It is just before midnight and an 18-year-old girl is sitting in the gutter after her high school formal after-party.
The end-of-year celebration at a house in Auburn in Sydney’s west has been shut down. The teen, from a Catholic school on the north shore, is eager for a lift home after several hours’ drinking.
A car, with a man in his 30s behind the wheel, pulls up beside her and sparks up conversation.
The teen will later tell police the next thing she recalls is being in the passenger seat of his car and feeling the overwhelming effects of alcohol as they weaved through the streets of western Sydney.
It was the beginning of a nightmare 24 hours for the school student, who was allegedly kept captive, sexually assaulted repeatedly by three men and forced to smoke drugs.
The scale of the allegations can be revealed after a statement of facts was tendered in Penrith Local Court, where the accused, Ali Imrak, 37, and Ruhi Dagdanasar, 45, made a failed attempt for bail last week.
Another man involved in the alleged sex attack hasn’t been identified.
Four separate videos showing the alleged sexual assaults at a house in Glenwood were played during the bail hearing with the crown alleging the victim was so intoxicated she was incapable of giving consent.
According to the fact sheet, after getting into the man’s car outside the after party, the victim was driven to a two-storey house where Imrak and Dagdanasar were.
Feeling uneasy, the teen sent her friend a text stating “can you come and get me. I am scared. I am at these weird druggo guys house”.
She was allegedly pressured into drinking alcohol before Dagdanasar put a pipe up to her mouth and told her to smoke the white substance inside.
Over the next few hours she was allegedly sexually assaulted by three men despite being dizzy and unable to stand.
At one point, Dagdanasar allegedly commented that the victim was drooling and unable to lift her head while one of the other men was allegedly having sex with her.
She passed out and woke up to someone forcing her to have oral sex. The teen was allegedly led up to a bathroom and undressed while the unidentified man stood watching her, stating “you’re so f—ing gorgeous”.
The teen was allegedly made to have sex but “continued to fall over due to her level of intoxication”, according to the facts.
“(The teen) yelled out in pain saying no,” the court documents state.
“At this point the unknown accused moved away grabbed his clothes and said ‘you’re really fucking annoying me, you’re so frustrating’.”
When the teen moved down stairs she was assaulted again, with the men allegedly taking turns to have sex with her with Imrak remarking “you love it”.
After a few hours, it was just the teen and Dagdanasar left at the house as the alleged victim started to feel the effects of alcohol wearing off.
It was 5pm on November 10 – hours after she was found sitting in the gutter – when the teen texted her sister: “I got raped, I am still here I need to leave”.
Trying to remain calm, the girl convinced Dagdanasar to let her leave, according to the facts.
Walking her to the door, Dagdanasar let the teen outside, telling her: “You’re always welcome back here babe.”
In the rain in the middle of the night, the teen walked through the streets following directions from her sister on the phone until police met up with her.
The victim was left with bruising to her legs and knees and a tear to her tongue from the force of the assaults.
She told police she felt she had no choice but to be at the house and was forced to take drugs so she was in a limp state.
The court was closed while Dagdanasar and Imrak, charged with sex assault and deprivation of liberty, made bail applications last week but both were refused.
Outside court lawyer Elias Tabchouri said he had been instructed to defend the charges.
Foreign minister Julie Bishop speaking at the opening of the Kimberley Process in Perth on Monday May 1, 2017.?? Photo: Supplied continues to assist in international prosecutions where the death penalty is an option, while underpinning its bid for a seat on the United Nation’s Human Rights Council with a call to abolish capital punishment worldwide.
Newly released figures, obtained through freedom of information laws, show the n Federal Police have assisted in nearly 130 foreign investigations involving more than 400 people since 2015, where a successful prosecution could potentially lead to a death sentence.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop lobbied for ‘s election to the Human Rights Council for the 2018-20 term in New York this week, and has stated the worldwide abolition of the death penalty is one of ‘s goals.
But the AFP continues to assist foreign investigations where the death penalty could be handed down, refusing to co-operate in only nine of 129 cases it has been asked for information.
AFP approval rates for international assistance, mostly involving drug crime, have been steady since 2010. In 2015, 92 per cent of requests were, rising to 96 per cent in 2016. No other information, such as the countries requesting the information, or the cases involved, was given.
has used its opposition to the death penalty – and a call for a global abolition of the punitive measure used in nearly 60 countries – as a key argument for its inclusion on the UN Human Rights Council.
