Go Back To Where You Came From cast shown rape footage in dramatic episode

Jodi, 33, changed her mind about refugees coming by boat after meeting two Rohingya refugees who had witnessed rapes. The young Rohingya refugee who escaped human traffickers just weeks before.

The mother of two previously said Australia was being “invaded” by refugees.

Go Back To Where You Came From cast ‘at risk’ in Syria’The truth hurts, but not as much as we hurt asylum seekers’

Go Back To Where You Came From took a dramatic turn on Wednesday night when the cast of the award-winning SBS program were shown video of a refugee woman being raped.

The documentary series which explores Australia’s asylum seeker debate premiered this week and has already drawn headlines with the controversial views of some of the participants who fear Australia is being “invaded” by refugees.

On Wednesday night’s episode, cast members were taken to Thailand where they learnt about Rohingya refugees who are taken hostage by human traffickers as they make their way over the Malaysian border.

Adelaide woman Jodi, 33, has been vocal on the program about her intolerance toward refugees “invading Australia”.

She broke down after being shown a video of a Rohingya refugee woman being raped by three men.

Jodi, her sister Renee and former refugee Davy were also introduced to two teenage Rohingya refugees who had escaped the human traffickers just weeks before.

The two boys told Jodi, Renee and Davy about the deaths and rapes they had witnessed in the jungle camp, that they were planning funerals for the refugees who had perished, and how they had no family.

“I’m just so upset. I can’t believe that we were listening to a 16-year-old talking about what he’s seen, seeing people raped and killed in front of him,” Jodi said, crying.

“I have two 16-year-olds and it’s just devastating that he’s had to go through that.

“I can’t imagine them having 500 people here in this jungle. I can’t imagine being in that situation, but if I was, I would try to escape. Even if it meant getting on a boat. It’s just digusting.”

Later, the mother of two admitted she had changed her views on refugees, and said she didn’t know why traffickers would do that to other humans.

The other three Go Back To Where You Came From cast members were sent to Syria where they witnessed the large refugee camps in Jordan.

The show’s producers were slammed for placing the cast at “substantial risk” by allowing them to come within 1km of Islamic State insurgents.

“There was substantial risk associated with the deployment,” former Army officer and consultant Justin Bowden told Fairfax.

The final episode in the three-part series airs at 8.30pm on SBS on Thursday night.

Homegrown NASA scientist wants Australia in the space race

Australian NASA astrobiologist Abigail Allwood, pictured at her alma mater QUT, wants Australia to invest more into space exploration. Photo: Michelle SmithThe Brisbane astrobiologist at the forefront of NASA’s next mission to Mars has one regret in her stellar career – that she could not lead the charge to discover evidence of extraterrestrial life from her own country.

Abigail Allwood, the co-leader of the coming Mars 2020 rover mission, said Australia would continue to lose its best and brightest minds if it did not embrace one of the most awe-inspiring of scientific fields.

“It’s a little bit sad, for me, to see that when I finished my degree here in Australia, I couldn’t pursue the kind of things I wanted to do in Australia at all,” she said.

“There’s very little involvement in space exploration.

“We don’t have a formal space agency, which makes it very difficult for us to participate in opportunities like this and, to me, it belies our capability.

“We produce so many bright graduates. We have a fantastic education system producing engineering, science technology and mathematics graduates and the sorts of things that really inspire them, like space exploration, is not possible to do here in Australia.”

Dr Allwood, who was at the Queensland University of Technology on Thursday to accept an outstanding alumnus award from the science and engineering faculty, said Australia had the capability to be a leader in space exploration.

But the nation’s involvement in humanity’s great exploratory frontier was “less than it could be”.

“There are some incredible Australian scientists overseas who want to come back and work here, if they had the similar opportunities back here that they do overseas,” Dr Allwood said.

“I’d be one of them.”

Dr Allwood, who has been based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena since 2006, is the Mars 2020 mission’s principal investigator for the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry.

The sophisticated instrument was one of seven chosen by NASA to be packed on to the Mars 2020 rover, which was similar to the Curiosity rover already on the Martian surface.

“The difference between Curiosity and the Mars 2020 rover is the science payload and the science objective,” Dr Allwood said.

