Second time lucky for rescued dogs Bella, Bindi, Zuri and Angus

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She only has two speeds — flat out or fast asleep.””She is really gawky and falls over a lot and does some really crazy things. She looked up and appealed at me, I guess she picked me,” he said.”She took to me straight away. “I said, ‘if anything happens to you, I’ll commit to looking after the dog’,” Mr Coates said.Almost a year later, Yvonne sadly passed away and Mr Coates made good on his promise.”Every day I get up and I see him and it reminds me of Yvonne.”Now Angus is four years old and loving life at Motley Manor, happily snoring through his nights on the couples’ bed with an assortment of cats — and carting off Mr Coates’ boots.”He has been a great dog, he loves it out here,” Mr Coates said. (ABC South East SA: Kate Hill)
In light of her dubious origins, Mr Davids fondly calls her his ‘purebred mongrel’.Just as he protects Bindi whenever she quakes in fear of thunder, lightning or high winds, she insulates her elderly owner against loneliness.”At night time it can get pretty lonely and long, and she will curl up alongside of me,” he said. (ABC South East SA: Kate Hill)
Brad Coates, Angus and BellaMount Gambier couple Brad Coates and Gayle Ferguson firmly believed in second time lucky for their merry assortment of rescue animals. But a determined Ms Moore brought her young daughter Sienna to visit the shelter nearly every day for two weeks to see how the dog reacted to her, and then decided to bring her home.Ms Moore christened her Zuri, the Swahili word for beautiful.”Shazza was the first thing to go,” she laughed. Instead of being just a pet, she is part of the family.”

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“They are part of the family,” says Brad Coates of Angus and Bella. In the car on the way home she put her head in my lap and she never left me.”Now five years old, Bindi is Mr Davids’ constant companion, acting as guardian, lady of the house and a persistent exercise reminder.”She follows me from room to room until she gets a walk,” he laughs, on one of his daily jaunts to Mount Gambier’s dog park. (ABC South East SA: Kate Hill)
The first few months with Zuri “were hell”, Ms Moore said, with the unsettled dog tearing up the backyard and dwarfing her petite owner in both size and strength.Reportedly mistreated at her former home, the dog would flinch at sudden movements, mistrustful of people.It took months of patience and affection before she settled down and began to get used to her new surroundings, Ms Moore said.”She is a big sook now. It was only a month after Rita died,” he said.But the skinny mongrel puppy, peering plaintively out from her cage, won him over. Photo:
The bull Arab Zuri dwarfs her petite owner. “Sometimes she will even get up on the bed.””I would recommend a dog to anyone,” he said, while gently stroking Bindi’s head.”It’s a bit of an effort, I know, but you have to make an effort in life. (ABC South East SA: Kate Hill )
“She looked pretty pathetic. At the place they have dubbed “Motley Manor” they have re-homed six sheep, four cats, one horse and two dogs.A promise to a cancer-stricken friend saw cavalier King Charles spaniel cross Angus come to live with the couple around three years ago.After Mr Coate’s work colleague Yvonne was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, the organisation’s social club chipped in to buy her a puppy for company while she went through treatment. (ABC South East SA: Kate Hill)
Mr Coates said the lovable mutt has helped him get over the loss of his beloved old dog Bandit, which died last year and has his own special ‘man cave’ in the backyard.Bella is the third rescued dog the couple have re-homed and Mr Coates urged anyone looking for a dog to visit their local dog shelter or pound before a breeder or pet shop.”We believe in re-homing dogs who have been abused or lost because there is hundreds of them,” he said simply.”I reckon the love you give them, you get back in spades.” I’ve got more mobility in my knees now.”

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“I saved her and she saved me,” says Mr Davids of Bindi. “Even though he’s a designer dog, he likes nothing better than going and eating cow s**t.”Enter BellaAn avid supporter of animal rescue organisations, Mr Coates’ partner Gayle Ferguson was unable to resist when a photograph of a skinny staghound cross was posted last year on the South East Animal Welfare League’s Facebook page.”I saw her photo and within 24 hours she was coming home,” Mr Coates said.The dog they have dubbed “the hundred mile-an-hour couch potato” has brought plenty of laughs into their lives. “I call her the Enforcer.” “My doctor reckons it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. “Bella is funny. Kevin Davids and Bindi”I saved her from death row and I think she saved me,” said 83-year-old Kevin Davids of his beloved dog Bindi.The little dog had been picked up on the streets of Adelaide and handed into Lonsdale’s RSPCA shelter in Adelaide when the newly-widowed Mr Davids came for a look with his family nearly four years ago.”I said I don’t know whether I want to get a dog or not. She snores louder than Angus.”

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The resting place of Mr Coates’s beloved 16-year-old dog Bandit. “Now Sienna and her jump on the trampoline together.””Now we go everywhere together. “All she wanted was a pat.”Finding that the dog was overdue to be put down, something about the dog’s sweet and quiet way clicked with Ms Moore.”Everyone at the league was hoping she would find a home.”Found with a pig hunting vest on, the dog had been wandering the streets of Mount Gambier when she was picked up, and shelter volunteers warned she was not considered suitable for families with young children. “She was all skin and bone.”Ms Moore had gone to the shelter to see another dog, but then caught sight of the dog that volunteers had nicknamed Shazza and went over to meet her.”She just sat by the gate and leaned over for a scratch,” Ms Moore said. They are better than medicine.”

