Connect with us

News

Top End ute convoy, fun runs for Aust Day

Published

on

Australia Day celebrations in the Top End involve a ute run, fun run, citizenship ceremony and 21-gun salute.

The City of Darwin local government is holding their annual Australia Day flag raising and citizenship ceremony from 10am on Sunday at the Darwin Convention Centre.

Seventy-five people from 26 countries will become citizens, compared with 69 last year.

The new Australian citizens will listen to a speech by former South Sudanese refugee and Darwin resident Jane Alia, 26, who was last year’s Darwin Young Citizen of the Year.

Ms Alia was born in a refugee camp in Uganda and then embraced life in Australia, winning an NT Apprentice of the Year Award for her work as a dental assistant and later became a registered nurse.

She volunteers with and mentors refugees and immigrants, and also chairs the Multicultural Youth NT organisation.

The 21-gun salute will be performed by the Australian Defence Force at the Darwin Cenotaph on The Esplanade at midday.

An event recognising indigenous Australians featuring the Larrakia Nation dancers and a smoking ceremony, with free BBQ and drinks at Darwin’s Civic Park from 11.30am.

The 19th Annual Australia Day Ute Run’s organisers are hoping 400 utes will be part of a convoy winding through Darwin before heading to the Noonamah Tavern.

Thong and muffler throwing will be part of the fun, as will dress-up competitions for utes, dogs and people.

Funds raised will be donated to Variety NT to help children, with some allocated to replacing bikes lost to the bushfires.

Early morning fun runs will also be held in Darwin and Alice Springs.

Alice Springs Town Council will also welcome new citizens with an Arrernte indigenous smoking ceremony.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Camp Hill: Mourners gather to remember Hannah Clarke after car fire tragedy

Published

on

By

More than 1000 mourners have gathered to remember a mother and her three children who were burned alive by their father in a unthinkable act of domestic violence.

The vigil was held in Brisbane on Sunday evening to mourn the loss of Hannah Clarke, 31, and her children Laianah, aged four, Aaliyah, six, and Trey, three.

The venue – Whites Hill State College in Camp Hill – is just blocks away from where they were murdered on Wednesday morning at the hands of the children’s father, Rowan Baxter.

Dressed in pink, Hannah’s father Lloyd Clarke and brother, Nat, thanked the crowd for their support. 

Family Image of Hannah Clarke critically injured standing with Rowan Baxter who died in the car fire along with the three children

Family Image of Hannah Clarke critically injured standing with Rowan Baxter who died in the car fire along with the three children

Family Image of Hannah Clarke critically injured standing with Rowan Baxter who died in the car fire along with the three children

Lloyd Clarke is comforted by his son Nat at the community vigil for his daughter Hannah and her three children

Lloyd Clarke is comforted by his son Nat at the community vigil for his daughter Hannah and her three children

Lloyd Clarke is comforted by his son Nat at the community vigil for his daughter Hannah and her three children

Hannah Clarke's brother Nathaniel Clarke holds back the tears while holding his young son during the vigil for his murdered sister

Hannah Clarke's brother Nathaniel Clarke holds back the tears while holding his young son during the vigil for his murdered sister

Hannah Clarke’s brother Nathaniel Clarke holds back the tears while holding his young son during the vigil for his murdered sister

‘We would have felt lost without all your support,’ the distraught father said.

‘I don’t know how we can repay such kindness.’

He described the past week as the hardest of his life.

‘While dealing with this truly difficult time, my family and I are forever thankful to our neighbours and those who were first on the scene who tried to desperately help Hannah and the children,’ he said.

Lloyd and Suzanne Clarke, parents to Hannah Clarke, break down at a vigil to remember their murdered daughter

Lloyd and Suzanne Clarke, parents to Hannah Clarke, break down at a vigil to remember their murdered daughter

Lloyd and Suzanne Clarke, parents to Hannah Clarke, break down at a vigil to remember their murdered daughter

Hundreds turn out for a vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3, in Brisbane

Hundreds turn out for a vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3, in Brisbane

Hundreds turn out for a vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3, in Brisbane

A police officer speaks during a vigil to remember murdered mother. Thousands of mourners attended the event

A police officer speaks during a vigil to remember murdered mother. Thousands of mourners attended the event

A police officer speaks during a vigil to remember murdered mother. Thousands of mourners attended the event

A woman dressed in pink breaks down and prays by bunches of flowers at the vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children

A woman dressed in pink breaks down and prays by bunches of flowers at the vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children

A woman dressed in pink breaks down and prays by bunches of flowers at the vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children

‘You selflessly and without hesitation did what you could to save them. I don’t know how we can repay such kindness, other than to say we will be eternally grateful. You have restored out faith that there are many good and decent people in the world.’