But this year, the government quietly rejected recommendations from a parliamentary committee which would have banned the AFP from sharing drug crime information with other countries unless provided with assurances the death penalty would not be applied, prompting fears of a repeat of the Bali nine heroin plot which saw ns Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran executed after tip-offs to Indonesian authorities.
The committee recommended ministerial approval be required for “high-risk” cases and the AFP refuse co-operation on drug trafficking cases unless assurances that the death penalty would not be sought, both of which were rejected by the government.
A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General’s department said the government “has and will continue to seek suitable assurances in appropriate cases where it is clear that the death penalty is likely to be imposed”.
But Emily Howie of the Human Rights Law Centre said was sending mixed messages.
“Global abolition of the death penalty is meant to be a core objective of ‘s Human Rights Council bid,” she said.
“But whilst the Foreign Minister spouts the right language to delegates in New York, the reality is that every week the AFP continues to share information that puts peoples’ lives at risk. If really opposes the death penalty, it must do so not just through the speeches of our ministers but through the actions of all n departments and agencies.
“The fact remains that if the Bali nine case were to happen again tomorrow, there is nothing to stop the AFP from doing exactly the same thing.
“Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran learned from their mistakes, we owe it to them to learn from ours.”
Researcher Sarah Gill, who has studied ‘s response to the death penalty, said neither legislation, or the guidelines the AFP follow when asked for co-operation “present much of an obstacle to information sharing”.
“The question we need to ask is: are we serious about human rights or aren’t we? Capital punishment is a core human rights issue, and we ought to have a consistent approach, including in relation to law enforcement co-operation, if we think this really matters,” she said.
Under the guidelines, a senior AFP official can sign off on requests from overseas before detention, arrest, charge or conviction. After an individual has been arrested, detained, charged or convicted, requests for information must have ministerial approval.
Police-to-police assistance can include everything from providing personal information like dates or birth or criminal records to wider co-operation in investigations. Some of the data includes foreign citizens.
Philip Ruddock, who served as attorney-general in the Howard government and is now ‘s special human rights envoy, led calls for a ban on sharing information in prosecutions where the death penalty could be handed down as a sentence following the executions of Chan and Sukumaran in 2015.
The Coalition said those recommendations were impractical because foreign law enforcement partners could not provide such assurances and it would be “inappropriate” to undertakings from prosecutors.
It is believed there are 12 ns sitting on death rows across the world, mostly for drug crimes.
Bayleigh McIntosh from Sydney’s east knows the risk if her child car restraint isn’t buckled snug and tight: “If you are in crash you will fall out a window,” the five-year-old said.
Properly secured and in the right child car seat for her age, a child like Bayleigh is the safest occupant in the car, said pediatric surgeon Susan Adams, director of surgery with The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.
Yet Dr Adams has treated children who were severely injured in “horrific preventable crashes” with broken necks, backs and internal injuries because of errors in how they were restrained.
Experts say the number of potentially fatal mistakes in how child restraints are fitted or installed hasn’t improved, becoming an “intractable problem” threatening the lives of children.
A 2010 study of 503 children from newborn to the age of 12 found half of all restraints had errors in how they were used. Some had up to seven errors each, ranging from failing to buckle the child in to slackness in the belts and sashes. Most often parents weren’t aware they had made a mistake.
Now, a new study has found the error rate is even worse, with nearly all parents struggling to understand manufacturers instructions and manuals.
Researchers from Neuroscience Research (NeuRA)watched as parents read manuals and then attempted to correctly fit and install a child-sized mannequin in a rear-facing restraint.
They found 90 per cent made at least one mistake. Many made several. Yet after many rounds of revisions using suggestions from parents, the level of errors dropped to 10 per cent.
“Everyone is seeing this intractable problem of incorrect use,” said Dr Julie Brown, a senior research fellow with NeuRA.
Researchers around the world were witnessing a similar level of mistakes.
“What we’ve been doing over past decades has made no difference to correct use,” Dr Brown said. “It’s a longstanding problem, and nothing has really changed.”
Nearly all n children now wear the right restraint for their age, following the introduction of national laws in 2009 and 2010. Car crashes remain a leading cause of death and disabling injuries among children, but the fatality rate for child passengers has dropped from 70 to 40 a year in recent years.