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Rescued dog Zuri with owner Ebony Moore and her daughter Sienna. Photo:
Rescued dog Bindi plays companion and guardian. She sleeps on the bed, under the covers if she can.” Although Ms Moore said it was common for other dog owners to shrink away from the pair, scared of Zuri’s size and strength, they quickly come around when they see how the big dog frolics with young Sienna, patiently putting up with her cuddles.”Zuri is so good with her,” Ms Moore said. (ABC South East SA: Kate Hill)
Ebony Moore, daughter Sienna and Zuri”You could count every rib on her,” said Ebony Moore of the day she saw the big bull Arab running up and down the fence line in a pen at Mount Gambier’s South East Animal Welfare League. Lost, mistreated or considered too loud, too excitable, or not suitable around children — thousands of dogs end up at shelters and pounds each year, awaiting new homes.Bella, Bindi, Zuri and Angus are dogs that got lucky the second time around.
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Wheatbelt dogs get a second chance in new rescue facility

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“She’s a good girl,” says Kevin Davids of his beloved Bindi. (ABC South East SA: Kate Hill)

Young ‘celebrity’ willing to swap scooter for sports car

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Samuel put the scooter up for trade a week ago. (Gumtree: Kids Stunt Scooter)

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He has already had one written offer.”My friend Jim the builder, who is doing renovations on our house at the moment, has given me an offer,” Samuel said.”He offered me a cordless power saw, a grinder, snake light, leather tool belt, tape measure, Stanley knife and earplugs … I am tempted with it.”He has kids and I guess he would give it [the scooter] to them so they can ride around with it.”Samuel has told his family he would also accept a Lamborghini if offered.He hopes to have swapped the scooter by Friday. An eight-year-old Brisbane boy with an entrepreneurial streak hopes an online ad will help him swap his much-loved vintage scooter for something else.Samuel put the ad up on Gumtree a week ago after convincing his dad it had more value than a trip to the tip.”We were having a yard clean-up after Santa upgraded Samuel’s scooter,” his father Clay said.”I wanted to retire it but Samuel convinced me to look through Gumtree to sell when he realised the value in it.”He did some research on a trade swap and he got me to put an ad in.”The ad, which Samuel wrote himself, describes the scooter as “tried and tested”.”If you’re after a one-of-a-kind Stunt Scooter that has been tried and tested through all weather conditions, has performed numerous and sometimes very dangerous stunts by a celebrity at our local skate bowl — this is the scooter for you.”Samuel admitted he was the celebrity at the local skate bowl park listed in the ad.”I’ve had the scooter for about a year,” he told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Rebecca Levingston.”I would like people to offer me what they want to trade for it.”I’m not sure what exactly I want but I hope people will offer me what they think it’s worth.”

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The vintage-style scooter has seen many days at the skate bowl.
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January 17, 2017 11:59:58

Clown Doctors celebrate 20 years cheering up kids in hospitals

and I like telling fart jokes,” her partner, with a bright red nose and a revolving bow tie, adds.Making their morning rounds, the doctors are here delivering the best medicine they can offer — laughter.Celebrating 20 years of clowningThe Clown Doctors became a regular program at the children’s hospital in January 1997 and will celebrate their 20th anniversary on Tuesday. “There are kids here who could be motivational speakers … Photo:
The Clown Doctors are dedicated to delivering the health benefits of humour. (ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
They also have access to psychological support services as the job, according to Ms Quinlan, can take a toll.”I’ve refined it to a healthy detachment, though sometimes the kids can still impact you.”After each session I always debrief with my colleagues.”Inspiring each otherThe clowns get together each year for brainstorming sessions and Ms Pollard has a suitcase of gags to bring a smile to even the shyest of patients.It takes her four clumsy walks into the cupboard to make five-year-old Bowie giggle aloud, while a tiny rubber chicken that lays a fried egg made Sarah respond with her own joke.”Knock knock,” she said to Dr Quack.”Who’s there?””Interrupting squawking parrot.””Interrupting squawking …””Squawk!””I’ve seen really sick kids turn around and become well again, and I’ve seen the other side; the parents’ worst fear has come true,” Ms Pollard said.”I’ve just been honoured to be around those families to see that strength, that humour and the intelligence of kids and their intuition.”Even families who are under stress retain their humour. The head is just as important as the body.”Bringing ‘normality’ back to kidsLou Pollard, otherwise known as Dr Quack, has been working as a Clown Doctor for 10 years.She said she tried to cheer up the parents as much as the kids. (ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh) Down a corridor of the neurology ward at the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick, between the nurses’ trolley, a shelf of blankets and a wheelchair, are bubbles floating in the air.The sounds of You Are My Sunshine are being strummed on a ukulele.With a curious peer outside her room, seven-year-old Sarah slowly ventures out to check out the distraction.”Hello, I’m Dr Quack, I’ve left my bulk bills in the office though,” says a clown dressed in pyjamas with pegs in her hair.”And I’m Dr Smarty-Pantz … it’s so beautiful to be around.”

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Dr Smarty-Pantz (Peter Djordjevic) performs a magic trick for five-year-old Bowie. (ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
“We tend to see really sick kids who are in hospital a really long time.”We try and bring joy to all the families, even the grandmas, nursing staff, the cleaners, the doctors; we want to bring a sense of fun to the hospital in a really stressful situation.”It’s bringing normality back, bringing kids back to the moment.”Ms Pollard splits her time between the children’s hospitals at Randwick, Westmead, Gosford and Bear Cottage in Manly.Each clown is restricted to three days of work a week to help them maintain their own emotional health. Photo:
Lou Pollard tries to alleviate the stress of illness with colour and fun. External Link:

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The idea to form the Humour Foundation came from Dr Peter Spitzer who had been inspired by the US physician and original clown doctor Dr Patch Adams.The charity now employs about 62 performers who work across 24 metro and regional hospitals around the country, as well as aged care facilities as part of the Elder Clowns program established in 2000.”I’m most proud of putting the smiles on the faces of children and parents,” founding member Helen Quinlan, aka Dr Sniggles, said.”The Clown Doctors should be in every major hospital every day.”It works.
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Trash ‘scavengers’ clean-up Bondi Beach

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“In the early days we were getting larger items and a lot of sinkers.”There’s still heaps out there though; by far the most abundant is discarded fishing tackle … Every little piece countsWaverley Council operates a beach rake each morning at Bondi Beach throughout summer to clean up rubbish.However, Ms Linke said the tractor often missed micro plastics, paper and cigarettes butts which are just as dangerous to marine life. (ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
Mr Turnbull said glass bottles were also a major environmental issue.While glass bottles when intact and stuck in the sand could form a habitat for small fish, Mr Turnbull said broken glass was dangerous.”There are parts where you can look and there’s a field of glass bottles which have accumulated,” he said.”There are far too many glass bottles out there for it to be an accident.”The next Seaside Scavenge will take place in Townsville in April. Photo:
Micro litter like cigarettes can be swept back in the ocean and endanger marine life. Glass bottles, cigarettes, car bumpers and 500 metres of fishing line are just some of the items volunteer scavengers picked up at Bondi Beach and the ocean floor during a clean-up initiative at the weekend.Members of community group Seaside Scavenge spent their Saturday cleaning the beach and encouraging others to do the same.They collected 12,249 pieces of rubbish totalling just over 31 kilograms.Another 10 kilograms, mainly broken glass bottles and fishing tackle, was picked up on the ocean floor in Camp Cove by volunteer divers. a consequence of fishing activity.”Even one fishing line can be tangled around a sponge and break it off.”

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Ocean debris URG Facebook post
“We’re trying to incentivise adults and kids to clean up the beach and think about single-use items like straws and coffee cups,” organiser Anna Jane Linke said.”It would be fantastic to see some kind of legislation to make packaging companies design their products with their end life in mind so that they can be simply and easily disposed of by the consumer.”Among the litter collected off the sand were: 4,654 cigarettes1,282 soft plastics such as food packaging587 straws92 coffee cups80 plastic bottlesA few car bumpersNuts and boltsOne beakerMs Linke started Seaside Scavenge two years ago at Coogee Beach and has since taken the initiative along the east coast.Over 15 events the group has collected about two tonnes of rubbish.The last event at Rye Pier on the Mornington Peninsula saw 650 kilograms of litter collected in three hours.The volunteers also set up market stalls so the public could trade collected litter to buy second-hand clothing and recycled household knick-knacks donated by the community. (ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
“When they get out in the ocean, the tiniest pieces disguise themselves as food and attract any marine species that take in plankton or other marine life,” she said.”They end up in the stomachs of sea life and birds and doesn’t pass through.”So they think they’re full but they’re not and then they die of starvation.”According to a study published in Science journal in 2015, around eight million metric tonnes of plastic goes into the ocean each year.’Fields of glass’John Turnbull, from the Underwater Research Group, and a group of seven volunteer divers combed the floor of Camp Cove at Watson’s Bay for two hours on Saturday.He said the group did regular clean-up dives in the area and the level of rubbish had lessened over time. Photo:
A tangle of fishing wire and sinkers found on the ocean floor at Camp Cove.
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16pc increase in organ donation rates after Federal Government funding boost

By Dom Vukovic

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January 15, 2017 19:18:36
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A $250 million funding boost by the Federal Government to the nation’s organ donation system has seen a 16 per cent increase in the number of Australians deciding to donate their organs.Last year organs from 503 people who died were donated to almost 1,500 recipients across the country, according to the figures from the Government’s 2016 Australian Donation and Transplantation Activity Report, which is due to be released next month.Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said it was clear that people’s generosity combined with the government’s campaign to raise awareness was saving lives.”The decision to donate is one of the most selfless acts not only for the person receiving a lifesaving transplant but their families, friends and the communities they live in,” Minister Wyatt said”By registering on the Australian Organ Donor Register you are letting your family know your intentions at an incredibly difficult time.”I think [the government’s campaign] has been effective, it’s had people thinking about it.”Elice Mol, who underwent a lung transplant in 2012, said the new data would provide extra reassurance for people who were on a transplant waiting list.”People waiting in clinics, who I know are still waiting for transplants, I feel like there is hope for those people,” she said.”I think the more awareness we can bring to people about donating their organs the better it will be.”Even myself if I was to need another transplant, I wouldn’t be as scared going through that process.”Survival rates of recipients also upThe figures also pointed to a 17 per cent increase in the survival rates of organ recipients following their transplant operations, which Ms Molan said was also very encouraging.”Those days, those hours and the weeks after the transplant operation are the most critical time for somebody who’s undergone such a complicated procedure,” she said.”I had a few hairy moments myself after my operation.”I know from my own experience that without those staff, I probably wouldn’t be here.”Mr Wyatt said the previous year also marked a change in living donation rates “with our second-highest number of living donors since 2010″.”In 2016, 267 people received a living donation compared with 245 in 2015, an increase of 9 per cent,” he said.”This included 44 transplants under the Australian Paired Kidney Exchange Program.”Further changes, improvements neededBut despite the positive results, Mr Wyatt said the Federal Government would re-examine the donor system to find more ways to increase donor consent rates going into 2017.”Look, we are reviewing our campaign now to look at other ways of reaching into broader Australian society and we will make effective use of the resources that we have.”He said momentum was growing for Australia’s organ donor register to switch from an “opt-in” system to an “opt-out” one. Currently, a person has to choose to be a donor or not, and if they sign “yes” on the register then family members still need to give their consent before the organs will be harvested.Mr Wyatt said there was momentum for talks with states and territories about changing the system so that potential donors can “opt out” of requiring their family’s consent as well.State and territory governments have historically stayed away from making any legislative changes.”I am prepared to have that discussion — whether they’re prepared to put in place legislation for an opt-out policy,” Mr Wyatt said.”These results [increased donor rates] are a testament to what is possible when we work together on a common goal.”
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For people waiting for organ transplants “there is hope”, organ recipient Elice Molan said.
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A centenarian’s secret to long life: Don’t worry so much