“This rover has a suite of seven instruments – PIXL is one of them; we’re out on the arm – and the payload is selected especially to achieve the science objective of the mission.

“The primary goal is to search for evidence of ancient life on Mars.”

PIXL will be able to check the chemistry of Martian rocks, to grains as tiny as 100 microns, or 100 millionths of a metre.

“If you’re going to look for microbial life, you have to look at the scale of microbes,” Dr Allwood said.

“And that’s what this instrument does.”

Ultimately, the Mars 2020 rover will collect targeted physical samples with the aim of bringing them back to Earth.

“Contrary to some popular belief, we’ve never returned samples from Mars,” Dr Allwood said.

“We’ve never returned samples from any planet.

“We’ve had samples from asteroids and solar wind particles, but we’ve never, ever gone anywhere and actually deliberately, intelligently, selected a suite of samples and brought them back to Earth.

“That’s really important and it’s very different to a grab-and-go situation, where you grab samples from whatever you happen to find, because the context around the samples we collect is absolutely critical.”

Dr Allwood said getting those samples back to Earth would not be easy.

“(Samples) will be deposited on the surface of Mars by this mission and, if it’s decided by the science community, the public and so forth that it’s compelling enough to bring these samples back, then another mission would go and collect them,” she said.

“They would send a fetch rover to pick up the samples, put them in what’s called a Mars Ascent Vehicle – a MAV – and then launch the cache into orbit around Mars.

“A separate mission will then need to then bring those samples back to Earth from Martian orbit.

“So, it’s a complex series of steps.”

Dr Allwood said that complexity demonstrated how difficult getting humans on to the surface of the red planet would actually be.

“The number of miracles needed to bring samples back is such that it’s too much to put into one mission – it’s divided into three missions – so the technology to get humans to Mars and get them back safely is much, much larger,” she said.

“There’s so many more miracles that will need to be achieved.”

But if the work discovered there was once life on Mars, Dr Allwood said the cost and the effort would all be worth it.

“Understanding whether or not we’re alone in the universe, understanding whether life ever arose separately somewhere else other than Earth, that’s culture-changing and mind-changing stuff,” she said.

New hotel in Darling Harbour convention centre to be Sydney’s largest

Investor Dr Jerry Schwartz is pictured with his son Dane aged 4. Photo: Jerry Schwartz Investor Dr Jerry Schwartz is pictured with his son Dane aged 4. Photo: Jerry Schwartz

Foundations are laid for the Sofitel Hotel project in Darling Harbour. Photo: Peter Rae

Investor Dr Jerry Schwartz is pictured with his son Dane aged 4. Photo: Jerry Schwartz

Investor Dr Jerry Schwartz is pictured with his son Dane aged 4. Photo: Jerry Schwartz

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It’s a race between two tycoons across a one-kilometre stretch of Sydney Harbour for the title of owner of Sydney’s grandest hotel.

Eccentric cosmetic surgery-cum-hotel king Jerry Schwartz may have stolen a march on James Packer on Thursday as he made a show of laying the foundation stone of a new $350 million hotel development.

Mr Schwartz was promising a cracking pace. “We’ll be [erecting] one floor every 10 days,” he said.

The project will be Sydney’s first newly built five-star hotel in nearly two decades and is part of the broader $3.5 billion redevelopment of the Darling Harbour convention centre precinct.

The 600-room, 35-storey tower is being billed as Sydney’s largest.

It can hold that title without contest so long as James Packer’s $2-billion hotel and apartment complex winds its way through a complicated planning process. Mr Packer’s plans allow for only 350 rooms but promises “six star” luxury and more than twice the floors.

The Barangaroo south development is fighting its way  through complicated planning and legal battles, including a dispute between developer Lend Lease and the state government.

The $2 billion plan is yet to secure major government approvals but Crown Resorts is attempting to push ahead with laying the project groundwork.

Should the project be knocked back, the company will be left holding a costly bill for early earth moving and foundation work, plans for which are on display until the end of next month.

Mr Schwartz says his hotel’s proximity to the convention centre will give him an edge with business guests, who have previously had to make do with the three-and-a-half star Ibis on Darling Harbour.

