The Invisible Woman

Today, to put it bluntly, I lost the plot. Chucked a huge wobbly. I screamed, swore, cursed just about everyone in the world, was mean to my husband (the one part I'm genuinely ashamed of). I threw things. Why? Because I was in pain, frustrated, and could feel myself fading like Marty McFly in Back to the Future. Welcome to one of the bad days of living with disability or chronic illness. Despite what some might think, you don't automatically pick up traits like bravery and being an inspiratio

We Know He's Voting 'Yes', So Why Is Malcolm In The Middle?

I remember when Malcolm Turnbull suavely muscled his way into office for his second bite at the parliamentary cheddar. This is made somewhat easier to recall by the article I wrote at the time, back when I was fresh-faced and starry eyed about our country's great white hope; the best thing to happen to us as a nation since Vegemite, the Hills Hoist, and Don Bradman's revenge against Douglas Jardine's infamous 'Bodyline' team all rolled into one. Sadly, said white-teethed hope has turned a dirt

Depression Is A Bogeyman That Doesn't Vanish In The Light

I sometimes think of depression as similar to that mythical bogeyman we faced as children. Whether it hides under the bed or in the closet, or sits astride our chest, for some of us the monster in our mind grows in adulthood to become an ogre of menacing proportions. Sadly, much like the childhood version, it's seen by many as imaginary. But poor mental health cannot be banished by putting on the lights or screwing our eyes shut or calling frantically for parents to please, please, come quickl

Our Attitude To Women's Sport Is A Complete Balls Up

I grew up in the 1970s. I say this not to engender comments from those younger and smarter than myself of 'wow, you're really old' and 'was the iPhone 5 out then?', but rather to point out how much things have changed when it comes to women in sport, and the way we perceive them. Or perhaps not. This was pre-AFL, when the V in VFL stood for 'so very Victorian'. The Swans were South Melbourne FC, the Lions roared in Fitzroy, rather than Brisvegas...

We Need To Put Our Heads Together Over Youth Mental Health

September. Spring has sprung, the sun is (occasionally) shining, it's time to feel a little more hopeful about life. Unless one brings to mind U.S. politics, Australian politics, the sheer waste of life in terror-related incidents globally, casual sexism in the media and in sport continuing to be seen as acceptable... On another un-springlike subject, National Suicide Prevention Week started on Monday, with World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.

UN Peacekeepers’ Day brings recognition for WA soldiers’ service

TWO former Australian Army veterans will be honoured for the first time publicly in WA, as they take part in a service to mark UN Peacekeepers’ Day. Laying a wreath to mark the occasion in King’s Park will be two men who served their country in UN peacekeeping missions which may not have been ‘war zones’ as we think of them, but who faced conflict, death, disease, and conditions of terror on a daily basis.

What you never knew about this horror disease

It has no cure. 70,000 Australians currently live with it. Twenty per cent of them — that’s one in five people, like me — are under 50. As is the case with 10 per cent of those 32 people diagnosed everyday, I was under 40 when I was told I had it. Like my hero, Michael J. Fox, I have had it since I was 29. Admittedly also like Mike Fox, I didn’t talk about it publicly for quite some time, both out of fear of acceptance and lack of understanding of my own condition.

TNI Helicopter Crash Claims All 13 On Board

It was at first thought that one of the men on board, First Lieutenant Wiradi, was missing, however today his body was found in the wreckage, bringing the total death toll to thirteen. The three year old Bell 412-EP helicopter was carrying 13 soldiers and flight crew when it went down about 30 minutes after takeoff in Kasiguncu village in Poso district, central Sulawesi, bursting into flames on impact. It had taken off from Watutau village in the same district...

Incredible life of soldier, author Chris Allen

IT’S Perth, WA, in the early 70s. All you think about is playing the drums, maybe being a writer of some sort, and essentially being a bit of a larrikin. Little do you realise one day you will be staring down the barrel of four best-selling novels, a potential international movie deal, and yes, the barrel of a rifle. Then you come across a man — or rather, two men — who essentially change the course of your life. One of them is licensed to kill, and the other one wrote him the Walther PPK with which to do it.

The Importance Of Minding Your Online Manners

A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot. Because I was not brought up by wolves, I know what good manners are. I know, for example, that being unpunctual is ill-mannered. It is impolite. It shows disrespect to the person you are meeting; it shows disrespect for the event you are attending. Be that as it may, for about four years, I have run o

A Collaborative Future For Pacific Defence

Involving participants from PNG, Australia, Fiji, Tonga, France, Chile, the United States and New Zealand, the Summit is an initiative of the 2015 South Pacific Defence Ministers' Meeting, also held in Port Moresby. Brigadier General Gilbert Toropo, Commander PNGDF, said about the Summit: "The objective …is to bring together the regions' future generation of leaders to discuss how different government agencies can work cooperatively to resolve mutual defence and security issues.

Why no woman is immune to this scourge

Let me say that a little differently. I am a proud survivor of rape. I am a proud survivor of a rape that occurred at 18, when I was an educated, ‘nice’ girl, who had very little understanding of just how scary some men could be. I am the survivor of physical and emotional violence within a relationship. I do not hate nor do I think I marginalise men. I am fortunate in my marriage to a gentle man, and in my amazing male friends. But violence is a gender-based issue.

We need to talk about mental health today

Why? Good question. Do I consider myself a mental health expert? No. Do I have a degree in psychology, or psychiatry, or medicine, or neuroscience perhaps? Nope. What I have is a disease, and it’s an incredibly frustrating, infuriating, and weird disease. Think about the frustration of an English fan who flew from Australia to the Rugby World Cup, expecting his team to make the semi-finals, only to see it crash out in the group stage. It’s more frustrating than that. Bad, huh?
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