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And that number is set to grow. They were middle-aged during the ’60s… The question is — why?Ms Browning has some theories. He no longer bowls at his local club, but he stays active. (ABC News: Norman Hermant)
Mr Bush recently cut down on his sporting activities. He is the primary carer for his 88-year-old wife, Joyce. There are more people than ever aged 100 years of age and older in Australia, and a new study has found that as a group they need less home care than seniors who are approaching their 100th birthdays.”They seem to go into old age much healthier,” said Colette Browning, director of the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Institute.”Even though they do have a number of chronic illnesses, they seem to be able to manage better.”The RDNS Institute is part of RSL Care and RDNS, which supports more than 110,000 seniors in their homes and in residential aged care.The institute analysed the health records of 123 centenarians, and more than 1,000 “near centenarians” aged 95 to 99.It found once seniors reached 100 years of age, their required home visits actually declined to an average of 58 home visits per client over two years.Near centenarians required an average of 72 home visits over two years. The proportion of the population aged over 85 nearly doubled in the past two decades.A centenarian’s secret to long life

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Since turning 100, Denise Johnston has given herself a pass on exercise. The two live on their own, with regular home care visits to help with things around the house.They even have a special double seat mobility scooter so they can still regularly head down to the local shops for coffee.”If you think because of your age, you’re going to just sit down and grow old in a chair, well that’s not for me,” he said.There are more than centenarians than ever before in Australia — 4,400. But Ms Browning believes life experience also plays a role.”We need to think about who these people are in terms of their life course,” she said.”They were teenagers in the Great Depression. When it’s suggested that at age 100, she can give her herself a pass on exercise, she agreed.”I think I gave myself that pass a long time ago,” she said, laughing. (ABC News: Norman Hermant)
If there is a secret to a long life, centenarian Denise Johnston agrees it’s not complicated.”I sort of don’t worry about things too much,” she said.Ms Johnston just turned 100. She has had some health issues, and an RDNS nurse comes twice a week to change compression stockings on her legs.But living in part of a house next her son and daughter-in-law, with books to read and “tele” to watch in her favourite chair, she’s happy.”I probably should do more exercise,” she said. Good genetics are important, and so are good habits regarding food and drink. they seem to have a way of coping with stress, an attitude to life that’s maybe a bit more positive.”If anyone embodies that spirit, it is 100-year-old Bert Bush, who lives on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.”I want to live life, now that I’m 100 years of age,” he said.”I know I can’t live the age of a 20-year-old, but I still want to live life.”

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100-year-old Bert Bush is the primary carer for his 88-year-old partner Joyce.
(ABC News: Norman Hermant) By social affairs correspondent Norman Hermant

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January 14, 2017 07:00:12

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Bert Bush and Joyce Gray get around in a dual mobility scooter.

Futsal unites Solomon Islands after ethnic tensions

Solomon Islands police train to carry guns for first time in 13 years

Introducing a new sport to a country on the brink of collapse — in an attempt to provide new hope to an entire generation — was an ambitious project.But that is what happened in Solomon Islands with futsal, and now 14 years later, it is the country’s de facto national sport and producing players that are beating their Australian opponents.

Futsal in Solomon Islands bringing hope

(Pacific Beat)
The whole school stop, they stop to watch us play,” he said in a teary speech after the tournament.”You don’t understand how Solomons people love us, they are crazy when we play,” Ragomo said.Mr Bate’e said he has seen first hand the change futsal is bringing to the communities he works with.”In the communities where I was brought up, there’s big criminal activities, but now we introduce the game of futsal and it brings the community together and it reduces the crime rate,” he said.Mr Codrington and his team have also developed a program called SALT — Sports and Leadership Training — that is developing new leaders, training coaches, referees and administrators. Its under-12s team was welcomed back as heroes in the capital Honiara this week after a recent win in Sydney.Along with their older teammates in the under-14 boys competition, they made it to their respective grand finals in Australia’s National Futsal Championships at the weekend.The under-12s brought home the trophy after beating their New South Wales rivals 5-2.”It’s a great privilege to see these kids passionate about this game of futsal and it’s awesome to compete in this championship,” said Mikey Bate’e, a Honiara youth worker who led the delegation in Australia.”Most of the kids live in [the] outskirts of Honiara. (Football NSW/George Loupis)
The ethnic violence in Solomon Islands between 1998 and 2003, which locals call “the tensions”, was a violent conflict between militants from Guadalcanal island and settlers from the nearby island of Malaita. They love to play, and they come together whenever there is a futsal competition.”Sport gives hope to kids exposed to ethnic violence

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Players react to a save by the Solomon Islands’ goalkeeper. Photo:
Children hold a sign asking for peace in the rebel stronghold of the Weathercoast. External Link:

Kurukuru captain Elliot Ragomo gives an emotional press conference
“I tell you, before we play today, one school in my country is not going to school. Through the answer to that question really came the need to do something for the pikinini, the young kids of the Solomon Islands,” Mr Codrington said.”[They] had really — as the mayor of Honiara would describe it — no hope for the future because they’d seen the effects of a civil war.” He said back then, he found kids who had lost all hope in their country — but there was one thing they had a passion for.”The Solomon Islanders’ passion is outdoor football, and so because of their passion for the outdoor game and the minimal number of fields they have available, small court soccer lent itself so easily to the Solomons way of life,” he said.National side defies odds at World Cup in Colombia

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Solomon Islanders gather to watch a futsal game on a dirt field. Fustal is now the national sport of the Pacific nation (Supplied)
With no organised sport for children, Mr Codrington made it his mission to help where he could, and they have been sending teams to compete in the Australian competition since 2003.”We would see so many kids in the absence of balls kicking around paper bags, kicking around anything they could find under a coconut tree,” he said.”The nucleus of the current Kurukuru team [the Solomon Islands national team] has come out of those boys and the boys that followed in quick succession after them.”The national team defied the odds at last year’s Futsal World Cup in Columbia, and despite finishing at the bottom of their group, they still went home as champions.For the side’s captain Elliot Ragomo, it was an emotional experience. There’s now a local league that has had a local sponsor come on board, because it’s seen the value of the futsal in assisting community development.”We’re seeking to make the difference physically, relationally, emotionally and spiritually, and to have organisations that are standing beside us in that and providing resources is wonderful,” he said. (Reuters, file)
“I said well it’s one thing to hand out little aid boxes over Christmas, but what else can we do long-term … Key points: ‘The tensions’An estimated 200 people were killed in the violenceSeveral thousand Malaitan settlers were displacedInnocent civilians on both sides were frequently tortured Sexual violence was widespread, and no perpetrator has ever been punished— Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission
The settlers came to Guadalcanal seeking opportunities in Honiara, but this led to resentment from locals.The Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimates around 200 people were killed during the tensions, although the total number of those killed is not known.These deaths stemmed from fighting between militants, as well as from injuries sustained during torture, beatings and abductions.Several thousand Malaitans living on Guadalcanal fled their homes during the violence, and many children were caught up in the chaos.New South Wales-based Pastor Brian Codrington helped introduce futsal to the country back in 2002, before the players that just toured Australia were even born.He first travelled to the country during the tensions period and had gone to deliver shoeboxes of gifts for Christmas with the aid group Samaritans Purse, but a conversation with the then-mayor of Honiara provided inspiration.
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January 14, 2017 05:57:02

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The Solomon Islands under-12s futsal team celebrates at the National Championships in Sydney. (Football NSW/George Loupis)

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Mobile barbershop to offer free haircuts to Brisbane’s homeless

Orange Sky Laundry road trip: Search for Aussies making a difference
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Barber Danielle Hannah gives a haircut to Queensland Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni. Homeless people on Brisbane’s northside will be offered free haircuts thanks to a $73,000 mobile barbershop launching in March.It is the brainchild of barber Danielle Hannah and her colleague Teresa Reed, who believe a good haircut can work wonders.”I hope it gives them a lift and I hope it makes them realise they are welcome in the community,” Ms Reed said.”Often we walk past people that are homeless and don’t really look at them and I think a good haircut can help change that.”It is a similar venture to the successful Orange Sky Laundry which runs a free mobile laundry service for the homeless.It started in Brisbane in 2014 and now operates 10 services in cities including the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart.Ms Hannah said the mobile barbershop should be on the road by March.”It is exciting to think you can lift someone’s spirit and make them feel better about themselves by simply giving them a haircut,” she said.The venture will be funded by the Queensland Government through its Dignity First Fund.Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said the fund was designed to encourage innovative, non-traditional ideas to help people experiencing homelessness live with dignity.”With the offer of a haircut there is also an opportunity for people to interact socially, for them to engage and connect with others and to access the information and support they need,” he said. (Supplied: Danielle Hannah)
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Danielle Hannah (left) and her colleague Teresa Reed are ready to give the homeless free haircuts.
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Float planes provide ‘flying ambulance’ for remote PNG residents

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(Supplied: Mark Palm) By Papua New Guinea correspondent Eric Tlozek

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January 13, 2017 07:25:30

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Villagers paddle a canoe by a Cessna 206 along the Sepik River.
(Supplied: Mark Palm)
Medical director Chris Cook said he sees a broad range of cases. Californian aircraft engineer Mark Palm runs Samaritan Aviation from the East Sepik capital, Wewak.”In this area there’s a river, the Sepik River, that’s 700 miles long, 1,100 kilometres, there’s one hospital in this area for 500,000 people,” he said. Photo:
Samaritan Aviation founder Mark Palm and his family at the official launching of their latest plane. “We go to places that take three to five days for them to come in to the one hospital and we’re able to go out there in a 45-minute flight, pick up a patient and bring them straight to the hospital. “We do everything from trauma patients, spear wounds, knife wounds, gunshot wounds to maternal cases, newborn babies, you name it,” he said. “This airplane or the two airplanes we have now is really a lifeline and we offer access and hope to these people who have none,” Mr Palm said. It took the men 10 years to raise the money for the first plane, but now Mr Palm’s entire family lives in the provincial capital Wewak and runs the service as a Christian outreach organisation. Mr Palm’s wife Kirsten and their three children provide follow-up support for patients in the provincial hospital.”It’s just so rewarding” Mrs Palm said.”There’s nothing that can replace helping other people have a chance at life.” Samaritan Aviation gets its funding from the PNG Government, charities like Oxfam, and private donors in the United States. “Basically when they bring medicines we are happy about it.”

