushed to Jackman's aid, with the Wolverine star making light of his injury.

His whole body shook and when he abseiled onto the stage, and he had hit his head.

With his children watching in the audience and visibly upset, Jackman had blood from a cut above his right eye.

"Let's get some ice otherwise its going to swell," said Oprah while wiping his head.

After a few minutes treatment, Jackman was back on stage and making light of it. He said he hadn't pulled the brake hard enough. "That was so much fun until the end," he said.

He then got Oprah to try Vegemite.

The crash came as Twitter fans tweeted Oprah's left eyelash fell out and she had to get it put back in by one of her crew members.

The show ended with the Qantas choir singing "I Still Call Australia Home" alongside Hugh Jackman, Olivia Newton-John, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman as they flew an Aussie flag. 

As the taping began, Bono was one of her first guests.

Earlier, fans were treated to Ross Wilson warming up the crowd to 'Eagle Rock', and swayed to Waltzing Matilda.

Before Oprah came on, they started flooding our official Facebook page with messages about VIPs to seeing Hugh Jackman's flying fox, which he will use to make his grand entrance.

The crowd also danced to 'I gotta feeling.'

The Twitterati say they have spotted Hugh Jackman perched on the top of the Opera House.

Olivia Newton-John, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have also been spotted.

At her morning session, Oprah told the audience she understood why Australia is called Oz:

She said: "Because it truly is at the end of the yellow brick road. After being here a week, I know this. I love Australia."

If it was even possible, 6000 of her dearest fans who gathered to worship her on the steps of the Sydney 'Oprah' House, found more love in their hearts for their hero.

Oprah grooved her way through the audience and onto stage central to the beat of I Come From The Land Down Under, her bright orange dress swaying in the wind, opening the show with an obligatory chant of Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi.

It was church, Oprah style. The object of worship? A much-loved tv icon, all smiles and full of words of affection.  The congregation?

Screaming Oprah-files, the lucky 6000 who beat 350,000 others to tickets.

"Australians have such a zest for life," she said.

What followed was a two-hour Australia love fest. And the audience certainly weren't complaining.

Russell Crowe brought the humour early. When asked by Oprah what the difference was between American men and Australian men, without skipping a beat, Crowe said: "Probably dental care."

The actor also gave his reasons why he chose to live solely in Australia, laughing sarcastically that he needed to live in a place where tall poppies were trimmed.

"Let's just say I'd be a lot taller if it wasn't for the tall poppy syndrome," he said.

Crowe also spoke passionately about his South Sydney league team, some of whom were in the audience. He said it would be truly inspirational for the troubled youth of Redfern if he was able to "return the team to a winning team".

While his dad was a regular on the show before his untimely death, six- year-old Robert Irwin took off where his father left, keeping the audience in stitches.

On stage with his sister Bindi and mum Terri, both kids with a snake around their necks, Robert talked openly of the father he adored, saying he still watches his shows to feel close to him.

"I watch them and it's like he's really there. He was he beat dad in the whole world.

"One time my dad woke me up and said 'you have to come outside, it's cool'. I went outside and there was a tiger under the clothes line."

With a giant smile on his face, Robert also announced he had jumped his first croc as a six year old. A teary Terri explained to Oprah that living with Steve was like living in the middle of a cyclone. "when we lost him, it was like the wind stopped."

There were gifts. It wouldn't be Oprah without them. The biggest cache was reserved for the students and teachers of Canterbury Boys School who received a surprise visit from Jay Z this week. That wasn't the biggest gift. Oprah crossed live to the school mid show to inform them each student and teacher would receive laptops. $1 million worth of laptops.

Then there was the $250,000 cheque that was presented to Sydney cancer sufferer Kristian Anderson and his wife, allowing them to give up their jobs and enjoy their lives.

In the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House, 6000 audience members were on their feet early,  grooving and pointing to the sky with gusto  32 minutes early, called to action by a dance remix of I've Had The Time Of My Life. For the 302 Oprah audience members on tour from the US, the words spoke the truth.

Bon Jovi then sang Livin' on a Prayer. And she also gave each of her 6000 audience members a pearl necklace.

Oprah was seen driving out of the Opera House just before midday by fans like Monique Kowalczyk who posted on our Facebook page: "Queued up for 2nd taping! Miss O just drove by and waved."

For Teresa Rogers, it was a moment she never thought she would experience.

She arrived at the 'Oprah' House with her husband Gary without tickets at 6am. It proved to be the Gold Coast resident's lucky day. A spare seat was found for the mad Oprah fan.

"I've been an Oprah fan since 1986. I've still got all the original shows on video tape," she said.
"Oprah made me the person I am today. She is my inspiration."

Another fan from the audience said she had skipped her child's sixth grade graduation to be at the Sydney show.

Oprah arrived at the iconic Sydney site this morning via motorcade at around 8am, and was welcomed by screaming fans.

Sydney show ticket holders like Mary Abrahams couldn’t contain their excitement and posted on The Daily Telegraph’s official Oprah coming to Australia Facebook page “Oprah is in the house.... Just saw her!”

