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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Outback nurse, Gayle Woodford murdered

Gayle Woodford

It's a tragic situation.  A nurse with a kind heart, Gayle Woodford 56, who dedicated her life to helping Aboriginal people living in remote communities, was found buried in a shallow grave on Saturday.

She was last seen three days earlier at Arangu Pitjantjaatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, 1200 kms north west of Adelaide.

Dudley Davey 34, has been charged with her murder.

Nurses working in remote communities have been at risk for years but it's taken Ms Woodford's tragic death to bring attention to their plight and we begin to understand how dangerous their job really is.

There have been incidents of attempted rape, having stones thrown at them and their ambulances, threatened with iron bars, and in one case, an axe was thrown at a nurse, missing her by inches.

Former APY nurse Louise Johnson wrote "I worked on the same lands as Gayle, drove the same ambulance, nursed at the same clinic and stayed in the same house a few years ago - I was unsafe, unsupported, overworked, under-appreciated and racially abused."

The bottom line is that nurses are required to work alone and calls for sending them out in pairs - the only sensible solution - is going to require double the funding.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation state secretary Elizabeth Dabars said it had long lobbied for an end to single nursing posts.  "It's absolutely an abomination that it's taken another tragedy to bring attention to this important issue" she said.

The distraught family of the much-loved nurse has spoken out about their grief.

Her son Garry Woodford said the 56 year old was a 'beautiful, loving wife and mother who wanted to make a difference to people's lives through her nursing and caring for others.'

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Revenge is real in Tony Abbott's electorate

ex PM on a wave at Noosa  over the weekend

Tony Abbott's supporters in his seat of Warringah on the Northern Beaches of Sydney have refused to help other LNP marginal seat MPs who backed Malcolm Turnbull in last September's leadership spill.

Mr Abbott went out of his way to help Fiona Scott win the Sydney seat of Lindsay, but she won't be getting any support from the Abbott camp this time around.

The 600 party members of Warringah are upset to say the least.

Fiona Scott

"There is an enormous level of discontent within the Warringah conference towards Fiona Scott for her betrayal of Tony Abbott - people are gobsmacked that she could do that after their support for her last time", one member said.

"There are hundreds of members in Warringah who worked very hard to support her last time and it will be extremely difficult to get people to go back to Penrith (an outer Sydney western suburb) which is a very long way, when they don't hold her in high regard."

Instead, they will be supporting Karen McNamara in Dobell, Craig Kelly in Hughes and Ann Sudmalis in Gilmore.

All three voted against Malcolm Turnbull in the leadership ballott.

In NSW, there are 14 safe so-called "donor" seats that raise money for marginal "donee" seats that require more resources and if these angry Abbott supporters get their way, traitors won't be getting any.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Bravo for Assad - he is a vile tyrant but he saved Palmyra from Isil

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British politician, popular historian and journalist who has served as Mayor of London since 2008 and as Member of Parliament for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since 2015.

The Syrian regime, with military help from Russia, is succeeding where the West has failed.

9:00PM BST 27 Mar 2016

I suppose it is bizarre to feel such joy at the military success of one of the vilest regimes on earth. But I cannot conceal my elation as the news comes in from Palmyra and it is reported that the Syrian army is genuinely back in control of the entire Unesco site.

There may be booby traps in the ruins, but the terrorists are at last on the run. Hooray, I say. Bravo – and keep going. Yes, I know. Assad is a monster, a dictator. He barrel-bombs his own people. His jails are full of tortured opponents. He and his father ruled for generations by the application of terror and violence – and yet there are at least two reasons why any sane person should feel a sense of satisfaction at what Assad’s troops have accomplished.

The first is that no matter how repulsive the Assad regime may be – and it is – their opponents in Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) are far, far worse. These are the people who have carved out this foul statelet in the desert, this dark star whose tractor beam of evil has sucked in so many pathetic would-be jihadists from Britain and other countries in western Europe. These are the nutjobs whose hideous ideology expressed itself again last week at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station.