In addition to a ballroom Mr Schwartz is hoping a helipad will be an extra lure for business travellers.

“It’s something no one in their right minds would object to,” he said. “It’s 35 storeys high, who’s going to complain, the neighbours?”

(A 2012 proposal for a nearby floating heliport on Darling Harbour was shot down amid outcry over fears plans were approved without due concern for noise pollution).

The government is yet to be presented with an application for the helipad.

LED lights will be built into the hotel’s framework. “We’ll be able to write things on the building – like ‘Happy [New Year] 2018’,” he said.

The hotel will be complete in the latter half of 2017.

Under an arrangement with construction firm Lend Lease, Mr Schwartz will buy the building after it is complete and subcontract its operation to Sofitel and Accor.

Lend Lease also has the contract for developing the convention centre and Barangaroo south.

Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said the development was proof Sydney “was a city that belongs on the world stage”.

The hotel has been granted a 99-year lease as part of the public-private partnership designed to reinvigorate Darling Harbour.

Five elephants were slain while the world mourns Cecil the lion

Shot dead: Cecil the lion Photo: ALDFDentist Walter Palmer writes apology letter to patientsCecil’s killing unleashes calls for ban on trophy hunting

​Nairobi: While the world mourned Cecil, the 13-year-old lion that was allegedly shot by a American hunter, dentist Walter Palmer, in Zimbabwe, another devastating poaching incident was quietly carried out in Kenya.

Poachers killed five elephants in Tsavo West National Park on Monday night. The carcasses were recovered by rangers on Tuesday morning — what appeared to be an adult female and her four offspring, their tusks hacked off.

While the killing of the lion in Zimbabwe has attracted the world’s attention, the death of the five elephants has received almost no coverage, even though elephants are under a far greater threat from poachers than lions. Their tusks can be sold in Asia for more than $US1000 ($1360) per pound.

“It’s just devastating,” said Paul Gathitu, a spokesman for Kenya Wildlife Service. “It took us completely by surprise.”

Kenyan investigators say the poachers crossed the border from neighbouring Tanzania, slaughtered the elephants and then quickly returned to their base, making them difficult to track. Tsavo stretches along the border for more than 50 miles.

Rangers heard gunshots ring out on Monday evening. They searched all night through the vast park and discovered the carnage the next morning. There was blood and loose skin where the tusks were cut off. Kenyan authorities say the poachers escaped on motorcycles, carrying their loot.

In recent years, the poaching of elephants has increased exponentially because of the demand for ivory in Asia, where it’s used for unproven medicinal purposes. Between 2010 and 2012, poachers killed more than 100,000 African elephants — a level of destruction that put the species on the road to extinction. Unlike many other animals, elephants mourn the death of their brethren, wrapping their trunks around the bones or carcasses of the deceased.

While the African lion population is also under threat, it is largely because their habitats are being destroyed by farmers and developers, not because the animals are hunted.

Kenyan authorities say they were making progress in the fight against poachers before the recent killing at Tsavo. Last year, the government deployed 550 new rangers. Advances in technology have allowed researchers to monitor herds using GPS trackers, gauging when they might be under threat based on their movement and speed.

“We’ve increased our intelligence and our operations. We were having success,” Gathitu said. “That’s why we’re so surprised.”

In Tsavo, investigators are searching for the men who killed the five elephants. Two suspects have been arrested. Security officials found a bloodstained ax and a hacksaw in one of their homes.

It’s not just Kenya where mass elephant killings occur. In Congo, 30 elephants were killed in 15 days earlier this year in Garamba National Park. The illegal wildlife trade is valued at $US7 billion to $US10 billion annually.

“We are in an elephant crisis right now,” Iain Douglas-Hamilton, the founder of Save the Elephants, a non-governmental organisation, told The Post recently.

Just two days before the Tsavo elephants were killed, President Obama announced during a visit to Kenya that he would introduce more restrictions in the United States to diminish the market for ivory there. The regulation would prevent the sale of ivory from African elephants across state lines.

But the United States makes up only a fraction of the international ivory market, and regulations in Asia remain loosely enforced.