Since January, 11 children under 16 have died on NSW roads alone, including a young child who died when a car rolled over late on Friday in the Hunter Valley. In 2016, nearly 1000 NSW children under 16 – many passengers in vehicles – were seriously injured in collisions.
A properly-installed and fitted child restraint stops a child moving in a crash, by attaching them to the vehicle’s rigid structure. It ensures the force of an impact hits the strongest parts of the body more likely to recover, like bones, instead of internal organs and the brain which may never heal properly.
Mistakes occur in three ways:
In what could be music to the ears of anyone who has struggled to install a car seat, Dr Brown and her colleague Professor Lynne Bilston are asking parents for advice.
“Instead of a group of experts sitting around, we are actually talking to parents, and parents and consumers are driving the direction of our research,” Dr Brown said.
“We are trying to ensure information supplied with child restraints is comprehensible, and to improve restraint design so they’re actually difficult to use incorrectly,” Dr Brown said.
They are conducting three different projects: a naturalistic study where 700 families will have videos installed in their cars to see what really happens; focus groups asking parents for feedback; and laboratory studies that watch adults install car seats and then try to improve the design.
Professor Bilston said the research had shown it was possible to develop instructions and manuals that reduced dangerous mistakes. But sometimes it took seven iterations – for each type of restraint – before users could install them with 90 per cent accuracy.
“We keep going until they can be understood,” she said.
The key was breaking instructions into simple and numbered steps, and providing clear diagrams.
In focus groups of more than 40 women, users found images unrealistic and uninformative.
Others wanted prompts to remind others looking after children to do the right thing: “Have a big sign saying ‘fasten me tight.”
Another suggested linking warnings to specific risks such as “your child is going to have a punctured spleen or something if this [strap is twisted]”.
Dr Adams said the uptake of the new restraints had been good, but much more energy needed to be devoted to making them easier to use. “Parents want to do the right thing, but they need support to do that,” she said.
The impact of these crashes was “awful because it is so sudden. One day your life is going on in one direction, and if you had your time over you would do something different,” she said.
Bayleigh’s mother had taught her to sit still: “I don’t wiggle around!” she said. Older children may unbuckle restraints, or ask to sit in the front. The current recommendation is that children 12 and under should sit in the rear seat.
Lisa Keay from the George Institute for Global Health, said parents needed to introduce hard rules early and stick to them.
“You may think it is quite safe because you are just going down the street,” said Professor Keay, a deputy director of the Injury Division at The George Institute,
“But there is a risk always. Even a low speed crash can cause injury.
“You have to be inflexible: it is like you don’t let kids eat poisons.”
A few thousand fans lined Market Street outside the State Theatre in Sydney on Monday evening to catch a glimpse of Tom Cruise at the premiere of his new action-packed film, The Mummy.
Always the crowd-pleaser, the Hollywood A-lister, 54, arrived early and spent around 30 minutes greeting fans and posing for countless selfies before jumping back on the black carpet to chat with media.
When asked what it was like to be back in where he used to often visit when married to Nicole Kidman, whom he split from in 2001, he told Fairfax Media: “It’s amazing, so beautiful. I love it here.
“It will always be a home for me. My family is n and I make films here and I have many friends, so it’s wonderful. I am very happy to be back.”
He was joined at the premiere by his co-star, New Zealand-born, n-raised, Russell Crowe, 53. Despite their extensive careers in acting, it was the first time they have ever worked together.
Crowe, who remains a close friend of Kidman’s, said despite being first introduced 25 years ago by Kidman, they were waiting for the right project to collaborate on. Recalling their first encounter, he told Fairfax Media:
“We’ve known each other since 1992. We met – there will be a few names hitting the floor here – we were at a barbecue at Naomi Watts’ house and Nicole Kidman, who was Tom’s wife at the time, introduced me. She brought him over to where I was sitting. The most amazing thing was that I was talking to, at the time, the biggest movie star in the world, and he had been introduced to my films by his wife, so he was asking me questions, not the other way around. It was a pretty amazing experience and we have been friends ever since.
“When [The Mummy] came up, it felt like the right one.”
Cruise was also thrilled to work alongside the Oscar winner.