They somehow claim a religious justification for the murder and maiming of hundreds of innocent civilians. Assad’s regime may be thuggish and brutal and callous and evil in its own way. But these people are warped and sick almost beyond belief. They burn people alive – simply for holding to a slightly different version of Islam. They throw gays off cliffs or out of windows. They put their opponents in cages and then lower those cages into swimming pools, all filmed to the accompaniment of their droning music and their pompous commentary.

They are engaged in what can only be called genocide of the poor Yazidis (though for some baffling reason the Foreign Office still hesitates to use the term genocide). They are a threat to our security in Europe; they are a nightmare for the people of Syria. If ever a group of terrorists deserved to be wiped off the face of the Earth, to be expunged from the roll of the human race – that group is Isil.

And then there is a second reason why I rejoice at the news from Palmyra – and although I am aware that for many people this is a very secondary consideration, it is, for me, of deep emotional importance. The victory of Assad is a victory for archaeology, a victory for all those who care about the ancient monuments of one of the most amazing cultural sites on Earth. The monsters of Isil were not just content to murder anyone who refused to accept their barbaric version of Islam. They were so small, so narrow, so stunted in their understanding of the will of God that they regarded any pre-Islamic building or structure – no matter how beautiful – as being somehow a blasphemy. They have mined, bombed and demolished some of the most sublime buildings in the world. They took the devoted curator of the site, Khaled al-Assad, and punished him for his scholarship by killing him in the amphitheatre.

The period in which Isil has held Palmyra – now almost a year – has been a moral and cultural catastrophe. And yes, that is why I am glad that they have been driven from the site.
On April 19, we in London will show our solidarity with Palmyra by erecting in Trafalgar Square a digitally reproduced copy of the 15-metre gateway of the Temple of Bel. The project is being led by the Institute of Digital Archaeology, and it is a joint venture with Harvard, Oxford and Dubai’s Museum of the Future.

It will not be perfect. It will not be made of the same pinkish-golden stone of that original temple gateway, which Isil has blown to atoms. It will be made of resin. But it will still look amazing, and it will symbolise our collective determination – across the world – to put this ghastly epoch behind us, and to remember that for almost 2,000 years there was a willingness on the part of every conqueror who came to Palmyra to enjoy the architecture for what it was.

That temple was sacred once to Bel; then it was a church in the Byzantine period; and then it was a mosque. No one, until these sickos, thought to destroy it. I am glad the gateway will be going up in London, because I hope it will also be a sign of our British determination to be useful in the reconstruction of the country.

It is alas very hard to claim that the success of the Assad forces is a result of any particular British or indeed Western policy. How could it be? We rightly loathe his regime and what it stands for, and for the last few years we have been engaged in an entirely honourable mission to build an opposition to Assad that was not composed simply of Isil. That effort has not worked, not so far.

It has been Putin who with a ruthless clarity has come to the defence of his client, and helped to turn the tide. If reports are to be believed, the Russians have not only been engaged in air strikes against Assad’s opponents, but have been seen on the ground as well. If Putin’s troops have helped winkle the maniacs from Palmyra, then (it pains me to admit) that is very much to the credit of the Russians. They have made the West look ineffective; and so now is the time for us to make amends, and to play to our strengths.

We have some of the greatest archaeological experts in the world. I hope that the Government will fund them to go to Syria and help the work of restoration. It is far cheaper than bombing, and more likely to lead to long-term tourism and economic prosperity. One day Syria’s future will be glorious, but that will partly depend on the world’s ability to enjoy its glorious past. British experts should be at the forefront of the project.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Brussels terror attack

At last we get the truth about why Belgium is having so much trouble with ISIS terror cells.  According to US counter terrorism officials, they haven't got a clue and likened the Belgian security forces to "children."

Brussels has allowed terror cells to flourish in the suburb of Molenbeek near the centre of the city and there have been unconfirmed reports that police are afraid to enter the area.  How on earth was this allowed to happen?

