John Williamson – a true blue Aussie

John Williamson is as Australian as Holden cars and Vegemite. He’s in the ARIA hall of fame, has 24 golden guitars and has sold more than four million albums. After more than 40 years in the industry he’s just released his 48th and possibly his final album. John started his career on the Melbourne talent show New Faces where he performed what he calls “a silly song”… “Old Man Emu”. “I wrote ‘Old Man Emu’ and that’s when I realised... Read More

White wreath day recalls suicide victims

Families and friends of suicide victims gathered in a moving memorial service at Post Office Square to mark White Wreath Day. White Wreath Association founder Fanita Clark fought back tears as she delivered her speech to onlookers. “What you see here today takes 12 months to organise. But what we are here for is to raise money to build safe haven centres. We’re here to keep the living alive,” she said. The association was founded after Ms Clark’s only son Jason... Read More

Indigenous soldiers ‘created first steps to reconciliation’

Indigenous men who served in the First World War alongside white comrades created the stepping-stones to reconciliation, an Aboriginal war veteran said today. Speaking at the Indigenous Veterans Ceremony at the Shine of Remembrance in Brisbane, George Bostock said World War I was a special chapter in history for indigenous and non-indigenous relations and should be properly recognised. “This was their time and their opportunity to be free of therestrictions they had encountered... Read More

Street poll: Drones OK for crime control

A Newsbytes street poll has found people are not concerned about the idea of high-tech surveillance drones as long as they are used only for crime control. Queensland Police could trial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the near future. Queensland Council for Civil Liberties president Michael Cope said he didn’t want to ban UAVs but insisted they should be regulated. “If police are going to use these things they need to be authorised by a warrant issued by a judge like... Read More

Review: Bitter Greens

Kate Forsyth’s novel Bitter Greens interleaves the scandalous life of Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de la Force (1650-1724) with Persinette (“Little Parsley”), her retelling of Petrosinella – the first published Rapunzel tale – by Giambattista Basile (1634). Mademoiselle de la Force changed the ending to have the prince’s eyes healed by Persinette’s tears and to redeem the witch. Kate Forsyth excels at historical fiction and pays meticulous attention... Read More

Australian women pay more for disease test

Australian women still pay extra for a more efficient cervical disease test which costs nothing in the UK, USA and parts of New Zealand. The National Cervical Screening Renewal Program is reviewing the conventional Pap smear and it could be replaced as standard with the ThinPrep Pap test as soon as next year. Currently Australian women must request and pay for the ThinPrep Pap test which is clinically proven to be 27 percent more effective at detecting high-grade lesions than... Read More

Mayor refuses to rule out flood buy-back cuts

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has refused to rule out funding cuts to Brisbane’s flood buy-back scheme. Cr Quirk told today’s Brisbane City Council meeting his administration was committed to the scheme, but when asked whether funds would be cut he would not comment. “I’m not going to speculate what might or might not be in the budget,” he said. A record $10 million was set aside last year to fund the scheme which saw the council purchase 21 properties in the past... Read More

Support for Nick D’Arcy in street poll

A Newsbytes street poll has found people support controversial swimmer Nick D’Arcy competing in the 200m butterfly at the London Olympics. D’Arcy will fulfil his childhood dream in just less than two months’ time when he swims for Australia at the Olympics. Nick D’Arcy was charged with assault after a brawl with former Commonwealth Games triple gold medallist Simon Cowley just hours after being named in the 2008 Olympics Swimming squad. Last December D’Arcy declared... Read More

1400 pairs of shoes tell the sorrow of lives lost on the roads

In a stark reminder of the lives lost on Australian roads each year, more than 1400 pairs of shoes lined Brisbane Square today for Fatality Free Friday. Superintendent Andy Morrow of the State Traffic Safety Branch told Newsbytes younger drivers were disproportionately represented in road toll figures. He said the most critical factor of fatal road crashes was the first two years of driving. “In the majority of cases, they are stepping from a controlled and supervised learner’s... Read More

Review: Le Havre

Le Havre is a fairy tale. Set amidst domestic shabbiness and commercial ugliness in the French port city from which it takes its name, it radiates a charm buoyant yet wistful. Finnish writer-director Aki Kaurismäki has composed a film about small miracles which is itself a small miracle. Its deceptively subdued surface shimmers with wonders and improbabilities, the whimsically incongruent blending effortlessly with the spiritually redemptive. The main character is Marcel Marx... Read More

Mayor outlines four-year plan for Brisbane

The next four years of Brisbane will be about economic growth and prosperity, according to newly re-elected lord mayor Graham Quirk. Cr Quirk (pictured) told this week’s Brisbane City Council meeting he was committed to his election promises and had a four-year-plan to make this happen. “They are visionary plans, which aren’t achieved overnight, but we will work this four-year term to achieve our vision,” Cr Quirk said. The plan includes easing traffic... Read More

Inglis sets record with disputed try as Queensland wins first Origin clash

Queensland won the first game of the 2012 State of Origin series in a thrilling but controversial 18 to 10 win over New South Wales in Melbourne last night. A full house of 56,000 fans packed Etihad stadium to witness rugby league at its toughest level. NSW started the game well scoring in the 6th minute but a failed conversion attempt from Todd Carney was one of the turning points of the match. Crucial errors from king fullback Billy Slater gave NSW some good scoring opportunities... Read More

Queensland Speaker stresses importance of educated media

It is important that an educated media cover state and national politics, Queensland Parliament’s new speaker, Fiona Simpson, said this week. In a talk to Jschool Journalism College students at Parliament House, Ms Simpson (pictured) stressed the importance of a well-educated media presence in politics. “It is absolutely critical that we have an educated media,” Ms Simpson said. She also said it was important to have a free press. Ms Simpson, who was a journalist... Read More

Endeavour sails home in triumph

Leading a parade of sails across Sydney Harbour, HMB Endeavour returned home on Monday after her first circumnavigation of Australia. Under fair skies, the Australian-built replica of Captain Cook’s ship Endeavour received an enthusiastic escort led by the tug Endeavour and sister tall-ships James Craig and Southern Swan. Startling sea-gulls, she fired her cannon in salute under Sydney Harbour Bridge and again as she docked at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling... Read More

Greek festival supports Aboriginal protestors

After being forcibly removed from Musgrave Park last week to make way for the annual Paniyiri Festival, Aboriginal protestors today joined in celebrations with the Greek community. Indigenous dancers gave a Welcome to Country ceremony to show that their quarrel was with local and state government, not the festival organisers. More than 200 police forced the dismantling of Musgrave Park’s tent embassy on Wednesday, resulting in 31 arrests. But today and yesterday tens of... Read More

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