Washington Post

Immunity boosters for kids

Shivering our way through the colder months of the year is guaranteed – much like the colds, flu and viruses that it brings to our families.

But while us adults can nurse ourselves back to health relatively quickly, it often hits our children harder.

There are no guaranteed ways to avoid these dreaded lurgies completely, but there are ways we can boost our children’s immunity.

This can mean they are less susceptible to illness in the first place, and help them recover in the instances when they do get sick.

Here are some of the best immunity boosting tips.


Maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is one of the best ways that you can ensure that your child’s immune system and health remains strong.

Fruit and vegetables such as carrots, green beans, oranges and strawberries are good examples of foods that contain immunity boosting phytonutrients.

These phytonutrients can assist in increasing the body’s production of white blood cells and antibodies that help to block out viruses.

‘Superfoods’ in particular contain high levels of phytonutrients, and many also offer additional health and immune boosting benefits.

Colourful vegetables offer a good source of antioxidants, and green vegetables provide folic acid, zinc and vitamins.

Yoghurt is full of probiotics, while garlic and onions help fight bacteria in the stomach, and fish offers the benefits of omega 3.

Vitamins and supplements

While a balanced diet will provide a sufficient level of vitamins for your child, additional supplements may be beneficial during sickness, cold and flu season, or in the instance that your child is a picky eater.

Vitamin C is one of the most essential vitamins for children due to its antioxidant properties that help ward off sickness. Vitamin C is found naturally in foods such as oranges, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes and broccoli.

Vitamin D is another important vitamin for children and is obtained from both food and sun exposure.

Much research has linked vitamin D to healthy immune systems, and recommendations state that children should have safe sun exposure for 20-30 minutes a day to boost their levels.

In instances where this is not possible, a supplement may be beneficial.

Other immunity boosting vitamins and supplements include zinc, Echinacea, and probiotics.

Cutting out sugar

While the occasional cake, chocolate or biscuit is fine, a regular diet laden with sugar is not.

Sugar has been linked with the dampening of children’s immune systems, and sugar overloads can trigger a dip in immune functioning for up to six hours.

Try to avoid obvious sugar laden foods wherever possible and be aware of hidden sugars in processed foods.


One of the most natural ways to boost your child’s immunity is by ensuring that they are getting adequate hours of sleep.

If your child is sleep deprived, their immune system is negatively impacted and their body’s ability to fight off infection is low.

Ongoing sleep deficiency can mean your child may have trouble fighting off even the smallest of infections.

Recommended hours of sleep for children are: Children 1-2 years: 11 to 14 hoursPreschoolers 3-5 years: 11 to 13 hoursSchool children 6-13 years: 9 to 11 hours


Research has shown that regular and moderate exercise may help improve your child’s immunity as it increases white blood cell activity and its circulation throughout the body.

On the flipside, too much exercise can have a negative effect as a child will become overtired and their immune system overworked.

According to government guidelines, children aged between 1-5 should be physically active every day for at least three hours, spread throughout the day.

Children aged between 5-17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.

EDITORIAL: When thin is far from healthy

Children as young as eight battling anorexia

A NEW day program at James Fletcher House for adults seeking treatment for eating disorders is a welcome addition to the Hunter Region’s specialist health services.

Designed to treat people without resorting to hospital admission – while catering for those at ‘‘high risk’’ having finished hospital treatment – the James Fletcher program will cater for eight people at a time over a 12-week course.

Against this, credible estimates have as many as 8000 people living with eating disorders in the Hunter, with as many as 1000 of that number being young people aged between 10 and 14.

As Hunter New England Health eating disorder co-ordinator Melissa Hart acknowledges, ‘‘family therapy’’ is still the key treatment for children with clinically significant eating disorders.

The two most significant of these conditions are anorexia nervosa – where sufferers become dangerously under-weight – and bulimia nervosa, or binge eating followed by purging.

The term anorexia was coined in the 1870s by Sir William Gull, a physician to Queen Victoria, but it has taken until the modern era to affect people in the numbers it does today.

Fletcher resident Amber Walter, who has opened up about her battles to encourage others, describes anorexia as a ‘‘sneaky, clever illness’’ that is ‘‘incredibly difficult to treat’’.