News of today's attacks was met in some parts of Washington with resigned frustration.  "Belgium has been stepping up the amount of people they're devoting to intelligence and law enforcement but they're playing catch-up and we are seeing the terrible results today" Rep. Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence said.

A frustrated US intelligence official bemoaned the state of the counter-terrorism in Belgium and across Europe.

"Even with the EU in general, there's an infiltration of jihadists that's been happening for two decades and now they are just starting to work on this.  When we have to contact these people or send our guys over to talk to them, we are essentially talking with people - I'm just going to put it bluntly - children.  These are not pro-active, they don't know what's going on....they're in's such a frightening thing to admit their country is being taken over."

The end result is that Belgium has been targeted as a base camp for violent extremists.  "Hijadists think that Europe is the soft underbelly of the West and Belgium is the soft underbelly of Europe" said French terror expert Gilles Kepel.

But it's now too late, the horse has already bolted and tracking suspect individuals is an overwhelming task.

Back in Australia, Man Monis took 17 hostages at a cafe in downtown Sydney on 15 December 2014. The siege came to a bloody end after a 16 hour standoff.

Police were criticized for the way it was handled.  They had a clear shot of him all day, in broad daylight through the cafe window but were told not to enter until he killed someone.  That decision cost two innocent lives.

So it makes me wonder if our counter terrorism people are getting advice from the wrong people - namely the British, and if this is true, we need to get some Americans to come here and tell us how it should be done.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Migrant doctors needed in rural Australia

Dr Parisa Pour Ali

Migrant doctors have a tough time getting registered in Australia, as Dr Parisa Pour Ali knows very well, coming from Iran.

After seven years medical training in Iran, it took her another two years of accreditations before she was allowed to practice in Australia.  And even though there is a shortage of doctors in rural areas, it's still very hard for them to find work.  

She endured a year of frustrating rejections before she eventually found work in Merimbula, a country town on the far south coast of NSW, a town that was part of a program to place migrant doctors.

She said that medical clinics preferred locally trained doctors.  "It's not about discrimination or racism" she said.  "Even for me, if I was a practice manager of a clinic, I would prefer to get someone who already has Australian registration.

Peter Cumming, practice manager of the clinic where Dr Pour Ali works, said the problem for rural clinics was finding doctors.

"Australian graduates won't come to the bush but migrant doctors will" he said.  "Younger, Australian-educated fully qualified general practitioners won't come to a country town because they want to pursue their careers in the cities."

And older doctors won't come because their partners refuse to leave city life or are in another profession that's not needed in the area.

The first step for a migrant doctor is to be employed "under the supervision of a GP" until they pass their exams.

Mr Cummings said in Merimbula, the clinic doctors were faced with a large population of retirees and four nursing homes.

Dr Pour Ali said she only has one complaint - the time limit on consultations.

"You have to see the patient in 10-15 minutes" she said. "Sometimes it makes me frustrated because some patients, especially in this area, are elderly and have multiple diseases." 

Mr Cumming said that Dr Pour Ali had excellent English but the problem for migrant doctors is colloquialisms and slang.

"Sometimes it's a challenge, especially when older people use some specific expression or slang and then younger people use a different slang. I have to understand, I shouldn't miss even one word because it could be a specific symptom" she said.

Mr Cumming said there were a number of valued migrant doctors in the region, filling a great need.

Dr Pour Ali still has more exams to pass before she is fully registered so the next time you visit your GP, who just happens to be a migrant, you might consider the considerable effort and hardship they have had to go through to be taking your blood pressure today.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Karen Nettleton's mission to rescue grandchildren in Syria

Karen Nettleton, the mother-in-law of notorious Australian Islamic state terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, flew to Turkey last Thursday with her solicitor to find her grandchildren.  She plans to stay in Turkey for 2-3 weeks and will wait for the children to cross the border before checking into a safe house.

Her daughter Tara converted to Islam and married Sharrouf as a teenager and snuck out of the country with their five children to join her husband in Syria.

Not long after her husband posted a picture of his young son holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier with the caption "that's my boy."

