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Australian Author, Journalist, Speaker
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    Sometimes it takes serendipity to reach out to strangers and decide on the spur of the moment to meet them at a local coffee shop to learn something of another woman’s difficult life. Such is the story of how I came to meet local poet, Jill Gower, who has written the story of her life […]

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  • 09/01/13--16:07: Father’s Day family fun
  • Fathers Day is a continuum of family fun from lunch in father Frank’s nursing home to watching entranced as Scarlett took her first three steps.   This big step forward for a 13-month-old was a show-stopper for her doting dad, my son Tyson. At the other end of the life cycle, Father Frank, on the cusp […]

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    In his grand tome entitled Paris, Edward Rutherfurd describes the site on the Left Bank where the Romans established their town, named Lutetia, as ”a low, flat hillock, like a table overlooking the water”.  Here on this gentle rise of land, they  had laid out their town, building a large forum and “the main temple covering […]

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    My frail father, Frank, turns 95 today and my sister Anne and I are with him as he shuffles on his walking frame to Kafe Schulz, the restaurant in his nursing home where we will buy him a chocolate drink and cake. Frank has always been a chatty fellow and talks as he walks. He is […]

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      It was a touching moment when the two siblings – my 95-year-old father Frank and his 92-year-old sister Lilian – fell into each other’s arms and wept.   They had not seen each other for two years since my Auntie Lilian’s 90th birthday and the emotional reunion took place at father’s facility – the Glynde […]

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    I write my tribute to our fallen Australian soldiers at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month on Armistice Day when peace was finally signed after the four year Hell which was the Great War 1914-1918. We remember the catastrophic trench warfare in Belgium, Flanders and Northern France when the French people lost […]

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  • 11/13/13--02:59: Article 0
  • In the difficult world of fund-raising, Tutti Kids has embarked on an excellent idea.   Tutti has acquired the magnificent portrait of former Senior Australian of the Year and celebrity chef, Maggie Beer, painted by renowned South Australian artist Hugh Adamson.  At its recent Lady Galway Gallery launch, Maggie Beer officially opened the gallery, accompanied by […]

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    This is the second Christmas without Olivier and life in 2013 has been kinder. Life at Belair has been peppered with fun family events including my first holiday in Brisbane with daughter Serena, husband Jon and the grand-children, Samuel, Angus and Josephine.  They then travelled to Adelaide for a camping trip on the River Murray at […]

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    Sexual politics in France will never be the same now that the not-so-secret love affair between French president Francois Hollande and French actress Julie Gayet has been exposed by the magazine Closer. In the past French presidents have been shielded from scandal by a discreet media and a French people who were not interested in […]

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  • 01/30/14--01:49: Joy of Life “quotidien”
  • I am trying hard to nudge out grief from my mind by paying attention to the joy of life around me. There is delight simply by walking down my street with Oscar on his lead sniffing at every blade of grass and piddling to claim his territory. It is strange to do it alone, but […]

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    My sister Anne has a crammed life, but today we shared some incredibly uplifting sisterly events. On the eve of Mothers Day, we bought chrysanthemums from a road stall and visited our mother, Florrie’s grave at the Enfield Memorial Park.  This is the first time in many years that we have joined our hands to […]

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    News about three outstanding women of the world today deserve attention as female role models – Hilary Clinton, Dr Catherine Hamlin and world renowned primate expert and conservationist, Dame Jane Goodall.  One thing which inspires me is that they are all ageing women, and are still planning and working for the good of others. The […]

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    My dear French friend, Dominique Bievre, who lives in Valance, France recently visited Paris and then got caught in the crippling SNCF rail transport strike.  As soon as he arrived home, he sent this gem of an email, which sums up French society in a manner which only a native-born French person could. “I manage to […]

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    Oscar-winning Welsh actor, Anthony Hopkins can be “really stroppy’’, Clive Owen brings “a laugh onto the movie set’’, and Catherine Zeta-Jones is “so unpretentious’’, says renowned Australian film maker and screenwriter, Scott Hicks. These titillating snippets were among tales of Hollywood stars from Hicks in an entertaining Q & A with Dr Nick Prescott at […]

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    Some days simply need to be endured, such as today which is my late husband’s birthday – the third since he died two years ago last month. Yes there is sadness on such an anniversary, but it is also important to acknowledge that simple things have become pleasurable again. Yesterday, for instance, my friend Sheryl […]

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    AFL football has gained new-found interest in my life since my team – Port Power – reached top of the AFL championship ladder and this elation has been a great conversation booster over the past few months. Allegiance to a footy team adds colour to family life, too and I notice on my grandson Zachary’s baptism invitation that […]

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    One thing that fascinates me about the current feisty debate around  Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s “signature” Paid Parental Leave proposed policy is that women, themselves, are not hailing this initiative as the best thing since sliced bread.  The hoo haa from men was always expected, because the vast majority simply continue to go off to […]

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    French songstress Caroline Nin served up a exciting slice of  songs from the Lido, the world-famous cabaret venue on Paris’s Champs Elysees at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in June. Nin presented as a quintessentially French performer with her sexy personal style and glorious sensual voice intoxicating the full house at The Space.   She had selected a repertoire of songs from […]

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      Nancy Nguyen, a Perth based Business Advisor for Woodside Energy, has been selected by The University of Sydney Business School and the Australian National Committee for UN Women, as the inaugural recipient of their MBA scholarship. The scholarship and new 2014 partnership between the Australian National Committee for UN Women and The University of Sydney […]