Its complexity means it is as much a reflection of our modern society as a condition affecting people as individuals.

Anorexia was originally found mostly among people whose pursuits required, or resulted in, a thin physique: high-level athletics, dancing and modelling are the three obvious examples.

But it long ago left those small cliques, and is now firmly established in the mainstream population, although it remains far more prevalent among girls and women than among boys and men.

For girls and young women especially, the importance that society places on looks – and its equation of being thin with being healthy – results in enormous pressure to conform to popular norms of appearance.

And now, on top of the countless magazines and their impossibly air-brushed cover models, comes the viral world of social media, with a whole new set of sites and images to heighten the impact on vulnerable teenage girls.

While some youngsters will grow out of an obsession with being thin, others will not, and the sad reality is that anorexia, at its worst, can be a killer.

The complex nature of the condition calls for proper funding of a range of treatments for what is clearly a significant public health issue. Parents concerned about their children should seek help and advice. And all of us should heed Ms Walter’s words highlighting the importance of ‘‘a community of acceptance and understanding’’.

MICHAEL McGOWAN: Port needs fresh start

Port Stephens mayor Bruce MacKenzie

ON Tuesday night, at the Port Stephens Council’s farcical meeting, the words ‘‘vote grabbing’’ kept coming up.

The councillors, in fits of indignation that kept bubbling throughout the three-hour verbal combat session, berated one another for putting on performances for the packed public gallery, and, presumably, for the ratepayers who would hear about it later.

The mayor, Bruce MacKenzie, accused councillor Geoff Dingle of vote grabbing for his opposition to the subdivision of 4.3hectares of Boomerang Park in Raymond Terrace. Cr Dingle, in turn, likened Cr MacKenzie’s support for it as same. If that’s true, they went about it the wrong way.

Tuesday’s spectacle was so unedifying that it would be hard to mount an argument that anyone in the room came out of it with their reputation improved.

From Steve Tucker’s public apology for disparaging comments he made about Peter Kafer before the state election, to Cr Kafer and Ken Jordan’s bizarre shouting match prompted by, of all things, their knowledge of crystal meth addiction.

Even some members of the gallery behaved churlishly, interjecting so frequently that at one point the meeting had to take a 15 minute adjournment.

From Newcastle, the view of the Port Stephens Council, when one is formed, is generally of an enigmatic basket case led under the quasi-dictatorial influence of Cr MacKenzie.

Events like Tuesday’s meeting might almost be dismissed as par for the course, but the truth is that it was a release that has been building. It was only the third meeting of its new term, in October 2012, that councillors voted to include a reference to Jesus in their council prayer at the behest of conservative Christian councillor Sally Dover.

Cr Dover had run third in the mayoral race and directed her preferences to Cr MacKenzie over Cr Dingle. The new prayer, and Cr Dover’s installation as deputy, were widely interpreted as part of the arrangement.

It was a cynical and predictably divisive decision, made only to appease an ally and assure an unbeatable majority in the chamber. It set the tone for the kind of forceful leadership that prompted Tuesday night’s unloading of grievances from the public, led by new Labor MP Kate Washington.

The imposing majority that Cr MacKenzie controls was detailed in the Newcastle Herald’s Bruce Almighty investigation last year, and he has shown no hesitation to use it.

When Cr MacKenzie states that he is confident a controversial issue will pass the council, it is a faith well-founded in fact.

This, of course, is not an issue in and of itself. Voting blocs exist in every council, though hopefully, unlike Port Stephens, they are more faithfully disclosed before elections.

And it would be unfair on Cr MacKenzie and his disciples to ignore that they have achieved things this term.

However too many decisions – most notably the awarding in 2013 of a Williamtown sand lease to a Nathan Tinkler-backed company against the recommendations of council staff, a decision that continues to haunt them – seem not to have been made with just the interests of ratepayers in mind.

So, back to vote grabbing. Whether anyone was performing for votes, which is doubtful, it seemed clear on Tuesday that the councillors had next year’s local government elections on their mind. The question at this point is, will the new council look any different?

Both Cr MacKenzie and his most obvious opponent, Cr Dingle, are coy on the matter of whether they will run again. The truth, though they would be unlikely to admit it publicly, is that if they do, they may be motivated by their mutual and seething dislike for one another.