Mr Clarke expressed extreme pride at his daughter managed to achieve in her short life.

He also reflected on the joy his three grandchildren brought to his life.

Many who addressed the crowd spoke of Hannah’s courage and love.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said Hannah was able to give a detailed account of the attack while fighting for her life.

Two young boys place a bunch of yellow flowers at the vigil for the family. One boy appears overcome by emotion

Two young boys place a bunch of yellow flowers at the vigil for the family. One boy appears overcome by emotion

Two young boys place a bunch of yellow flowers at the vigil for the family. One boy appears overcome by emotion

Flowers left at the vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and Trey, three

Flowers left at the vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and Trey, three

Flowers left at the vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and Trey, three

An Australian Red Cross members places crosses bearing the names of the dead mother and children at Bill Hewitt Reserve in East Brisbane

An Australian Red Cross members places crosses bearing the names of the dead mother and children at Bill Hewitt Reserve in East Brisbane

An Australian Red Cross members places crosses bearing the names of the dead mother and children at Bill Hewitt Reserve in East Brisbane

Hannah Clarke is pictured with her son Trey before they were murdered by Rowan Baxter

Hannah Clarke is pictured with her son Trey before they were murdered by Rowan Baxter

Hannah Clarke is with her three children  - Laianah (top), Aaliyah (bottom), and Trey (held by his mother)

Hannah Clarke is with her three children  - Laianah (top), Aaliyah (bottom), and Trey (held by his mother)

Hannah Clarke is pictured with her son Trey (left and right) and Laianah and Aaliyah (right) before they were murdered by Rowan Baxter

While many tried to remember the best of Ms Clarke and her children, many could not hide their grief over one of the state’s worst acts of domestic violence. 

A mass of flowers and children’s toys were laid at the front of the vigil, while hundreds of condolence messages have been written by a community still in shock.

Nikki Brookes was a friend of Ms Clarke, and had to hold back tears as she addressed the crowd.

She called for the community to not turn a blind eye to domestic violence. 

Thousands gathered to pay tribute to the mother and children who were burned alive on Wednesday

Thousands gathered to pay tribute to the mother and children who were burned alive on Wednesday

Thousands gathered to pay tribute to the mother and children who were burned alive on Wednesday

A mourner looks on during a vigil to remember murdered mother, Hannah Clarke and her three children
A mother helps her daughter leave toys and a balloon as tributes for the mother and her three children who were burned alive

A mother helps her daughter leave toys and a balloon as tributes for the mother and her three children who were burned alive

A mother helps her daughter leave toys and a balloon as tributes for the mother and her three children who were burned alive

‘We are a nation in pain,’ she said.

‘Don’t back away from your friends for the sake of convenience.

‘Time’s up on domestic violence.’

Baxter doused their car in petrol and set it alight while Hannah was dropping the children off at school. 

The youngsters died at the scene while Hannah died in hospital.

Baxter stabbed himself in the chest and died from his injuries. 

People leave messages and flowers to remember the lives of Hannah Clarke and her three children. One reads: 'We will never forget you'

People leave messages and flowers to remember the lives of Hannah Clarke and her three children. One reads: 'We will never forget you'

People leave messages and flowers to remember the lives of Hannah Clarke and her three children. One reads: ‘We will never forget you’

One distraught woman kneels by the rows of flowers at the public vigil for the mother and her three children

One distraught woman kneels by the rows of flowers at the public vigil for the mother and her three children

One distraught woman kneels by the rows of flowers at the public vigil for the mother and her three children

Emergency workers stop to pay tribute to the family-of-four. One woman stands with her eyes closed by rows of flowers

Emergency workers stop to pay tribute to the family-of-four. One woman stands with her eyes closed by rows of flowers

Emergency workers stop to pay tribute to the family-of-four. One woman stands with her eyes closed by rows of flowers

The venue where the vigil was held was Hannah’s former school. 