Briony Rheuben added: "Yay Mary so did I!!! I'm at the barricades . And I was Soooo close!!"

Oprah, who met media for an early press conference said she has promised to deliver "a four-hour love festival about your [our] country" before starting her Sydney shows.

Sharing her favourite moment of Australia, the talk show host revealed she had been surprised most by Australians "open faces".

"There's a sense of openness and warmth, I haven't seen in any other country," she said.

She vowed to take Australia's "open faces" to her global audience.

"I have the biggest mouth on earth and the biggest platform, aren't you glad I like it."

Fans saw Bon Jovi do their sound check before the first show.

Bono was also spotted doing a sound check and U2 is tipped to appear after Oprah took her 300 US audience members to their Sydney show last night.

Jodie Meurs posted on our Facebook page that she spotted Bindi Irwin early, and Oprah's executive producer has already told 2DayFM that Hugh Jackman won't be entering the stage with just a simple walk on.

Jackman, who is gearing up to star in the next Wolverine movie is expected to enter the Sydney show via a flying fox.

Other stars appearing on Oprah's show include Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Olivia Newton-John.

Fans who don't have tickets have also tried their luck at grabbing last minute tickets at the Opera House. Many are posting on our Facebook page that they would do anything for a spare ticket. And some have managed to get tickets in a stand-by queue outside the Opera House including Lidia Pelle, who confirmed by Facebook she's secured a ticket.

Jodie-Paul Blake posted: "There is a queue at the Opera House next to the Opera Bar for standbye tix. No guarantee the guy said and standing room only."
 
Kate Hancock from Clovelly, who has tickets to the show, said they seem to have been queuing up forever.
 
Her friend Maree Camilleri said they were amazed to be among the 6000 audience members who got tickets out of the 350,000 people who entered the ballet.
 
"We were astounded," she said.

Mother and daughter Nicola and Robin Caras have come up from Melbourne.
 
"I think Oprah is an enigmatic and her show is fun. She has the best celebrities on," Nicola said.
 
Her mum said she was impressed that Oprah put her money into worthwhile causes.
 
In a major logistical exercise that has shut down the Circular Quay area, dozens of security staff were trying to keep the calm as crowds of mainly women, most of them dressed to the nines, waited to see the talkshow queen and a host of Aussie stars.
 
With screams of delight, Charlotte Hall and her friend Salina Souriyavong, both 22, from Blacktown joined the queue at the Oprah House.
 
"Bring on Nicole and Hugh Jackman and all the Aussies. We never get to see anyone in Blacktown," Charlotte said.
 
She said her world turned upside down when she received her tickets in the mail.
 
"I had a really bad day and within two minutes it was all turned around," she said.
 
Her best friend said that as well as the celebrities, they were expecting a car or a holiday or at least to catch the talk show queen herself.
 
"I grew up watching her shows and after school I would just turn on Channel 10 and watch a bit of Oprah," said Salina.
 
Each audience member is being given survival packs containing water, sunscreen, a blow up bum cushion and a poncho in case the weather dares to turn bad.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/confidential/thouands-descend-on-the-oprah-house/story-e6freq7o-1225970719604
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« Reply #931 on: December 14, 2010, 06:38:12 PM »

6000 fans descend on Oprah House for Oprah Winfrey shows

    * Andrew Carswell, Janet Fife-Yeomans and Holly Byrnes
    * From: The Daily Telegraph
    * December 14, 2010 5:48PM

A SPECIAL wild welcome was reserved for Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban when they arrived for Oprah's second show but Hugh Jackman was left a little worse for wear after a flying fox stunt went horribly wrong.

The Kurbans came before Olivia Newton-John who showed off her famous tight pants worn in the hit musical, Grease.

Oprah then gave her fans a pink diamond argyle necklace with a pendant in the shape of an 'O' . The diamonds are from Western Australia at a Rio Tinto mine. They are worth $450 each.

Their arrival comes after Hugh Jackman's landing was rough after he came down a flying fox and crashed, injuring his eye.

Jackman was nearing the stage of the Opera House  when his leg struck a studio light – forcing a piece of debris into his eye.

Winfrey rushed to Jackman's aid, with the Wolverine star making light of his injury.

His whole body shook and when he abseiled onto the stage, and he had hit his head.

With his children watching in the audience and visibly upset, Jackman had blood from a cut above his right eye.

"Let's get some ice otherwise its going to swell," said Oprah while wiping his head.

After a few minutes treatment, Jackman was back on stage and making light of it. He said he hadn't pulled the brake hard enough. "That was so much fun until the end," he said.

He then got Oprah to try Vegemite.

The crash came as Twitter fans tweeted Oprah's left eyelash fell out and she had to get it put back in by one of her crew members.

The show ended with the Qantas choir singing "I Still Call Australia Home" alongside Hugh Jackman, Olivia Newton-John, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman as they flew an Aussie flag. 

As the taping began, Bono was one of her first guests.

Earlier, fans were treated to Ross Wilson warming up the crowd to 'Eagle Rock', and swayed to Waltzing Matilda.