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A Cessna 206 delivering medicines in the Sepik River region. Photo:
A patient arrives in Wewak en route to a hospital. “I’ve gotten duck eggs, crocodile meat and watermelons and chickens and different things and it’s all just them being thankful with what they have and that’s what it’s all about,” he said. (Supplied: Mark Palm)
Sepik villagers normally have to travel in canoes or small motorboats for days to get lifesaving medical treatment. “So this is basically a flying ambulance.”

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A Samaritan Aviation plane at a floating village. (Supplied: Mark Palm) It has already expanded its service by adding a second plane, and is now looking at servicing other remote parts of PNG. There are only two runways in the vast Sepik River region of Papua New Guinea, and the Samaritan Aviation planes don’t need either of them.The two Cessna 206 float planes can land on the many waterways of the Sepik floodplain, allowing Samaritan Aviation to provide a free air ambulance service for the people living along PNG’s longest river and its many tributaries. “Saman Balus is giving good services to the people along the Sepik River,” he said. The service has transported more than 600 critically ill patients since it began flying six years ago. (Supplied: Mark Palm)
Mark Palm founded Samaritan Aviation in 2000 with his friend Gary Bustin, after visiting PNG as a 19-year-old some years before. Photo:
A mother proudly holds her healthy baby. (Supplied: Mark Palm)
Samaritan Aviation, known locally by the Pidgin name Saman Balus, also transports medical supplies and equipment to outlying villages.Montford Mambare manages a health clinic in the village of Biwat.

Big things expected from rising tennis stars Cabrera and Aiava

(AAP: Dave Hunt) 7.30

By Lauren Day

Updated

January 12, 2017 17:17:39

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Destanee Aiava after winning her first round match against Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the USA at the Brisbane International last week.

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Cabrera grew up in Townsville before moving to Brisbane to train at the National Academy.Her parents, who are from the Philippines, are both working in an abattoir to support her dream.Cabrera clawed her way up more than 800 places in the rankings in just 12 months.”I set a goal in January last year to be at the Australian Open this year and I was ranked 1,062 and I think a lot of people were kind of like, ‘You know, that’s a bit ambitious’,” she said.”But you know, I truly believed that I’d be able to get there.”Her ambition did not stop at just getting a wildcard. As tennis fans prepare for the Australian Open next week, they are hanging their hopes on a new crop of young players to boost the country’s waning success internationally.When the Open kicks off in Melbourne on Monday, all eyes will be on the big four — Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray — all tourists on Australian soil.Australia’s accomplishments internationally have declined in recent years, with only one Australian grand slam winner in the past 15 years.The head of women’s tennis at Tennis Australia, Nicole Pratt, believes the country’s geography is part of the problem.”I think it’s tough being from Australia,” she said.”I think it’s one of our greatest challenges as Australian tennis players is that we’re so far from tournaments throughout the world.”Yes, we have four weeks of events here in Australia, but the other 11 months is really outside of this country.”Despite that, she is expecting big things from the current crop of young players.Two of those making their grand slam debuts as wildcards next week are 19-year-old Lizette Cabrera and 16-year-old Destanee Aiava.”I think Destinee and Lizette have a great shot of winning at least a first round at the Australian Open,” Ms Pratt said.”They’ve proven over the last couple of weeks that they are capable of beating top 100 players.”They’ve been waiting a long time for this moment and they’ll be excited and it’ll just be a case of whether or not they can contain their emotions and use their emotions in the right way.”‘I truly believed I’d be able to get there’

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Lizette Cabrera says she wants to win at least one round at the Australian Open. Cabrera wants to win at least one round.”Anyone’s beatable really, if you have the right attitude and you execute on the day,” she said.”I’m definitely not satisfied with just playing, I actually want to win a round.”‘She loves the attention’The talk of the tournament has been another wildcard entry, Aiava.Her mum and coach Rosie Aiava said Destanee was lapping up the limelight.”I think she loves the whole attention, it’s all about me,” she said.”I’m enjoying it as well because she’s loving it, but my job is to make sure that she has that little bit of fun and we’ll keep her grounded and get back into the hard work again.”Pratt said that was important, as many promising young players get overwhelmed by early success and never make it any further.”All of a sudden there’s media attention, the people around her can start to think, ‘Oh well she’s made it, she’s there.’ And that is so far from the truth — there is a long, long way to go,” she said.”So for both Destinee and Lizette I think it’s really important the people around them keep things in perspective, each and every day just work on getting their games better and the results tend to take care of themselves.”

How to grow frangipani flowers and make them last

Recycled oyster shells set to regenerate reef in Sydney Harbour
(Facebook: Kath Lindsay-Newey)
In Sydney, the most common are Aussie pink, traditional white yellow, fruit salad and cotton candy.Photos sent to ABC Radio Sydney show the range of beautiful colours, from the traditional white and yellow to deep red and pink. Photo:
A photo from the backyard of Denyse Whelan’s home in Gorokan on the NSW Central Coast. External Link:

Frangipani pale pink

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frangipani hot pink

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frangipani curled

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Frangipani single flower

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frangipanis yellow
Grow a frangipani tree from a cuttingMr Reiss grows thousands of frangipani trees on his farm in Ingleside in northern Sydney and sells them at markets on weekends.He believes the best time to grow them from a cutting is in spring or mid-summer.In the colder months the cutting will likely die, he said.The first step is to take a cutting off a tree and dry it out for 10 days. Photo:
A frangipani in the garden at Bonny Hills. Photo:
Beautiful pink frangipani flowers in Haberfield. (Facebook: Stefica Key)
“Sit it upright in a shaded area and remove all the leaves,” Mr Reiss said.”This will make the end of it hard so bacteria can’t travel up the stem and rot.”Plant the cutting in well-drained soil and in a semi-sun area.Make picked flowers lastOnce your tree is flowering, you will have beautiful flowers for the home.Mr Reiss advises putting the stems of flowers in a bowl of water to make the petals and the fragrance last a few days. (Facebook: Denyse Whelan)
Stop the flowers from falling in the water by poking their stems into the water through a plastic PVC gutter guard or plastic mesh over the top of the bowl.”There are at least eight to nine different fragrances,” Mr Reiss said.”I love all the different colours and I love that in the cold they shed all their leaves and start fresh in spring.” When they are in full bloom, frangipanis are spectacular flowers with a strong fragrance that decorate any garden, footpath or park.While native to Mexico, Venezuela and other countries of Central America, they give Sydney that distinct summer feeling when the trees flower each year in December and January.Sydney frangipani gardener and market grower Stuart Reiss describes them as “a beautiful thing”.”Frangipani is holidays, it’s summer time, it’s all of the good stuff.”There are thousands of varieties within the frangipani family — genus plumeria — and a wide variety of colours.
ABC Radio Sydney

By

Amanda Hoh

Posted

January 11, 2017 12:51:26

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Frangipani trees are in full bloom in the Sydney summer. (ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
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Graduate becomes Queensland’s first quadriplegic medical intern

Quadriplegic medical graduate fears unemployment
By Ashleigh Stevenson

Posted

January 09, 2017 17:48:38
A Queensland medical graduate, who was left quadriplegic after a car accident, says being offered a place as an intern at the Gold Coast University Hospital was a “surreal” moment.Doctor Dinesh Palipana became a quadriplegic in 2010 when he was in a bad car crash on the Gateway Motorway.Last week, he was offered an intern placement, making him the first quadriplegic medical intern in Queensland.Dr Palipana said it was a huge relief to be offered a placement after years of dedication.”I got a call on Friday afternoon at 2:37pm, I remember the time pretty well,” he said.”By that point I wasn’t sure what I’d be doing on Monday so I was trying to make plans with what I’d be doing in the next few weeks.”I started medical school in 2008, then had the accident so it’s taken a while to get to this point and it feels incredible, surreal.”Gold Coast Hospital’s Clinical Governance, Education and Research executive director, Professor Marianne Vonau, said she was confident Dr Palipana would overcome the challenges he is faced with.”We certainly acknowledge that it will be a challenge but we are probably the organisation of best fit for Dinesh given that he did spend some time here as a medical student,” she said.”There are obviously some issues around physical and practical requirements of an intern which we’ll work with Dinesh to overcome so he will be successful in the end.”Dr Palipana said he wanted to encourage other people with disabilities to follow their dreams.”Just because you have a physical impairment doesn’t mean things are cut off so I hope we’ve shown what is possible.”
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Dinesh Palipana’s dream is to become a radiologist when his internship is over. (ABC News: Ashleigh Stevenson)
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Lawn bowler completes ‘ridiculous’ 73-hour game

Lawn bowler attempts 73-hour game after misreading world record
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Cloncurry 4824
(ABC News: Lucy Murray)
He took on the challenge to raise $20,000 for a verandah over his club’s disability ramp.It was an emotional finish for Mr Barwick, 46, who said he was heading to the pub to have a beer, cigar and relax.”I’m feeling very well suntanned and relieved,” he told ABC Brisbane.”If someone told me they were going to do it, first of all I’d say ‘wake up to your bloody self’.”Second, ‘there’s no way in the world you’d do it’.”Third, of all ‘go have a cold shower after’. (ABC News: Lucy Murray )

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Lucy Murray on Twitter: A well deserved beer will be poured in 20 minutes time for this almost world record holder. It’s ridiculous.”Seventy-three hours playing bowls in the Cloncurry heat — I would not wish it on my worst enemy.””The bowling club means a lot to me — lots of good friends, lots of good mates.”The bowling club is like a family member to me, it always will be.”

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At 71 hours in, Mr Barwick was still going strong despite 16 millimetres of rain overnight. Mr Barwick said he originally read that 73 hours was the world record, but he later realised that no such record existed.The longest game Mr Barwick had played until now lasted between eight to 12 hours, although afterwards he felt fine and ready to continue.Ambulance crews monitored the event, as did officials to make sure the attempt was legitimate.Mr Barwick was able to take a 10-minute break every four hours, during which he was able to get massages.Meals were brought to him on the lawn, where he also guzzled water and sports drinks.Donations were still coming through on Monday morning.The club’s Facebook page posted information on how to donate to the cause. A man in outback Queensland has endured blistering sun and heavy rain to set the world record for the longest continuous game of lawn bowls.Cloncurry Bowls Club manager Shayne Barwick started on Friday morning and played for 73 hours, rolling his final ball at 10:00am today in front of a cheering crowd of supporters. Photo:
Shayne Barwick shows off his tan after 71.5 hours on the bowling green.