Sharrouf's 14 year old daughter was married off to his best friend, Australian terrorist Mohamed Elomar who gave birth to his baby at the end of last year.

But then in a strange twist of fate, Sharrouf and Elomar were killed and Nettleton's daughter Tara died last year from complications associated with appendix which left the five children orphans. Elomar's 15 year old wife had no choice but to take on the parental role to her siblings while taking care of her new baby.

It is understood the trip is self-funded and are accompanied by a camera crew.

So it looks like these children are allowed to come home and the daring rescue will be filmed for a block-buster 60 Minutes program or similar television event.

Nothing from the government so far and you have to wonder what they are thinking.  These boys have been holding severed heads, dripping with blood, just the type of young men Australia needs.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Where is Sharon Edwards?

Popular mother, grandmother and teacher Sharon Edwards

It's been 12 months since Sharon Edwards disappeared from her home in the country NSW town of Grafton.  Her estranged husband, John Edwards was filmed with his three adult sons soon after, distraught and between sobs, begging for any information that might lead to her whereabouts.

So here we have yet another case of a shattered husband convincing everyone, including his own children and police, that he had nothing to do with it.

Yet less than a month after she went missing, John Edwards went to police and handed in a 12-gauge pump action shotgun and directed them to two other firearms and 70 shotgun shells hidden in the bush around Grafton.  And police were still saying - after this bizarre revelation - that he wasn't a suspect.

He went to court and received a 12 month jail sentence for firearms offences in September 2015.

Now, 12 months later, police have confirmed that John Edwards is a suspect.

Ms Edwards mobile data proves she went to Lawrence that night, about 30 kilometres north of Grafton but her car was found in the driveway of her house back in Grafton, so how did she get there?  John Edwards lives in Lawrence.

Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said the nature of the couple' last meeting was crucial.  "The question of whether there was a verbal or physical aspect is of interest to us and particularly the movements of the two after that point" he said.

Police released video of Ms Edwards having dinner with friends in a pub in Grafton that night but believe she went home to change because the clothes she was wearing during dinner were in the laundry basket, her car was in the driveway but her handbag and mobile phone were missing.

" if she was in possession of her mobile phone, and travelled north to Lawrence, someone might be able to help us work out how she got there" Detective Jameson said.

John Edwards' house and nearby properties in Lawrence were searched but nothing was found and no charges have been laid so far.

Mafia alive and well in Australia

Joseph Acquaro

Melbourne lawyer for members of the Mafia, Joseph Acquaro was shot dead last Tuesday.  Police warned him there was a bounty on his head and to beef up his security but he refused, and now he's dead.

The prime suspect is Antonio 'Tony' Madafferi who police say was convinced the lawyer was leaking information to journalist Nick McKenzie, but Mr Madafferi has vehemently denied the allegation.

Tony Madafferi

Mr Acquaro, also known as Pino, had previously represented a number of prominent Italian-Australian crime figures and had strong links to the Calabrian community.

The deceased lawyer had represented Mr Madaferi's brother Frank, an alleged Mafia heavyweight who was jailed with a number of other men linked to the Calabrian Mafia in 2014 over the world's largest ecstasy bust.  He also represented at least one of Frank Madafferi's co-accused in that case.

Nick McKenzie

Madafferi was convinced that Acquaro was giving information to journalist Nick McKenzie and tried hard to find out the name of his source/s.  But McKenzie refused to name them because he knew what would happen if he did.

In reply, Mr Madafferi's lawyer, Georgina Schoff said it was "absolutely fanciful" somebody would try to "knock off" one of McKenzie's sources.

Oh really?  We know what Tony Soprano would have done.

In a separate incident, the murdered man had plenty of enemies, including one big time crime boss he represented who is currently in jail serving a hefty sentence.  Understandably, he was furious with the way he handled his defence.

So police have to figure out if Joseph Acquaro was killed because he was a bad lawyer or because he was telling tales out of school.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Anders Breivik back in court

It's hard to accept that mass murderer Anders Breivik isn't mad. Surely someone who murders 77 people can't be sane, but his conviction was based on the premise that he was not psychotic at the time of the killings.