Before Oprah came on, they started flooding our official Facebook page with messages about VIPs to seeing Hugh Jackman's flying fox, which he will use to make his grand entrance.

The crowd also danced to 'I gotta feeling.'

The Twitterati say they have spotted Hugh Jackman perched on the top of the Opera House.

Olivia Newton-John, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have also been spotted.

At her morning session, Oprah told the audience she understood why Australia is called Oz:

She said: "Because it truly is at the end of the yellow brick road. After being here a week, I know this. I love Australia."

If it was even possible, 6000 of her dearest fans who gathered to worship her on the steps of the Sydney 'Oprah' House, found more love in their hearts for their hero.

Oprah grooved her way through the audience and onto stage central to the beat of I Come From The Land Down Under, her bright orange dress swaying in the wind, opening the show with an obligatory chant of Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi.

It was church, Oprah style. The object of worship? A much-loved tv icon, all smiles and full of words of affection.  The congregation?

Screaming Oprah-files, the lucky 6000 who beat 350,000 others to tickets.

"Australians have such a zest for life," she said.

What followed was a two-hour Australia love fest. And the audience certainly weren't complaining.

Russell Crowe brought the humour early. When asked by Oprah what the difference was between American men and Australian men, without skipping a beat, Crowe said: "Probably dental care."

The actor also gave his reasons why he chose to live solely in Australia, laughing sarcastically that he needed to live in a place where tall poppies were trimmed.

"Let's just say I'd be a lot taller if it wasn't for the tall poppy syndrome," he said.

Crowe also spoke passionately about his South Sydney league team, some of whom were in the audience. He said it would be truly inspirational for the troubled youth of Redfern if he was able to "return the team to a winning team".

While his dad was a regular on the show before his untimely death, six- year-old Robert Irwin took off where his father left, keeping the audience in stitches.

On stage with his sister Bindi and mum Terri, both kids with a snake around their necks, Robert talked openly of the father he adored, saying he still watches his shows to feel close to him.

"I watch them and it's like he's really there. He was he beat dad in the whole world.

"One time my dad woke me up and said 'you have to come outside, it's cool'. I went outside and there was a tiger under the clothes line."

With a giant smile on his face, Robert also announced he had jumped his first croc as a six year old. A teary Terri explained to Oprah that living with Steve was like living in the middle of a cyclone. "when we lost him, it was like the wind stopped."

There were gifts. It wouldn't be Oprah without them. The biggest cache was reserved for the students and teachers of Canterbury Boys School who received a surprise visit from Jay Z this week. That wasn't the biggest gift. Oprah crossed live to the school mid show to inform them each student and teacher would receive laptops. $1 million worth of laptops.

Then there was the $250,000 cheque that was presented to Sydney cancer sufferer Kristian Anderson and his wife, allowing them to give up their jobs and enjoy their lives.

In the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House, 6000 audience members were on their feet early,  grooving and pointing to the sky with gusto  32 minutes early, called to action by a dance remix of I've Had The Time Of My Life. For the 302 Oprah audience members on tour from the US, the words spoke the truth.

Bon Jovi then sang Livin' on a Prayer. And she also gave each of her 6000 audience members a pearl necklace.

Oprah was seen driving out of the Opera House just before midday by fans like Monique Kowalczyk who posted on our Facebook page: "Queued up for 2nd taping! Miss O just drove by and waved."

For Teresa Rogers, it was a moment she never thought she would experience.

She arrived at the 'Oprah' House with her husband Gary without tickets at 6am. It proved to be the Gold Coast resident's lucky day. A spare seat was found for the mad Oprah fan.

"I've been an Oprah fan since 1986. I've still got all the original shows on video tape," she said.
"Oprah made me the person I am today. She is my inspiration."

Another fan from the audience said she had skipped her child's sixth grade graduation to be at the Sydney show.

Oprah arrived at the iconic Sydney site this morning via motorcade at around 8am, and was welcomed by screaming fans.

Sydney show ticket holders like Mary Abrahams couldn’t contain their excitement and posted on The Daily Telegraph’s official Oprah coming to Australia Facebook page “Oprah is in the house.... Just saw her!”

Briony Rheuben added: "Yay Mary so did I!!! I'm at the barricades . And I was Soooo close!!"

Oprah, who met media for an early press conference said she has promised to deliver "a four-hour love festival about your [our] country" before starting her Sydney shows.

Sharing her favourite moment of Australia, the talk show host revealed she had been surprised most by Australians "open faces".

"There's a sense of openness and warmth, I haven't seen in any other country," she said.

She vowed to take Australia's "open faces" to her global audience.

"I have the biggest mouth on earth and the biggest platform, aren't you glad I like it."

Fans saw Bon Jovi do their sound check before the first show.

Bono was also spotted doing a sound check and U2 is tipped to appear after Oprah took her 300 US audience members to their Sydney show last night.

Jodie Meurs posted on our Facebook page that she spotted Bindi Irwin early, and Oprah's executive producer has already told 2DayFM that Hugh Jackman won't be entering the stage with just a simple walk on.

Jackman, who is gearing up to star in the next Wolverine movie is expected to enter the Sydney show via a flying fox.