She was the school captain with the So You Think You Can Dance 2008 winner Jack Chambers.

‘Such heartbreaking news yesterday. A monstrous crime that makes you sick to your stomach! Hannah and I were school captains back in our last year of school, 15 yrs ago,’ he wrote on Facebook in a moving tribute. 

‘That would be the last time I had actually seen or spoken to Hannah Clarke – so while I didn’t know her in our adult life, I will always remember her as the kind, strong and driven teenager she was. If you want to show your support to the Clarke family, you can donate below.’

Mourners lay flowers at the vigil. The Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge and City Hall in Brisbane were also lit with pink lights to honour the family

Mourners lay flowers at the vigil. The Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge and City Hall in Brisbane were also lit with pink lights to honour the family

Mourners lay flowers at the vigil. The Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge and City Hall in Brisbane were also lit with pink lights to honour the family

Mourners leave trinkets and crosses as tributes to Hannah Clarke, Laianah, age four, Aaliyah, age six, and Trey, age three

Hannah’s sister-in-law Stacey Roberts set up a fundraiser to support the family.

‘My beautiful sister in-law and my nieces and nephew had their lives taken by a disgusting human being they called their father,’ she wrote on the Facebook fundraising page.

‘For all those who knew Hannah or had even just met her once would know how much of a beautiful soul she was, her children where her life. All she ever wanted was happiness. Her children were only a reflection of her. We will miss them all more than anything!’

The Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge and City Hall in Brisbane were also lit with pink lights to honour the family.

Continue Reading

News

It’s horribly ironic that I wrote to Caroline: ‘It’s just TV and nobody died’

Published

on

By

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15

Woke in Los Angeles to the shocking news that Caroline Flack has taken her own life at just 40 years old.

After decades working in the news business, I don’t shock easily but this left me, like everyone who knew her, absolutely reeling.

Caroline was a mate of mine. We weren’t close friends, but we got on well, frequently met up at showbiz bashes, and exchanged irregular text messages about life and the universe.

Caroline was whip-smart, warm, funny and laughed very loudly and very often – usually at my expense

Caroline was whip-smart, warm, funny and laughed very loudly and very often – usually at my expense

Caroline was whip-smart, warm, funny and laughed very loudly and very often – usually at my expense

I first got to know her during a ‘Night Of Heroes’ Army charity dinner at the Imperial War Museum in London in 2009, where I sat between Caroline and Keeley Hawes. Our table also fielded those other noted shrinking violets Bradley Walsh, Kate Garraway, Vernon Kay and Coronation Street star Bill Roache, and it was an absolutely hilarious night.

Caroline, like Keeley, was whip-smart, warm, funny and laughed very loudly and very often – usually at my expense. She also wept openly at several of the incredibly moving stories of military heroism that we heard during the awards part of the evening, revealing a heart-on-a-sleeve emotional side to her sparkly personality.

We sat together again at a Glamour Awards dinner a few years later where she drank me under the table and was outrageously good fun.

And that was always how I thought of Caroline – a great laugh who liked to live her life to the fullest, partying as hard as she worked.

But she had her well-documented demons, too – like many people in showbusiness – and they all seemed to collide with the catastrophic sequence of events that led to the collapse of her professional and personal life and ultimately, horrifically, to her suicide.

I was due to see Caroline at my annual Christmas pub party on December 19.

She had replied immediately to my invite saying: ‘Yeh, love to! See you there.’

But a few days before it took place, she was charged with assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton during an early-hours bust-up at her flat.

Then she was forced to step down from her job presenting Love Island, a show she adored as much as I hate it. (‘You just wish that you were good-looking enough to be a contestant!’ she once taunted me, incorrectly.)

‘You OK?’ I texted her as the furore raged so ferociously that she was forced to move out of her home and stay in a hotel.

‘It’s been a rough few days,’ she replied, with a crying emoji.

‘So sorry,’ I said. ‘You must be gutted. Just keep your head down for a bit and it will all blow over. And if you want a consoling drink with friends, you’d obviously still be very welcome at my party.’

She thanked me, but on the day of the party, I received another text: ‘Don’t think I’ll make it tonight. I can’t even leave the hotel, let alone go home. This has been the worst time of my life. And for what? Throwing a phone in anger. It’s so hard for one person to take.’