“I’ve known him for 100 years and when we were standing on set, I was like, ‘I cannot believe that we haven’t done this before.’ When he said he would play Doctor Jekyll I was so excited to see what he would do with that character and have the opportunity to finally work with him,” Cruise said.
Crowe said he enjoyed the fight scenes most.
“We smacked the shit out of each other,” he laughed.
While speaking with Fairfax Media, Cruise interrupted Crowe for a bear hug and to introduce himself to Crowe’s sons Charles and Tennyson, who seemed thrilled to meet the Mission: Impossible star.
Algerian actor Sofia Boutella, 35, and English-born star Annabelle Wallis, 32, were also in attendance, singing the praises of the leading man, Cruise.
“He’s very charismatic and lovely and sweet,” Boutella said. “The first time I met Tom he took me on a helicopter ride… He took me on another helicopter ride for my birthday… I had to pinch myself sometimes.”
The Mummy is in cinemas from June 8.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES ??????
129 minutes (M)
Five films into the Pirates of the Caribbean series, the truth must be faced: the preening Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp, is just not as charming as he used to be.
Perhaps this reflects Depp’s flagging energy, or perhaps there’s simply a limit to how long you can sustain interest in a series of fanciful pirate ghost stories inspired by a Disneyland ride.
For a while, director Gore Verbinski kept things going by making each instalment more baroque than the last – a process that culminated in the psychedelic Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, which saw Captain Jack confronting dozens of his own doppelgangers while marooned on a desert island.
At a pinch, you could see this as dramatising the psychological conflicts beneath Jack’s unfailingly jaunty exterior. In any case, since Verbinski departed the series the character has reverted to being strictly a collection of audience-pleasing effects – mincing, leering, throwing up his hands in mock terror, and generally signalling that nothing will affect him for long.
Essentially Depp has spent the entire saga conspiring with the audience, letting us know it’s all just a game. This has a surefire appeal, but also creates a risk: if the main character can’t keep his mind on the story, why should we? The question is more pressing than ever now his flouncing around has lost its novelty, with no alternate source of excitement on the horizon.
Directed by the team of Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg – Norwegians whose previous collaborations include 2012’s Kon-Tiki, an enjoyable true-life sea story – Dead Man Tell No Tales is blatantly a potboiler rather than a film that needed to be made.
At least the script by Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can) manages to tie up some loose ends from earlier in the saga. Geoffrey Rush resurfaces as rival buccaneer Hector Barbossa, and we learn the fate of Jack’s ship the Black Pearl, which he’s been carrying round in miniaturised form inside a bottle.
In place of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley – the technical hero and heroine of the initial Pirates trilogy – we get ‘s Brenton Thwaites and Britain’s Kaya Scodelario as a fresh pair of pretty young things who, perhaps inevitably, prove as bland as their predecessors.
As a dashing sailor in search of his father, Thwaites still acts like the Home and Away hunk he was not so long ago. Scodelario, who was Cathy in Andrea Arnold’s version of Wuthering Heights, is a potentially more interesting presence, but she’s saddled with the deadly role of a self-taught scientist who shows her intellectual prowess by acting prim and stuck-up.
This may be someone’s idea of a feminist statement; if so, it’s hard to reconcile with the misogyny on display elsewhere – notably in a mirthless comedy bit where Jack wriggles out of a forced marriage. Penelope Cruz – introduced in the last Pirates chapter, On Stranger Tides, as Jack’s female equivalent – is nowhere to be found.
For the usual reasons too complicated to explain, all the lead characters wind up on a quest for the fabled Trident of Poseidon, tangling with a crew of spectral pirate hunters along the way. Javier Bardem plays their vengeful leader, though his performance largely disappears under all the digital effects and Halloween makeup.
Also close to unrecognisable is Paul McCartney, whose cameo as Jack’s uncle aims to one-up Keith Richards’ appearance in On Stranger Tides – though Richards’ involvement made more sense, given how often Depp cited him as a model for Jack’s rockstar persona.
The mandatory slapstick action sequences are competently done, especially a bank robbery involving the theft of the entire bank. A handful of quips have a Monty Python flavor: condemned to death, Jack champions stoning as an execution method on the grounds that it “gets the crowd involved”.
But there’s little of Verbinski’s flair for topping one absurdity with another, and it’s clear that Ronning and Sandberg are under orders to remain in familiar waters rather than seek out anything new.