Other stars appearing on Oprah's show include Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Olivia Newton-John.

Fans who don't have tickets have also tried their luck at grabbing last minute tickets at the Opera House. Many are posting on our Facebook page that they would do anything for a spare ticket. And some have managed to get tickets in a stand-by queue outside the Opera House including Lidia Pelle, who confirmed by Facebook she's secured a ticket.

Jodie-Paul Blake posted: "There is a queue at the Opera House next to the Opera Bar for standbye tix. No guarantee the guy said and standing room only."
 
Kate Hancock from Clovelly, who has tickets to the show, said they seem to have been queuing up forever.
 
Her friend Maree Camilleri said they were amazed to be among the 6000 audience members who got tickets out of the 350,000 people who entered the ballet.
 
"We were astounded," she said.

Mother and daughter Nicola and Robin Caras have come up from Melbourne.
 
"I think Oprah is an enigmatic and her show is fun. She has the best celebrities on," Nicola said.
 
Her mum said she was impressed that Oprah put her money into worthwhile causes.
 
In a major logistical exercise that has shut down the Circular Quay area, dozens of security staff were trying to keep the calm as crowds of mainly women, most of them dressed to the nines, waited to see the talkshow queen and a host of Aussie stars.
 
With screams of delight, Charlotte Hall and her friend Salina Souriyavong, both 22, from Blacktown joined the queue at the Oprah House.
 
"Bring on Nicole and Hugh Jackman and all the Aussies. We never get to see anyone in Blacktown," Charlotte said.
 
She said her world turned upside down when she received her tickets in the mail.
 
"I had a really bad day and within two minutes it was all turned around," she said.
 
Her best friend said that as well as the celebrities, they were expecting a car or a holiday or at least to catch the talk show queen herself.
 
"I grew up watching her shows and after school I would just turn on Channel 10 and watch a bit of Oprah," said Salina.
 
Each audience member is being given survival packs containing water, sunscreen, a blow up bum cushion and a poncho in case the weather dares to turn bad.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/confidential/thouands-descend-on-the-oprah-house/story-e6freq7o-1225970719604
6000 fans..my word!
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« Reply #932 on: December 15, 2010, 03:58:08 AM »

Yes that was a surprising crowd considering not many people here admit to watching Oprah's shows.  And the whole week has been a circus with Oprah being feted and swooned over everywhere she goes.  It did not help when we learned that we (the Australian taxpayers) footed the bill of $4 million Aust to bring Oprah here, without any of the other perks she was given, such as luxury accommodation and trips to all the major tourist spots.

But they assure us it will mean a flood of American tourists after her shows air in the US in January.

BTW let me know when you plan to arrive and I will meet you at the airport.  
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« Reply #933 on: December 15, 2010, 04:04:05 AM »

Aussie stars Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe get in trouble at Oprah show

    * By Holly Byrnes
    * From: The Daily Telegraph
    * December 14, 2010 10:03PM

HUGH Jackman might want to pass next time Oprah Winfrey needs a stunt guy after a spectacular flying fox accident left him with a battered ego and injured eye.

The Wolverine star, who had rehearsed the flash entrance from the sails of the Sydney Opera House, shocked the audience when he failed to apply the brake and collected a large studio light face first.

The sickening sound of the collision brought an immediate halt to filming, with Winfrey calling for paramedics.

"He hit that hard," she cried, rallying support staff to help him from his harness.

Jackman moved swiftly to reassure fans he was OK, including son Oscar who was in the front row.

"Bono was meant to do this, but they couldn't afford the insurance," he joked.

Jackman said he'd tried the high-wire move before the show. That time he applied the brake and the harness had stopped too suddenly.

Overwhelmed by the occasion and distracted by seeing his family and Oprah on stage, he failed to stop soon enough.

"I came down waving to everyone, looking over Sydney Harbour, saw my dad, the kids and you, went to pull the brake and then 'boing'. It was really fun until the end," he said.

Escorted off stage for treatment - after first hugging a paramedic who was called to his aid - Jackman returned with an ice pack and a small cut near his eye secured with a butterfly clip.

He soldiered on through his planned segment with Winfrey: taste-testing Vegemite and Penfolds Grange wine.

Jackman was not the only one however to run into trouble yesterday during Oprah's final show - Russell Crowe may be an Oscar winner and one of Oprah's big-name guests but that didn't help him get past security sentries.

The Hollywood star, who was the first celebrity guest off the block yesterday, admitted he walked to the Opera House from his Woolloomooloo home but had some trouble getting past the guards.

"I walked here and just went up to the gate but the security guy wasn't sure what to do. It wasn't on his running sheet," Rusty chuckled.

Winfrey chimed in with her best Aussie security guard impersonation: "There's a bloke out here who says he's Russell Crowe."

Teacher gets unexpected bonanza

While the day did not run as smoothly as planned for some of our biggest stars, for one school things were looking decidedly up.

Graduate teacher Polly Dunning has only been in the job for three months but yesterday her admiration for Oprah Winfrey produced a $1 million windfall for her school.