Cr Jordan’s landslide loss in the state election after Cr MacKenzie publicly backed him is at least a hint that his once-legendary appeal has dimmed, and Cr Dinglehas as many detractors as he has admirers.

Of the others already on the council, John Nell is perhaps the only one who enjoys the respect of both sides, but he is unlikely to want the job. Cr Tucker and Cr Jordan, both Liberal Party members, are the obvious candidates.

Tuesday night showed that this is a council in need of fresh voices, unburdened by years of grievances and allegiances.

Protesters outside Port Stephens council this week.

OPINION: Good blokes may not win premierships

THERE has been a lot of talk and focus on community engagement as a goal of the Newcastle Knights, and that’s fair enough.

Do you remember the scenes of euphoria witnessed at the civic reception, days after the 1997 grand final win? The thousands that were present and the hundreds of thousands throughout the valley could not have felt more a part of the club. That’s community engagement.

Today, we find a club that is ‘‘strategically focused’’ on regaining the community’s engagement. I reckon we should be more focused on winning and making the tough decisions that will lead to that.

In 1988 I became one of only 600 foundation members of the Newcastle Knights. I was at the Sydney Football Stadium for the grand final win against Manly in 1997 and in the front row screaming my lungs out when we won against Parra in 2001.

My wife says that I am a nicer person to be around when the Knights win. In short, I care, perhaps too much, about the red and blue.

As someone who is a member of the Knights community, the business community and the Hunter community generally, I feel the need to speak out about what is bugging me about the Knights.

I don’t know Rick Stone, but everyone says he is a good, if not great, bloke. Brian McGuigan sounds like a fine chap too, seems to get along real well with everyone. I have met Matt Gidley a couple of times and I know he’s a good bloke.

In the Knights’ opinion piece in this paper on Wednesday and reiterated at the members’ briefing on Wednesday night, there were a couple of things that caused me concern. It spoke of the importance of community engagement. It spoke of the Knights being a business. It spoke of restoring pride, of culture and of values, all of which I applaud and support.

But winning is not a by-product of this collective effort, as stated, it is the way to achieve community engagement, and that’s where I believe the club may have lost its way.

Winning will bring back the fans and make the problems disappear. Winning should be the ultimate aim, of course underpinned by values and culture.

The column also said that our team will include the best locals. I strongly support junior development as a focus, but shouldn’t it be a matter of performance not postcode?

The questions I ask of the club are: Have we let being ‘‘good blokes’’ get in the way of making tough decisions that will lead to success?

Has the management and board displayed enough of a steely edge to return us to being a winning club? Is the current culture at board and management level too comfortable and relaxed?

I don’t want our club to be mediocre and middle of the pack. I want the focus to be on winning, not just on being good blokes. Community engagement is indeed important, but it is not the end game. The end game is winning and being the most dominant force in the NRL. Engagement will come with that.

In the words of Vince Lombardi, the American Football coaching legend: ‘‘Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing’’.

I don’t agree 100per cent but I think the current strategic emphasis and culture need to be disrupted and refocused.

Greg Mowbray is a business and leadership consultant, Knights tragic and foundation member.

OPINION: Changing the conversation

We need to give more support to people following a suicide attempt.WE’VE come a long way in Australia. When I first started attending national suicide prevention conferences over a decade ago, we were lucky to get 100 people in the room, with a pretty homogenous audience of researchers, policy makers and clinicians.

But things have changed. This week the National Suicide Prevention Conference was held in Hobart with almost 400 people in attendance. Yes, it included researchers, policy makers and clinicians, but we also had politicians, commissioners, people working in Indigenous health, those representing the LGBTI community, workplaces, technology providers, media, and a very large contingent of people with lived experience of suicide who are changing the conversation.

In a climate where we are still waiting for the government to act on the National Mental Health Commission’s review of mental health and suicide prevention, you might expect some complacency. But there was very little of that.

Instead, people from all around Australia, across different industries and from varied backgrounds, came together to talk about what we need to do next in suicide prevention.

Here are some of the key points I took away from the conference that are relevant to all of us.

