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Australian Author, Journalist, Speaker
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    Hoorah for January,  the best month of the year. Only New Year heralds a respectable chance to wipe the slate clean and, armed with resolutions, to begin anew on this adventure called life. The best attraction of the first month, though, is that it shuts the door so effectively on all the downsides and disappointments […]

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    Is there anything as sweet and alluring to the eye than Christmas Day desserts?  Ours were a delicious trifle which was a treat for the eye as well as the taste buds and a home-made Christmas pudding with an aroma to capture the spirit of the season. Yet I cannot take credit for either and admit […]

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    It is a once-in-a-lifetime moment  at, arguably, Australia’s most controversial spot – the mouth of the mighty River Murray. Today, the mouth is open and a mere sliver of blue waters run from the river to the sea, but until recently, dredging machines 24 hours a day were needed to stop it silting over. We […]

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  • 01/17/13--04:11: Diversity in Aged Care
  • The Federal Government’s national ageing and aged care policies move beyond mainstream to diversity. The Federal Government has released its first national ageing and aged care strategy for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people and for those from different ethnic backgrounds. Initiatives include sensitivity training for the aged care workforce and a review […]

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    So much for the idyllic Sunshine State! Brisbane seems to be drowning in a cyclonic drenching and 80km winds lash relentlessly around the Queenslander house built on stilts where my daughter lives, luckily high on a hill. However, the lower suburbs and restaurants along the banks of the Brisbane River are flooded and it is […]

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    Tom Hooper’s musical version of the Victor Hugo novel, Les Miserables,a classic tale of romance, morality and crushing poverty in revolutionary France, is spell-binding. This is due in no small measure to the astonishing performance of ex-convict Jean  Valjean by Aussie actor Hugh Jackman. Valjean, a credible thief, who does his hard time for 19 […]

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      Paris chiefs have finally told women they can ‘wear the trousers’ after a 213-year-old ban on wearing such clothing was revoked as “incompatible’’ with contemporary French society. Back in 1800 law-makers had originally issued the order forcing women to seek permission from police if they wanted to ‘dress like a man’. Of course, this […]

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  • 02/18/13--04:03: Frankie is a champ at tennis
  •   Whatever happens to ageing rockers? Ask Frank Sebastyan, former sensational lead singer of Frankie and the In Sect rock band and he will tell you his sporting success story. Forget about the microphone, Frankie now wields a tennis racket and played for South Australia in Perth at the Tennis Seniors Australia Championships in January. […]

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    A belated but hearty congratulations to palliative care Godfather, Emeritus Professor  Ian Maddocks, who was named Senior Australian of the Year 2013. My heart jumped with joy at the news as I played a small part supporting his nomination by another South Australian, whose wife had recently been diagnosed with a terminal disease. The media […]

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    BY JEANETTE COOMBES   Certainly, this is not my best look! No Akubra for me, but the fly net is a must at Mt Barry working on a cattle station in the far north of South Australia in January.   The weather has been kinder today. Only 37 – not yesterday’s 47! The water in […]

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    Mad March heralds Autumn and farewells the most extraordinary summer in my memory.  It seemed at one stage the whole of New South Wales was burning in an ominous scattering of more than 100 bushfires. They followed Tasmania’s devastating bushfires and later in summer, some of  Victoria’s national parks also burned. Here in South Australia […]

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    We have one life to live and it’s the experience of each moment that matters.  Curiosity; serendipity; Whatever words you wish to use; its that desire to find excitement and joy in every day which makes life a lovely adventure.    Today, for instance.  We are in the right place at the right time driving along the Semaphore foreshore […]

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  • 03/24/13--06:29: The Power of Words
  • American thinker Joseph Campbell once said “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” They are comforting words for a new widow, and a quotation which I intend to recite morning and evening. There have been other really bad […]

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    Food culture has invaded our Easter celebrations with all the birds roasted for our Sunday feast being filled with stuffings in our family’s stuff-off.  The table is set with the best china, Josephine has picked flowers for the table setting,  the potatoes are crispy and the three birds, the duck, the turkey and the chicken, […]

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    Love is no longer all you need for happiness, the world’s oldest longitudinal study has found. As we age, if we acquire emotional intelligence  – the ability to cope with whatever life dishes out – has proven to be a critical factor according to the Grant Study of Adult Development. Findings from the study, which ran […]

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    Ex-pat journalist Emma-Kate Symons sums up French president Francois Hollande’s bumbling performance in his first 12 months in office in two words – Quel catastrophe! From her first-hand perch in the country, she reports that there is panic at the Elysee presidential palace as France, the second-biggest economy in Europe, fails to lift itself out […]

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      Some blokes have all the luck. Take popular yachtie vice-commodore of the Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club Locky McLaren  spend last Sunday motoring his yacht loaded with a bunch of female friends, including his wife,  my dear friend Jayne and my neighbour, dear friend Chris, three other girlfriends and myself on the River Murray from Goolwa to Clayton Bay.  As […]

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    Renowned healthcare advocate, Dr Judith Roberts, has warned that any Federal Government funding cuts to cancer screening programs would result in rising death rates from the dreaded disease. Dr Roberts, a former president of Cancer Council Australia and chair of Cancer Council SA,  says the community needs to be reassured that life-saving screenings for breast […]

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      Australian bush outfitter R.M. Williams has pulled off a dream deal. French fashion house Louis Vuitton has bought just under 50 per cent of its iconic designs tailored for stylish “colts and fillies”. Rather than rue the French buy-up of a famous national label R.M. Williams chef    Ken Cowley says he hopes his new […]