The self-confessed "Oprah tragic" wrote to the queen of talk suggesting her students were more interesting to visit than Australia's most famous tourist spots.

And Canterbury Boys High School hit the jackpot when Oprah, at her Opera House extravaganza yesterday, promised every student and teacher at the school a laptop computer.

Ms Dunning's inspirational letter to the Oprah show also secured a surprise visit to the school by rap superstar Jay-Z, who urged the boys - including several refugee students - to believe in themselves and grab life's opportunities.

Yesterday up to 400 students and teachers from the school attended the Oprah show and went wild when she announced the computer gift for the school.

"I said it would be great for Jay-Z to see a multicultural school. I wanted to show him Canterbury Boys High School," said Ms Dunning, 22. "I didn't think anything would happen and then I received a voicemail message from the [Oprah] show producers."

As the school celebrated one of its biggest days, principal Leslee Mitton said everyone was "gobsmacked" by the gift.

"It's like dropping a pebble into a stream. The ripples will be felt for quite some time," she said.

"It will hit home when the computers arrive in January."

Winfrey joked, "Now there's no excuse not to do your homework."

With Bruce McDougall and Andrew Carswell

Links to pictures and videos at this link
:

http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/television/aussie-stars-hugh-jackman-and-russell-crowe-get-in-to-trouble-with-oprah/story-e6frfmyi-1225971158748
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« Reply #934 on: December 15, 2010, 04:09:35 AM »

Indigenous leader shows Oprah 'third-world' conditions in NT communities

    * Daniela Elser, Entertainment Editor
    * From: news.com.au
    * December 14, 2010 12:02PM

A SENIOR Aboriginal leader has personally delivered an impassioned video message to Oprah Winfrey intended to "shock" the TV host with a depiction of the "hidden" reality of life in Northern Territory indigenous camps.

NSW Aboriginal Land Council chairwoman Bev Manton handed the video to Winfrey at her Sydney welcoming party to highlight the “third world” conditions in the communities she says are “almost soul-destroying”.

The talk show queen and her entourage of fans have been exposed to some of Australia’s most inspirational sights on their tour, including the luxurious Hamilton Island, the super-trendy Byron Bay and Melbourne’s Federation Square.

But Ms Manton’s video depicts a very different Australia – and there has been criticism that Winfrey could be doing more to highlight the living conditions of indigenous people.

“I hope the stories you see and the vision you see shocks you because it shocked me,” Ms Manton says in the video.

“Tourists come to Australia to get an experience of Aboriginal culture, but this is part of Australia they won’t see and you won’t see. It’s certainly a part of Australia that is hidden.

“I hope the images you have seen today stay with you for some time and motivate you into voicing your concerns about the living conditions of Australia’s Aboriginal people.”

The talk show queen has not yet responded to the video nor publicly addressed indigenous problems.

Ms Manton said she would be disappointed not to hear from Oprah, but remained hopeful of a response.

“I don’t accept and I won’t accept that Oprah has come to Australia and ignored Aboriginal people,” she said. “She is one of the world’s great philanthropists.”

Northern Territory Tourism Minister Malarndirri McCarthy, who spent time with Winfrey during her trip to Uluru last week, said she was privately “incredibly interested” in Aboriginal issues.

“Look I certainly spoke about alcohol and the issues that we face and a lot of that was off camera, it was just in quiet private moments,” McCarthy said in an interview with 105.7 8DDD FM’s Morning Show.

“So there were very private moments where she was able to actually unpack some of the issues that she probably wouldn’t do as part of the show, but it was again about Oprah wanting to understand more about indigenous Australia.”

But National Indigenous Times editor and 2006 NAIDOC Indigenous Person of the Year Stephen Hagan has offered a stinging critique of a woman who has built her career on giving voice to the voiceless.

“I think that she has certainly dropped in my estimation as far as being a champion of the underdogs,” Hagan said.

“Oprah has come here and she has chosen to close her eyes to the needs of Australia’s first people, the indigenous Australians and gone along with all the pomp and ceremony that’s been offered to her.

“The reason you are not seeing any indigenous protests at her various locations is because we all thought she’d be championing our cause. We would have thought that Oprah would have been speaking quite freely and openly about Aboriginal disadvantage. That has never happened.

“In many ways, it took us all by surprise including a lot of our very hardline activists who were very caught off guard in terms of organising rallies around Oprah’s visit.”

Hagan is concerned about the view of Australia the media maven will beam to her global audience of hundreds of millions.

“They’ll think there’s no Aboriginal problem, in fact they might (not) even know there’s Aborigines here,” he said.

http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/television/indigenous-leader-shows-oprah-third-world-conditions-in-nt-camps/story-e6frfmyi-1225970842679

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« Reply #935 on: December 15, 2010, 04:16:44 AM »

Fatalities as asylum-seeker boat crashes into cliffs at Christmas Island

    * By staff writers
    * From: news.com.au
    * December 15, 2010 7:46PM

A BOAT carrying about 80 suspected asylum seekers has crashed into cliffs at Christmas Island.