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January 09, 2017 12:12:41

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Shayne Barwick started his record attempt on Friday morning. (Facebook: Cloncurry Bowls Club)

Retiring fire chief recalls decades of rescues and tragedies

Women half of NSW firefighting graduates for first time
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By

Amanda Hoh

Posted

January 06, 2017 12:04:51

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Commissioner Greg Mullins is retiring after 39 years with the FRNSW. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)

(Supplied: FRNSW)
Yet while he is looking forward to “a big rest” and not being on call 24/7, it will be the FRNSW family he will miss the most.”When you work with people who will put their lives on the line to save yours in a critical situation, there’s a bond.”It’s been such an honour and I am very proud of the men and women that serve.”We’re the best fire brigade in Australia and one of the best in the world … Greg Mullins still recalls his first job as a firefighter — he was 12 and living in Terrey Hills with his parents.”It was 1971, that was my first big bushfire,” he said.”I went down with dad with his old Hillman Hunter, wet sacks and some rakes, facing off 10-metre-high flames.”And I was hooked.”On Friday, Mr Mullins will hang up his helmet as the chief of Fire and Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) and retire at the age of 57.Remembering the tragediesMr Mullins signed up to firefighting college after high school, which kickstarted an illustrious career spanning 39 years.His first station was with the Manly brigade, followed by Crows Nest and then City of Sydney.He was the youngest ever assistant commissioner in 1996, was appointed director of state operations in 2000, then Commissioner of FRNSW in 2003. Women half of firefighting grads For the first time, equal numbers of men and women graduate from the NSW firefighting school. Photo:
As commissioner Greg Mullins was on call 24/7. Mr Mullins said he was confident such a partnership would be developed in the near future.His main goal as commissioner though was to increase the number of women in the fire brigade.When he joined in 1978 Mr Mullins said he was told “only men could fight fires”, until 1985 when women were “allowed” to join the frontline.And after years of hard work, his proudest moment of his career came last month when the last class of graduate firefighters for 2016 had an equal number of men and women.”I just looked at them and thought, this is the future face of the organisation.”Leaving a familyThe first thing Mr Mullins plans to do in his retirement is go on a barramundi fishing trip with the fire chief in Darwin.He then plans to do some travel before competing in karate at the World Police and Firefighting Games in Los Angeles in August. (Supplied: FRNSW)
There have been thousands of incidents; from rescuing toes caught in bath plugs, to being buried under a house collapse in his 20s, and finally the tragedies he struggles to forget like the Quakers Hill nursing home fire.But of all his years of service, three events will forever remain stuck in his mind.One is the phone call he received on Boxing Day in 2004 telling him that a team had to be sent to Indonesia following the devastating tsunami.Years later, there was his trip to visit firies helping out in Christchurch following the 2011 earthquake that killed 185 people.The other is September 11, 2001.”Six weeks before I was with the fire department in New York,” he said.”They took me to show me the World Trade Centre.”Six weeks later, people I had been on a fire engine with had been killed.”Achieving equalityThe plans to relocate the FRNSW headquarters from Sydney’s CBD to Greenacre this year prompted Mr Mullins’ decision to retire.He also felt satisfied he had ticked everything, bar one task, off his to-do list since he took the helm.He had hoped to see a partnership between Ambulance NSW and FRNSW; where a fire truck with a trauma kit could answer an emergency call if they were located closer to the scene and treat patients until paramedics arrived. Photo:
Greg Mullins rescuing people, animals and fighting fires in the 1980s. the public is in good hands and thank you to all who have supported me.”

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Greg Mullins started his career with the Manly fire brigade. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
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The gift of guitar: Aussie comes to the rescue of Thai musician in time of need

By South-East Asia correspondent Liam Cochrane

Posted

January 06, 2017 07:26:17

Video: The gift of guitar

(ABC News)
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The experience of nursing her mother has profoundly changed the Thai guitarist. Photo:
Ray Ingram has had to come to terms with not being able to play his most loved guitar. “My mum always asked me how much I loved her and I liked rabbits so much … “I started to sell my guitars and I thought, ‘I’ll keep at least one to play’, but in the end it wasn’t enough so I had to sell them all,” she said.The sad story reached 79-year old Australian Ray Ingram, who lives in Thailand. Photo:
Irin Prechanvinit’s mother was diagnosed with late stage cancer. Photo:
The offer of the vintage guitar came the day before Irin Prechanvinit’s mother died. “I’m sure that my late mother would be very pleased to know that it’s gone to someone who is extremely talented,” Mr Ingram said. “I could understand the loss of losing instruments,” Mr Ingram said.He was also coming to terms with not being able to play his most loved guitar, after a near-fatal bacterial infection left him with no feeling in his fingertips.”I thought, ‘well, I’m sure this young lady would like the guitar’,” he said. so when I couldn’t think of something big enough to describe my feelings, I told her I loved her until the end of rabbit sky.”The strange epithet will also be the name of the charity concert that will raise money for late-stage cancer patients. “I know it’s a gift from his mother and I know it’s very important to him,” Ms Prechanvinit said. (ABC News: Liam Cochrane)
“I do know it’s very old, my mother gave it to me when I was quite a young man,” said Mr Ingram.The offer of the vintage guitar came the day before Ms Prechanvinit’s mother died. The Admira-branded classical guitar was made by German Enrique Keller in his Spanish factory, probably in the late 1940s or ’50s. (ABC News: Liam Cochrane)
Love until the ‘end of rabbit sky’While the old guitar gets some minor repairs, its new owner is practicing on another donated instrument, working on her next album and a fundraising concert in 2017. Her mother had been diagnosed with late stage cancer. “The wood is very old and the sound is very beautiful,” she said, sitting with Mr Ingram on his porch during a recent visit. Young Thai guitarist Irin Prechanvinit had just released an album and was on top of the world when the awful news came. Together with her mother’s medical team, she runs a website called Cancer Fighter, which collates information for patients in Thailand. “I told doctors to provide her the best medicine they have.”But the treatment was expensive and Ms Prechanvinit decided to cash in on her most precious possessions. She is also writing a book, to be called Mother From the End of Rabbit Sky.”The end of rabbit sky was a secret code my mum and I used since I was a kid,” Ms Prechanvinit said. (ABC News: Liam Cochrane)
“I tried everything, the modern medication and the alternative treatment,” Ms Prechanvinit said. Both Mr Ingram and Ms Prechanvinit hope the old Spanish guitar will make an appearance on stage.