Brave journalist risks her life to tell the truth

Imagine what it is like to live in a corrupt country where the people are not free and the society illiberal. An unlucky country where people have bullets rained down on them for asking questions. This is what is like to be a journalist in Cambodia. Now let me introduce the remarkable young woman named […]

Fiery Khadija fights the horror of genital mutilation

“A-lo!” She shouted down the line. (A mutual friend had warned me that the Sierra Leone-born Australian was “full-on”, “fiery”.) I took the phone away from my ear and placed it on speaker so I could better hear the electric mix of loud, bouncing West African intonations and subtle Australian inflexions bubbling from the phone. […]

Electric cars generating more interest

Electric cars on Australian roads lead the charge to a zero-emission future, but how soon will they become popular? Newsbytes asked a range of people, including car experts and members of the public, to find a mixture of views. Mitsubishi released the first mass-produced electric car to Australia’s fleet and government market in late 2010, […]

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 […]

Simple tribute a testimony to Anzac Day spirit

For every major Dawn Service around the country, there are hundreds of smaller, more modest services to commemorate Anzac Day in regional Australia. Our reporter found the simple service at Springbrook, west of the Gold Coast an uplifting experience. It’s around half past four on Anzac Day and it’s pitch black on the Springbrook plateau. […]

After the flood

Of course you must stay with us, I assured my suddenly homeless son. For as long as it takes to rebuild. Which could be weeks, I thought, looking at the muddied wreck that had been home for the family of four. We’d seized as many of their possessions as we could, splashing through the rapidly […]

Tea lovers spoilt for choice

Sitting down to a good cuppa is not what it used to be.   Gone are the days of a cup of traditional black tea with a dash of milk and teaspoon of sugar.   Instead we have hibiscus, white dragon, rose and French vanilla flavours – all growing in popularity as young and old […]

How Formula One improves our cars

With Australian Mark Webber (pictured) among the leaders in the 2011 Formula One series, it gives us spur to ponder the impact this global sport has had on our ordinary road cars over the years. Webber recorded the fastest lap at Abu Dhabi this month and is fourth overall. Ever wondered why brakes work better […]

How I tried to make a meal of Megadeath

Off the Wall Diner is a humble burger joint in Wellington Point that says without hyperbole and on the authority of Guinness World Records that it makes the world’s spiciest burger. The technical measure of spice heat is a “Scoville unit”. By virtue of some secret chilli concoction, Off the Wall’s “Megadeath Burger” has a […]

Juggers play it fast and furious in New Farm

It looked like the rehearsal of a medieval battle scene. People fighting with swords and spears, wearing track pants and t-shirts, were thrown into relief against a darkening sky in New Farm park. The mystery was solved when someone handed me a green leaflet that said: Jugger. Jugger is a game based on the 1989 […]

Award for couple who fostered 130 kids

Humble grandparents from a remote property in Logan Village have finally been given the recognition they deserve after dedicating their lives to fostering children. Last week Wayne and Eileen Hughes were awarded the 2011 Foster and Kinship Excellence Award for Queensland’s south-east region at a special ceremony in Queensland’s Parliament House. Every year carers are […]

Ash Grunwald loves that life on the road

Ash Grunwald’s music is a mix of grungy folk dashed with a side of electric blues. His latest tour, “The Road Dog Diaries”, was named simply for the road tripping lifestyle he’s adopted. “It comes from the title of my blog and it is basically what I am – a road dog. Always moving and […]

Need a Council story? Just make it up

It seemed like a relatively straightforward task for Newbytes trainee journalist Abanob Saad, but it resulted in extraordinary behaviour from some of Brisbane City Council’s “media advisors”. Saad’s job was to research and write a news story about the BCC’s recent installation of speakers and Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) in Fortitude Valley and the Brisbane […]

‘Some days are diamonds’ – helping the handicapped

Sandwiched between a stairwell and office space in a narrow Brisbane side street are the modest, compact headquarters of community radio station for the print handicapped (4RPH). Catering to the vision impaired, the station was started by philanthropic Greek businessman, the late Spero Dragona. The first broadcast of an hour-long newspaper reading aired in 1982. […]

A new way of doing politics?

“Weird” was former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s description of the Liberal National Party bombshell in Queensland. “Either the smartest thing the LNP ever did or the dumbest thing they ever did,” said former Queensland Labor premier Peter Beattie, seemingly with grudging respect at the chutzpah of the deed. For Campbell Newman had suddenly quit as […]

They don’t sell razor wire at Bunnings

My dear late mother always said when one door closes another opens. How right she was. Confined to my home – can’t drive, can’t walk – after a really stupid domestic accident, I find myself increasingly bereft of my loss of mobility and freedom. Each day is the same. After reading the morning newspaper, being […]

Jschool recognises a mighty Oakes

Canberra press gallery mainstay and Channel 9 political editor Laurie Oakes received an honorary doctorate from Brisbane’s Jschool at the college’s graduation ceremony last week. “I’m not much into gongs and awards usually, but this recognition from a journalism college that’s fast making a mark is something I do value,” he said. “I had virtually […]

Commentary: Council pushes right not to know

Some Brisbane City Council staff seem to have missed the point of legislation that gives citizens the right to access information it holds. During the past several months Newbytes journalists, reporting the news to inform the public, have routinely been fobbed off, denied information and subjected to intimidation. Newsbytes acknowledges the BCC media office receives hundreds […]

Forgotten city lane gets new lease of life

With a rich and chequered history closely linked to Brisbane’s penal colony origins, Burnett Lane is the first narrow CBD road to undergo transformation as part of Brisbane City Council’s “Vibrant Laneway” program. In former days the lane played host to convict barracks, Stewart’s Ales, a post office, Queensland’s first Methodist Church and numerous businesses. […]

Once a year the day is full of knights

Every winter they put their modern lives on hold to cram tents, armour, swords and axes into trucks and station wagons for the trip to Caboolture, along the Bruce Highway and back in time. These are the Abbey Medieval Tournament’s reenactors, everyday people who don the garb of knights, maidens, scribes and artisans to celebrate […]

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