We need to take action when we know what to do. While further research is important, we have good evidence for a range of strategies that work in suicide prevention. What we need to do is better connect the research to our practice, and ensure that our work is co-ordinated at a regional level so it is relevant to local communities. It is not good enough to have a program that works operating in one location in Australia; it must exist in every region that needs it.

We need to acknowledge that suicide prevention is bigger than just one sector. It is about health services, schools, workplaces, the media, governments, families and communities all playing their part. But to play that part, we need to invest in good workforce development so all of these sectors have the knowledge and skills to contribute. No longer is suicide prevention training a skill that just some people need, we all need it.

We must value and listen to people with lived experience of suicide. They have a wisdom that quite frankly, money just can’t buy. We must ensure we keep them at the centre of our planning and delivery of suicide prevention approaches. We must also include them in how we communicate about suicide. Besides, who is better placed to get the message out to people who are doing it tough that things can be different?

We need to do more about supporting people following a suicide attempt. We know that a previous attempt is one of the biggest risk factors for death by suicide, yet too often people are turned away from services or discharged from a service without the ongoing support they need. If we want to turn around our national suicide rates, we must make this a priority immediately.

Finally, we need to acknowledge that until we address many of the underlying problems such as social disadvantage, family violence, childhood trauma, discrimination and racism, we will be ineffective. Everyone who cares about health, wellbeing and suicide prevention should care deeply about these issues and not stay silent about things that matter.

Conferences are a great time to reflect on current practice, learn from others and connect with new partners across diverse sectors. But the test of how effective these events are will be measured in the changes we enact together over the coming year.

If you are interested in learning more about suicide prevention locally, the Hunter Institute of Mental Health will be hosting a breakfast event on August 13, where I will be joined by international suicide prevention expert Professor Nav Kapur and chief executive of Suicide Prevention Australia, Ms Sue Murray. We will also launch the Hunter Suicide Prevention Collaborative – demonstrating the commitment from local services for local solutions.

For more information and tickets to the suicide prevention events on August 13, visit stickytickets杭州夜网m.au/27263.

For more information on how to talk about suicide visit conversationsmatter杭州夜网m.au For support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline杭州夜网.au

Jaelea Skehan is director of the Hunter Institute of Mental Health

TONY BUTTERFIELD: A stumble on the way forward

Knights CEO Matt Gidley, Knights Chairman Brian McGuigan and Knights Board member John Quayle at a meeting talking about sacking of Knights Coach Rick Stone. Picture: Simone De Peak THE Newcastle way?

The story of Rick Stone’s departure from the Knights has been well covered this week. And so it should, given his role at the helm steering the club away from the Tinkler iceberg and into less troubled waters.

But the ship has continued to suffer from the damage of more than a decade of bumps and gashes, rendering its financial keel exposed, an ownership structure in flux and its very future in doubt. The recent form of the team on the field and waning appeal off it has only served to hasten inevitable decisions for the new Knights board.

And so, presumably deferring to its football committee, which it must be said with unfeigned respect apart from John Quayle lack real football-specific experience, the board did what boards do – make hard decisions. Matt Gidley, as CEOs do, delivered the bad news to his employee, and Stone was sacked.

Some are saying it may have been the right decision done the wrong way.

Was it ideal to spear him now? With six games left in the season? Wayne Bennett was allowed to see his season out. Likewise, Geoff Toovey. Even Phil Stubbins. Was this really the Newcastle way?

I mean, the potential for a couple of wins with Bedsy at the helm, as great as it will be to see, hardly warrants denying a loyal club man a chance to finish what he started with the blokes he started it with. Not to mention leaving with some public sense of dignity – after all, he is a home-grown servant.

Now, what a private business does with its employees is none of my business – unless that business actively seeks to engage, entice and embrace me in cultural and economic exchange. Then I expect consistency and authenticity in management, whereby they, if only in my mind as a fan, become accountable.

It follows that these decisions of senior management, not unlike the way players are expected to interact in the community or represent on the national stage, must also be in accord with those very same values that they say make our club unique.