It doesn’t help that much of the action is shrouded in dreary semi-darkness, especially when viewed through 3D glasses. Considering the vogue for 3D blockbusters has lasted almost a decade, you’d think by now Hollywood would have solved that problem at least.
Cherie Barber Photo: ANDREW TURNER SCAPE PHOTOGRAPHYThe tiny enclave of hilltop properties making Teneriffe Brisbane’s most exclusive suburbBrisbane homeowners spending millions of dollars on renovations in these sububsRenovating Queenslanders: we’re getting smarter and grander
Celebrity renovator Cherie Barber has personally renovated 101 properties and taught thousands of students how to do it too ??? but insists her success is all a big accident.
Rewind some 30 years and she was a Year 11 student who had to quit school to help her family after her parents divorced.
Like so many women of her generation, Cherie’s mum had been a homemaker and struggled to find employment after the separation, she recalls.
“Mum got a personal loan for a shop; she thought she’d become a business owner but it went horribly wrong,” she says.
“She tried to sell it, but couldn’t, so she pulled me out of school so she could go and find some other job and I needed to run the shop so she could pay back the personal loan.
“It wasn’t a very successful business… but I was operating a small retail shop all by myself from 17 to 19.”Cherie earned just $50 a week during those years and when the business was finally sold she found that she had outgrown the classroom.
A property ownership dream
She soon landed her first full-time job in customer service but her desire to own a house meant she started to work at nights as well.
“I was a general hand (at a leagues club). I did that for eight years. All through my 20s, I wasn’t going out to nightclubs, I was actually sensible, I think because I’d matured so much from that experience with my mum,” she says.
“I grew up with a very basic existence. My parents are classic Aussie battlers. My dad worked very hard ??? seven days a week ??? but they weren’t money smart.”Her childhood experience meant she had a dream to own property, but it never crossed her mind to own more than one, or to become a renovator.
So it’s lucky she’s a hard-worker and tenacious, because her first property – bought at 21 with her boyfriend – was a disaster.
“We moved in and then (after) about a month living there, we were like: ‘This is really shit’. We’d bought on a eight-lane highway – four lanes one way and four lanes the other,” Cherie says.
“We’d be in bed at night and you couldn’t sleep. There were freight trucks going past and you’d think that one of them would come through your window at any moment.”
The couple had to get out, so they scrubbed that property from top to bottom and painted over its plum and green walls.
Cherie even went on a “rampage” outdoors.
“Because we didn’t have any money, all we did was rip up the grungy carpet that had been there for the past 30 years. We didn’t have enough money to polish the floor boards so we just left them as is,” she says.
“I went on a rampage with some garden clippers and a lawn mower and cleaned up the garden and made it look neat and tidy. We didn’t have enough money to update the kitchen or bathroom.”After only six months of ownership, the couple walked away with a $40,000 profit, which they soon reinvested in another property in a slightly quieter street in the same suburb.
A renovation life takes shape
They lived there for seven years while undertaking cosmetic and structural renovations, but Cherie still had no grand renovation career plan.
“That’s why I call myself the accidental renovator because I never actually deliberately went to a seminar and went: ‘I’m going to be a renovator’. I fell into it by accident,” she says.
“I loved beautifying the spaces. I loved taking something that was quite ugly and making it look attractive.”But the way that I renovated that second property was no good. I thought back then it was the bees knees… but I made a lot of mistakes and was winging it and trying to work things out for myself.”It can’t have been that bad, because when they sold that property the now-separated couple walked away with about $250,000 in profit.
Still working full-time, now for L’Oreal, Cherie bought a house in Rozelle in 2000 that would wind up being the property that changed the course of her professional life.
Together with her partner at the time, she completed a renovation that took just eight weeks part-time and netted them a profit of $268,000.
“That was the catalyst. I earned three times my annual salary, working part-time doing something that I loved, versus something that I hated, so I just threw in my job and I never looked back,” she says.
“I was a slave to the pin-stripe jail. I never got any fresh air and I was making other people wealthy, not me.
“Every morning now, I jump out of bed and I put my work boots on and it feels like I’m doing a hobby that I just happen to make great money from.”
Some of the biggest names to have worn the sky blue jumper – including Queenslander Arthur Beetson??? and current NSW coach Laurie Daley – were inducted into the inaugural NSWRL Hall of Fame on Monday night.