Several people are feared dead after a boat carrying asylum seekers crashed into cliffs at Christmas Island

Developing story updates here as they come to hand - times are AEDT - full story below

7.40pm The search is ongoing and will continue until last light.

7.36pm The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service has confirmed at least 27 people are dead. "As at 6pm (AEDT), 41 persons have been recovered from the water, and another person made it to the shore. Tragically, initial reports are that 27 bodies have also been recovered at this stage."

5.21pm Acting Opposition Leader Julie Bishop has responded to the tragedy, saying: "Looking at the film footage it is miraculous that anyone was able to survive, the seas appear to be so rough... The consequences of this will, no doubt, be felt on Christmas Island for some time."

5.00pm Prime Minister Julia Gillard is cutting short her leave in the wake of the asylum boat tragedy.

4.43pm Western Australia has offered medical teams, police and other emergency services to help the rescue and recovery operation, Premier Colin Barnett says.

4.26pm Three injured asylum seekers will be airlifted to Perth after suffering head and abdominal injuries.

4.17pm A Royal Flying Doctor Service spokeswoman estimates about 50 people have died. "We understand, and it's not confirmed, that there are about 50 dead, and about 33 walking wounded," Lesleigh Green said. Rescuers expected to pick up another three critically ill passengers.

4.08pm Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says: "It is a day for profound sadness ... What has occurred off the cliffs of Christmas Island this morning represents a realisation of our worst fears."

4.04pm Rough seas are continuing to hamper rescue, recovery and aid efforts hours after the crash.

3.34pm Mr Swan said he had spoken to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who is on leave, to brief her on the incident.

3.15pm "A number of people have been rescued, but sadly, some bodies have been recovered," Mr Swan said. However, he says he cannot provide figures.

3.07pm Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan has confirmed a number of deaths, says rescue ongoing.

3.04pm Inspector Bill Munnee says WA police may send a forensic team to Christmas Island to help identify the dead, including women and children. "We are working cooperatively with AFP. I know there will be a role for us, but I dont know what it will be," he said.

Dramatic images from the scene show people in lifejackets in the water clinging to debris.

Officials say 41 people have been rescued.

Christmas Island residents rushed to the scene to try and recover people from the boat, which broke apart in heavy seas after ramming into a cliff.

One local resident, who says he was the first person on the scene, described waking up to screams and cries for help as the boat approached the cliffs near his home this morning.

“I could hear people shouting and screaming,” the local businessman told news.com.au.

“I would say at least half of them drowned,” he said.

“The people were in absolute panic, they were screaming and waving at me,” he says.

“There were women and children and babies.”

With 6m to 8m seas buffeting the cliffs, the local resident said he and other locals fought to rescue people from the water using life jackets and ropes.

“It was like they were just out of reach. They were shouting at us and there was nothing we could do.

“We were down at the edge with life jackets and ropes. At that stage we were trying to get them to stay on the boat and we were praying the navy would get here in time.

“The boat was in huge swell and was getting washed along the coast as well as into the coast. We positioned ourselves a bit further down with life jackets. Eventually the boat got thrown into the rocks and exploded really.

A change in the tide saved lives he said, pulling many of the survivors away from the rocks.

“A lot of people got swept back out to sea and the navy could get them but there were a lot of people who couldn’t get life jackets.”

“One guy actually jumped and made it onto the rocks. He stood right on front of the boat and as it hit he jumped and I can’t believe he made it. He was the only one who did.”

Simon Prince, owner of a dive shop near where the boat hit the cliffs, described the scene as “carnage”.

He said he saw at least eight bodies in the water and described attempts by locals to get lifejackets to the passengers by forming human chains.

“The boat basically disintegrated on the rocks,” Mr Prince said. “We had to hope they’d jump from the wreckage to the jackets. If we hadn’t thrown lifejackets more would have died.”

The incident happened about 6am (WST) near Flying Fish Cove on the north side of the island.

The boat came into local waters some time this morning without being detected by authorities, according to the Australian Online.

Christmas Island shire president Gordon Thomson told thewest.com.au he understood it was a "very bad situation" but he was unclear of the details.

Mr Stewart, who's on the island making a documentary, said the asylum seeker boat was completely destroyed in the stormy conditions.

"There's absolutely nothing left of the boat," he said.

"It's very steep cliffs and you've got waves of four to five metres breaking right up over the cliffs."

A larger naval vessel was further out to sea and two smaller inflatables were involved in the rescue effort, Mr Stewart said.

"They were coming in trying to get as close to the people as possible to get them off.

"But the refugees ... were in the surge zone, one of the most dangerous areas they could be."

http://www.news.com.au/national/asylum-seeker-boat-crashes-into-cliffs/story-e6frfkvr-1225971475967
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« Reply #936 on: December 16, 2010, 07:26:29 PM »

Fatalities as asylum-seeker boat crashes into cliffs at Christmas Island

    * By staff writers
    * From: news.com.au
    * December 15, 2010 7:46PM

A BOAT carrying about 80 suspected asylum seekers has crashed into cliffs at Christmas Island.