‘Understood,’ I replied. ‘It’s all a massive over-reaction, and it will pass. So sorry you’re going through hell but having been through a few tough times myself, I can assure you that you’ll get through it.’

And then I wrote words that seem so horribly ironic now: ‘At the end of the day, it’s just bloody telly and nobody died.’

The last contact I had with Caroline came two weeks ago after David Walliams made an unnecessarily cheap dig at her expense at the National Television Awards that was met with loud booing from the audience.

I immediately defended her on Twitter and got a message from a friend of hers later that night saying: ‘Caroline wanted me to thank you for your kind words and very much appreciates them, she is very grateful for your support.’

She took hurtful jibes to heart.

Last October, the ‘activist’ actress Jameela Jamil attacked Caroline’s new (now cancelled) plastic surgery-themed Channel 4 show The Surjury without having even seen it, accusing her of being involved in something that would ‘prey on people’s insecurities’.

This led to many of Jamil’s one million followers bombarding Caroline with abuse to the extent that Caroline messaged me at the time to say: ‘I’m struggling with Jameela, the hate she aims at me…’

(With an extraordinary lack of self-awareness, the same Jameela Jamil is now leading calls for the Government to investigate ‘harassment’ waged by the media against Caroline.)

I don’t know what pushed Caroline over the edge, though I strongly suspect it had less to do with media coverage of her travails (she was good friends with many of the journalists that social media – which savaged her while she was alive – has rushed to blame since her death in its usual viciously hypocritical way) and more to do with the Crown Prosecution Service telling her the day before she died it was proceeding with her trial, despite her boyfriend (whom she was banned from contacting) saying he didn’t want to press charges and was standing 100 per cent behind her.

She’d lost the job she loved, wasn’t allowed to see or talk to the man she loved, and was now facing the very public humiliation of what would undoubtedly have been a very lurid court case.

Despite widespread support from her family and many concerned friends, it obviously all got too much for her. And that’s just an absolute soul-crushing tragedy.

RIP Caroline, you were a lovely person and I’ll miss you.

 

Continue Reading

News

Cambridge college head ‘steps back’ over handling of sexual assault complaints

Published

on

By

The master of Trinity Hall at Cambridge University has agreed to ‘step back’ from his duties following allegations he mishandled students’ complaints about sexual misconduct.

Cambridge College head Dr Jeremy Morris made the move voluntarily while his bosses consider their response to the issues raised in a report published by Tortoise Media last week.

The website revealed allegations of rape and sexual assault were made by three females against the same man in 2018.

Two women chose to bring formal complaints through the college against the male student, who denied the allegations.

Revd-Dr-Jeremy-Morris
Dr Jeremy Morris has been accused of mishandling students’ complaints about sexual misconduct (Picture: Trinity Hall)

Dr William O’Reilly, a Trinity Hall staff fellow and history lecturer, has also stepped back from teaching and supervision work after being criticised for his role in overseeing the disciplinary process triggered by the women’s complaints.

The Tortoise Media investigation has prompted more than 600 students to sign an open letter raising concerns over how sexual misconduct allegations are dealt with at Cambridge University.

Advertisement

Advertisement

The letter written by Cambridge University Students’ Union Women’s Campaign said colleges were “inadequately equipped” to tackle such issues.

It called for ‘a centralised system that allows these cases to be dealt with by independent external experts, not conflicted members of staff from the same college’.

Nearly 300 students have also signed an open letter to the university’s history faculty criticising its response to the allegations over Dr O’Reilly’s conduct.

In a statement, Trinity Hall said a panel of ‘unconflicted Fellows’ will issue an interim report in the week commencing March 2 on how it should respond to the issues raised by the Tortoise Media investigation.

In an internal email, the university said: ‘The Faculty takes its safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously. It regards the welfare of its students as its highest priority.

‘It also has a duty of care to a member of staff who is not under investigation for any offence and who protests his innocence.

‘At the present time, Dr William O’Reilly has voluntarily and temporarily stepped back from his teaching and supervising.”

A spokesman for Dr O’Reilly said: ‘Dr O’Reilly believes he acted with integrity and followed appropriate safeguarding advice throughout the various internal processes at Trinity Hall.

‘He rejects any suggestion that he behaved improperly and is appalled that what should have been confidential procedures have been made public.’

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Source: Metro News

Continue Reading

Trending