Breivik told his lawyers to strenuously argue that he knew exactly what he was doing at the time, while the prosecution insisted he must be insane to carry out such a heinous crime.  The defence won and he was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Yesterday he was back in a make-shift court to begin his human rights case against the Norwegian government and as soon as his handcuffs were removed, he turned to the media and gave a Nazi salute.

He says his human rights have been violated by holding him in isolation in Skien prison.  His lawyer claims he has been subject to inhuman and degrading treatment which has forced him to drop out of his political science course at the University of Oslo.

His cell includes three sections for sleeping, exercise and study.  He complains that he has no views and said "I highly doubt there are worse detention facilities in Norway."

At his trial four years ago he used a clenched fist and told the world he was fighting to protect Norway and Europe from Muslim immigration.

Breivik is the only inmate in the high security wing of Skien prison. He is allowed some mail correspondence but it is strictly controlled and he's not allowed to communicate with other right-wing extremists.

The government says the restriction are well within the European Convention of Human Rights and are needed to make sure he isn't able to build military extremist networks from prison - something he would be very good at and knows there would be many like-minded people around the world lining up to join.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Boy 4, sexually abusing playmates

The people involved with this horror story, teachers who refused to report a four year old boy for sexually abusing his kindergarten playmates, both orally and anally, should be sacked.

There is only one reason why a child of this age is doing this and that's because he's been taught. Alarm bells should have rung loud and clear because there was an obvious risk that he was being sexually abused at home.

The mother of a boy at this South Australian school claims the Education Department ignored her complaints and staff refused to consider his behaviour as abusive and instead, said it was 'normal developmentally appropriate behaviour.'  

"I went to work and received a call about 2.30 pm saying my child was hysterical and the teacher was unable to calm him down" she said.  "And what my child disclosed to me has haunted our family ever since."

The young victims were removed from the school and they were forced to hire a full-time minder to watch him.

The parents pleaded with the school to expel the boy but they refused.  The South Australian Education Department said they could not force the boy's parents to get him treatment.

"The Department treats inappropriate sexualised behaviours with the utmost seriousness and any incidents of this kind are investigated and managed directly by senior staff" a spokesman said.

Well, those senior staff members should hang their heads in shame for the way they handled this matter.  The boy's parents should have been referred to the police immediately the moment the abuse was discovered.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Aboriginal 10 year old girl commits suicide

A 10 year old Aboriginal girl from a remote WA community committed suicide on Sunday and there have been 19 Indigenous suicides in WA since Christmas.

In January, the government committed $1 million to find out why but no answers are forthcoming.  

Gerry Georgatos has been chosen by the government with providing crisis support to families who have been affected.

"It's tragic that a young child would be so trapped in a sense of's a tragedy that needs to be heard across the nation" he said.

"Usually we have 30 or 40 suicides each year in WA but we are already about half-way there" he said.  

The Coroner is preparing to launch a major coronial investigation into why this is happening in remote, isolated communities in the Pilbara and Kimberley and public hearings will begin later this year.  But will we get to the truth?

Why do these children have a sense of "hopelessness?"

Mr Georgatos skimmed around the problem.  "It's not one particular factor....domestic violence is a factor which cannot be understated."

"In some cases, child sexual abuse has been a contributing factor but the majority of these suicides are intertwined with acute poverty that translates completely as hopelessness."

We have to get to the bottom of this and finally tell the truth - that Government health workers and others have found that child sexual abuse and bashing your wife is part of Aboriginal culture.  This shocking statement has already been made and hushed up, but it must be addressed if we are to get to the truth. 

But that's not all - parents who live in these remote communities often refuse to send their children to school so they are perpetuating yet another generation of hopelessness. What possible hope is there for a child with no education?

Government health workers have been silenced from reporting horrific sexual abuse injuries found on small children in these communities, so why are they still there?

Because we are afraid of being accused of orchestrating another 'stolen generation' so Aboriginal children are left alone, utterly helpless.  