Several people are feared dead after a boat carrying asylum seekers crashed into cliffs at Christmas Island

Developing story updates here as they come to hand - times are AEDT - full story below

7.40pm The search is ongoing and will continue until last light.

7.36pm The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service has confirmed at least 27 people are dead. "As at 6pm (AEDT), 41 persons have been recovered from the water, and another person made it to the shore. Tragically, initial reports are that 27 bodies have also been recovered at this stage."

5.21pm Acting Opposition Leader Julie Bishop has responded to the tragedy, saying: "Looking at the film footage it is miraculous that anyone was able to survive, the seas appear to be so rough... The consequences of this will, no doubt, be felt on Christmas Island for some time."

5.00pm Prime Minister Julia Gillard is cutting short her leave in the wake of the asylum boat tragedy.

4.43pm Western Australia has offered medical teams, police and other emergency services to help the rescue and recovery operation, Premier Colin Barnett says.

4.26pm Three injured asylum seekers will be airlifted to Perth after suffering head and abdominal injuries.

4.17pm A Royal Flying Doctor Service spokeswoman estimates about 50 people have died. "We understand, and it's not confirmed, that there are about 50 dead, and about 33 walking wounded," Lesleigh Green said. Rescuers expected to pick up another three critically ill passengers.

4.08pm Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says: "It is a day for profound sadness ... What has occurred off the cliffs of Christmas Island this morning represents a realisation of our worst fears."

4.04pm Rough seas are continuing to hamper rescue, recovery and aid efforts hours after the crash.

3.34pm Mr Swan said he had spoken to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who is on leave, to brief her on the incident.

3.15pm "A number of people have been rescued, but sadly, some bodies have been recovered," Mr Swan said. However, he says he cannot provide figures.

3.07pm Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan has confirmed a number of deaths, says rescue ongoing.

3.04pm Inspector Bill Munnee says WA police may send a forensic team to Christmas Island to help identify the dead, including women and children. "We are working cooperatively with AFP. I know there will be a role for us, but I dont know what it will be," he said.

Dramatic images from the scene show people in lifejackets in the water clinging to debris.

Officials say 41 people have been rescued.

Christmas Island residents rushed to the scene to try and recover people from the boat, which broke apart in heavy seas after ramming into a cliff.

One local resident, who says he was the first person on the scene, described waking up to screams and cries for help as the boat approached the cliffs near his home this morning.

“I could hear people shouting and screaming,” the local businessman told news.com.au.

“I would say at least half of them drowned,” he said.

“The people were in absolute panic, they were screaming and waving at me,” he says.

“There were women and children and babies.”

With 6m to 8m seas buffeting the cliffs, the local resident said he and other locals fought to rescue people from the water using life jackets and ropes.

“It was like they were just out of reach. They were shouting at us and there was nothing we could do.

“We were down at the edge with life jackets and ropes. At that stage we were trying to get them to stay on the boat and we were praying the navy would get here in time.

“The boat was in huge swell and was getting washed along the coast as well as into the coast. We positioned ourselves a bit further down with life jackets. Eventually the boat got thrown into the rocks and exploded really.

A change in the tide saved lives he said, pulling many of the survivors away from the rocks.

“A lot of people got swept back out to sea and the navy could get them but there were a lot of people who couldn’t get life jackets.”

“One guy actually jumped and made it onto the rocks. He stood right on front of the boat and as it hit he jumped and I can’t believe he made it. He was the only one who did.”

Simon Prince, owner of a dive shop near where the boat hit the cliffs, described the scene as “carnage”.

He said he saw at least eight bodies in the water and described attempts by locals to get lifejackets to the passengers by forming human chains.

“The boat basically disintegrated on the rocks,” Mr Prince said. “We had to hope they’d jump from the wreckage to the jackets. If we hadn’t thrown lifejackets more would have died.”

The incident happened about 6am (WST) near Flying Fish Cove on the north side of the island.

The boat came into local waters some time this morning without being detected by authorities, according to the Australian Online.

Christmas Island shire president Gordon Thomson told thewest.com.au he understood it was a "very bad situation" but he was unclear of the details.

Mr Stewart, who's on the island making a documentary, said the asylum seeker boat was completely destroyed in the stormy conditions.

"There's absolutely nothing left of the boat," he said.

"It's very steep cliffs and you've got waves of four to five metres breaking right up over the cliffs."

A larger naval vessel was further out to sea and two smaller inflatables were involved in the rescue effort, Mr Stewart said.

"They were coming in trying to get as close to the people as possible to get them off.

"But the refugees ... were in the surge zone, one of the most dangerous areas they could be."

http://www.news.com.au/national/asylum-seeker-boat-crashes-into-cliffs/story-e6frfkvr-1225971475967
Where were these people seeking asylum from? This is just heartbreaking with the babies and children.
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« Reply #937 on: December 16, 2010, 10:03:00 PM »

4 Donks this is so tragic.  They say the people are from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan coming by way of Indonesia.  There will be a lot of accusations and inquiries into it all.  We often get boat people trying to land here but I doubt there has ever been so many babies and children before.  Christmas Island is where they detain any refugees while they process their applications.