In that regard, the irony wasn’t lost on the gathered journos who attended Monday’s media scrum when the ‘‘Newcastle Way’’ was rolled out in the form of a strategic vision for the club. With all that was going on, it probably lacked for a bit of timing. Every journo was naturally focused on the here and now, rather than any road map to the future.

When the dust has settled, Matt Gidley will get his chance to better spread his positive message for the future. But for now and Rick Stone, former coach of the Newcastle Knights, it can rightly be said he did his best with what he had.

His contribution to the club, and the game, to this point, is a testament to his work ethic, his generous nature and his love of a sport he played with his old man.

And, while he may walk away disappointed in his treatment this close to Mad Monday, he’s not the type to dwell too long on things he can’t control. Rather, I expect he’ll focus on his family and how fortunate he has been to step out on the big stage for his home town and fulfil a dream. Bali sounds nice.

Thanks Rick and good luck.

COMETH the hour, cometh the man. Danny Buderus has taken the reins of the Knights and he, least of all, knows where things might end up. But he’s as game as ever and I reckon would have been mad to knock it back. I mean, it’s what he does.

What players and management do now in response to the situation they helped create is a matter for them. But there will be strained relations indeed in the stands if players and support staff don’t aim up for their new first-grade coach and No.1 son, Danny Bodacious.

WITH the NRL competition starting down a long home straight, players and fans alike wouldn’t be human if they didn’t sneak a thought about what might be. You’ve seen the opposition and you have decided – we can do this. We can win this thing!

I thought as the competition rounds wind down to the long weekend in October, I’d touch each week on the history of grand finals starting with the very first decade and a bit:

1908 – A nine-team competition in a fledgling professional code does well to attract 4000 paying spectators to its first grand final at the old Sydney Showground. Souths are too good for Easts led by H (Jersey) Flegg in the start of a great rivalry that simmers to this day.

1909 – The unthinkable – Balmain refuse to play the GF as a curtain-raiser to a ‘Wallabies v Kangaroos’ exhibition match. Souths duly turn up to kick off, regather and score to claim another title. Incidentally, the first Newcastle team actually beat Souths in the last round only to go down to them in the semi-final. This was Newcastle’s last game in the big time for 79 years.

1910 – The Newtown Bluebags beat the mighty Rabbitohs on countback after a 4-4 draw.

1911 – The Glebe club has its one and only chance of winning a grand final before its demise in 1929. Hopes for the inner-city club rest squarely on his shoulders of 1908 London Olympics gold medal-winning Wallabies captain Chris McKivat. Alas, selected to captain the Kangaroo tour leaving two weeks before the finals, McKivat and his foundation club are to remain forever uncrowned, losing 11-8 to Easts in the first of their three consecutive premierships.

1912 – Easts become the first team to win the premiership without playing a final. Their captain, Dally Messenger, mesmerises crowds wherever he plays, having stood down from rep duty. Continuing to build his legend, a penalty kick at goal of more than ‘‘65 yards’’ is one of the highlights of the year as the old leather ball dissects the posts for a dramatic 9-8 win over arch enemies Souths.

1913 – Easts again win the premiership without playing a final as an indication of the skills brought to bear by Messenger and the finest team of the game’s early years. After three premierships as captain, Messenger retires having set in place the cornerstone of a not-so-grateful game.

1914 – The emergence of Souths ‘‘wonder winger’’ Harold Horder (19 tries in 14 games) is enough to get the Bunnies back in the winners’ circle. Again no final is played before WWI breaks out across Europe and thoughts turn to the mother country, duty and travel.

1915 – Balmain storm the competition undefeated to win their maiden premiership.

1916 – The Tigers’ dominance continues, winning the grand final in all three grades for the second year running. In first grade, ghosts of indignities past spur on the Tigers to down the cocky Souths 5-3 on July 26 at the SCG.

1917 – Arthur ‘‘Pony’’ Halloway captains the Tigers to the title after they led the field throughout. No final is played and Souths again are runners-up.

1918 – Harold Horder continues to score tries, setting a record of 21 that stands for more than 35 years. Souths are again premiers without playing a final.

1919-20 – League legend Halloway again takes the Tigers to consecutive premierships, capping off an amazing career at every level of the game. A testimonial game is played that nets the veteran 100 pounds.