We have to save these children, and if it means taking them away from their family, so be it.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Peta Credlin's power over Tony Abbott

Niki Savva

In 1997, Niki Savva quit as head of The Age bureau and joined Peter Costello's staff as the Treasurer's press secretary, the first woman ever to hold the job.

Those in the know say that there is no other political journalist in the business more experienced or credible than Niki Savva, but like most seasoned journalists who are on call 24/7 she suffered from burnout and in 2004, she told Costello she wanted out.  She currently writes for The Australian.

Now Savva has written a book about the dysfunctional relationship of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his chief of staff Peta Credlin called "The Road to Ruin."

Abbott and Credlin have vehemently denied claims made in the book and although the author can't say for certain they were having an affair, it's clear she thinks Credlin's powerful influence over Abbott ultimately brought about his downfall.

While some excerpts from the book were published over the weekend, the full book is not out until today.

As a journalist for The Australian, Credlin tried to have Savva sacked because of her weekly column depicting the turmoil within government ranks, but she didn't succeed.

Credlin's husband Vince Woolcock currently works in logistics as part of Malcolm Turnbull's Prime Ministerial team.

Credlin had a reputation for running Tony Abbott's office with a rod of iron, denying MPs she didn't like a meeting with Abbott and he is accused of bowing to her will in all things.  Yesterday on The Insiders she said

“Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin, any day, any night can get out there and give their version of events. And their version of events often differs very wildly from everybody else's and there are people who had been abused for years during that administration who suffered in silence. And I thought they should be given the chance to tell their story.” 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dr Gerard Stoyles, Psychologist and Exorcist

Dr Gerard Stoyles began working in religious education as a Catholic priest in 1977 and went on to study clinical psychology at the University of Wollongong where he later secured a position as senior lecturer specialising in children and teens.

So because of his religious background, Dr Stoyles is a rare breed - he's a psychologist who believes in demons.

But a complaint has been made to the Psychology Council of NSW over the comments he made on a radio program last October.  During an interview, he discussed the exorcism of an adult female and a child and the complainant alleges he was "promoting" the bizarre practice.

Dr Stoyles ended 17 years of employment with the University in October 2015.

"The University has nothing further to add to Dr Stoyles' own public statement" a university spokesman said.  "The University of Wollongong rejects any suggestion that any redundancy has been initiated as response to, or in connection with, any allegations or public controversy."

Enter Dr Mitch Byrne, also a senior lecturer in psychology at the same university who does not believe in demons but still thinks the method of exorcism has its merits.

"If you are a person who is possessed of a delusional or a psychiatric disability, and you have a strong religious belief, and that belief can be marshalled to help you overcome your distress, then why not?"

"I wouldn't say it's the best call or should be the first call in terms of a way of dealing with psychological disturbance, but people should never underestimate the power of belief."

"Suicide bombers and Kamikaze pilots are evidence that the power of belief is beyond any sort of rational argument so perhaps working within someone's belief system is the best way to help them recover from their disability or distress."

He thinks that people who believe they are possessed do incredible things, but he attributes this to the mind, not demons.

"There is an enormous amount of power and energy in the human body that we don't usually exert and people under the right sort of circumstances can marshal that power for a very brief and short period of time, usually at some psychological cost" he said.

"They can marshal it to engage in acts of human strength and agility.  So if a person is possessed of a delusional belief or a psychotic condition, they may evidence some degree or excessive or unusual behaviour which we might interpret as being possessed or as evidence of a demon."

But who is to say that Dr Stoyles hasn't been right all along?  As a priest, he could immediately recognise someone with strong religious beliefs and exorcism could be the ideal solution to their problem.

Dr Stoyles has provided the Psychology Council of NSW with a response to the complaint and has been asked to attend a "counselling interview" over the matter.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Cardinal George Pell swears on the Bible

Cardinal George Pell admitted yesterday that priests preying on young boys was rife during his time as a powerful official of the church, yet won't admit that because of the shame, he did everything in his power to cover it up.

And that's why this image of him swearing on the Bible is so offensive.