You have to wonder how many more boats have been shipwrecked like this and no one knows about them. The people who take enormous sums of money and then load these refugees onto the flimsy boats are making a fortune, promising them an easy way to enter Australia, rather than applying through the normal immigration channels.  Some of these people would not qualify for entry here so it is a very difficult situation for all concerned.
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« Reply #938 on: December 16, 2010, 10:07:21 PM »

Man loses seven family members on asylum-seeker boat that sank on Christmas Island

    * Alison Rehn
    * From: The Daily Telegraph
    * December 17, 2010 10:22AM

Source: The Daily Telegraph

AN IMMIGRATION detainee being held on Christmas Island lost seven members of his family in the asylum-seeker boat tragedy.

The revelation came as the confirmed death toll climbed to 30 following the discovery of two more bodies after an asylum-seeker boat smashed into cliffs at Christmas Island early on Wednesday.

The search continues for more missing asylum-seekers, while 42 survived the disaster. Authorities still don't know how many people were on the boat, but fear there may have been up to 100 Iraqis, Iranians and Kurds on board.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said it was the "sad reality" that rescuers at Christmas Island were now conducting more of a body recovery operation.

Christmas Island shire president Gordon Thomson expressed concern for one asylum-seeker, in immigration detention before the disaster, who had lost family members who were trying to join him on the island, The Australian reports.

“We are concerned that there's a man in detention on Christmas Island who lost seven members of his family including his wife, his wife's uncle and several other close relatives,” Mr Thomson told ABC radio.

“They were on the boat - he was in detention.”

It earlier emerged that at least two of the women and a number of children on board the asylum-seeker boat were trying to reach husbands and fathers held in detention on Christmas Island.

Sources told The Times the men did not know if their families were among those killed because the survivors had been placed in isolation and not allowed contact with other detainees.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said it was the "sad reality" that rescuers at Christmas Island were now conducting more of a body recovery operation.

How did asylum ship slip through?

THE first triple-0 call came at 5.48am local time - a rickety fishing vessel was in trouble off the coast of Christmas Island.

The distress call was one of three made by passengers on the boat but it took an hour and 13 minutes for help to arrive.

The sun had been up less than 20 minutes, but the asylum seekers knew they were in trouble. Their boat's engine had failed and the furious early morning seas were pushing them closer and closer to the jagged cliffs at Rocky Point.

The shoreline came quicker than help from the navy and Customs vessels - HMAS Pirie began its rescue exactly 30 minutes after locals reported the boat had been smashed against the cliffs and up to 100 passengers thrown into the raging surf.

As yet more harrowing details emerged yesterday of the tragedy, Prime Minister Julia Gillard denied authorities had been tracking the vessel from the time it left Indonesia.

But the PM said an immediate review would be carried out by Customs and Border Control into how the boat had sailed from Indonesia undetected, only to be spotted 200m from the shores of Christmas Island.

A briefing to the Prime Minister has revealed Customs and Border Protection claimed it was first notified that a boat had been spotted 200m from Rocky Point at 5.48am local time.

However, it has also emerged that emergency calls from mobile phones were also made at precisely the same time to West Australian police, who notified the Australian Search and Rescue Authorities.

Ms Gillard said, despite sophisticated radar and surveillance equipment at Christmas Island, the boat had not been detected.

She confirmed Customs had not been tracking the vessel, but could not confirm whether they had been aware of its departure from Indonesia.

She said it approached the island in darkness and in terrible weather conditions.

"The boat wasn't detected until it was seen from Christmas Island," she said.

"What it indicates on the advice to me is that in very rough and very difficult circumstances, there are clearly limits.

"In rough and dangerous seas, there is a limit to what can be achieved through the use of radar and other surveillance."

Ms Gillard said she had been advised that, because the Customs and navy vessels were on the lee side of the island, it would normally take half an hour to sail to the location where the stricken boat was washed ashore.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/man-loses-seven-family-members-on-asylum-seeker-boat-that-sank-on-christmas-island/story-e6freooo-1225972647056

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« Reply #939 on: December 16, 2010, 10:20:17 PM »

4 Donks this is so tragic.  They say the people are from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan coming by way of Indonesia.  There will be a lot of accusations and inquiries into it all.  We often get boat people trying to land here but I doubt there has ever been so many babies and children before.  Christmas Island is where they detain any refugees while they process their applications.

You have to wonder how many more boats have been shipwrecked like this and no one knows about them. The people who take enormous sums of money and then load these refugees onto the flimsy boats are making a fortune, promising them an easy way to enter Australia, rather than applying through the normal immigration channels.  Some of these people would not qualify for entry here so it is a very difficult situation for all concerned.
Tibro this is just so sad. Before moving to Alabama I lived most of my adult life in Florida. The people from Haiti were desperate to reach Florida shores and they would be crammed on old wooden boats and sent to sea. Lord knows how many sank at sea but the Coast Guard saved many from sinking boats. If the coast guard picked them up they were returned to Haiti...if they could make it to shore they had a chance of blending in with the Haitian community or if picked up would have a chance of staying. The people who took money from these poor souls are the worst of the worse.
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