Daley, Ron Coote, Brad Fittler???, Norm Provan???, Bradley Clyde and Bob McCarthy, as well as the Immortals who played for NSW, were revealed at the annual True Blues function held at The Star.
NSWRL chairman George Peponis???, who was also a member of the selection committee, said: “Our organisation is very proud to have established such a fitting tribute for our past players who represented New South Wales with honour, pride and passion.”
The qualification for the Hall of Fame was open to players who played 10 or more games for NSW or, alternatively, captained the state; who had played for ; and been retired for five seasons.
The game’s seven Immortals – Clive Churchill, Reg Gasnier???, John Raper???, Bob Fulton, Graeme Langlands, Beetson and Andrew Johns – were automatic selections.
So, too, were those who fitted the selection criteria before World War II, which included the likes of Dally Messenger.
That left it to the selection panel of former greats Fulton, Bob McCarthy, George Peponis and journalists Phil Rothfield and Andrew Webster to decide on the six inaugural inductees.
With the aid of rugby league statistician David Middleton, three players each from the post and pre-Origin periods were narrowed down over the last two months before a final decision was made last week.
Finalising the final six for the first induction was an arduous task, although two from each period are expected to named annually from now on.
Beetson’s selection is sure to raise eyebrows north of the Tweed, especially as interstate rivals prepare for Origin 1 at Suncorp Stadium on May 31.
Beetson played 18 interstate games over 11 years in the NSW jersey before State of Origin was born. After that, he played only three in a Maroons jumper before retiring.
1 Vaughan Street, Mount GravattMillennials worldwide: ‘I shouldn’t have to give up fun to leave home’Top five Brisbane homes under $700,000Small lot housing: Buying 300 square metres in the suburbs
Homeowners living on Brisbane’s south side could be sitting on a “goldmine” thanks to a frenzy of first-home buyers and interstate investors desperate to break into the area.
Local agents say they cannot keep up with demand in suburbs such as Mount Gravatt East, Mount Gravatt and Holland Park West, where prices are rising at a faster rate than the rest of Brisbane.
In Mount Gravatt East, house prices have risen 7.6 per cent over the past year and, more significantly, 4.3 per cent over the past quarter, which was the same period where Brisbane house prices fell by 1.4 per cent. In Mount Gravatt, prices have risen by 2.5 per cent over the year and in Holland Park West, they’re up by 3.1 per cent.
Olivia Scott-Young, agent from Freedom Property苏州夜总会招聘.au, recently sold 200 Margate Street, Mount Gravatt East, a run-down two-bedroom, one-bathroom, post-war home on 636 square metres of land.
She received a whopping 27 written offers at the first open house, all of them from first-home buyers.
“I actually had phone fatigue, I took that many calls on that property,” she says. “I have never experienced anything like it in all my career.”
Ms Scott-Young says it’s indicative of the “tidal wave of interest” in these suburbs, particularly Mount Gravatt East.
“Buyer are crazy for Mount Gravatt but even more for Mount Gravatt East, where there’s less development. The area has retained its integrity more so than other suburbs,” she says.
“It’s only eight kilometres from the CBD and neighbouring suburbs are double the price. My feeing is that prices will continue to rise throughout the year.”
A house at Kentish Street recently set a new record for similar houses in Mount Gravatt East – the three-bedroom, one-bathroom, post-war went for $676,000.
Unfortunately for mum and dad investors, prices have now outstripped rental yields, according to Isa Kural, agent at Ray White Holland Park.
“Buyers are now paying $640,000 to $650,000 for a three-bedroom, post-war house but they’ll only get $440, $450 a week in rent,” Mr Kural says.
“The numbers don’t stack up so investors are being priced out very quickly.”
Investors from Sydney and Melbourne, however, are yet to be priced out. Many have Brisbane’s south side on their radar and the competition to secure large, sub-dividable blocks of land is fierce, Mr Kural says.
“The houses with development potential are like little goldmines. Everyone wants them,” Mr Kural says.
Mr Kural recently sold 10 Nightingale Street, Mount Gravatt East – a three-bedroom original post-war home on 807 square metres – for $830,000. Only days later he sold 16 Iris Street, Holland Park West, a three-bedroom, post-war home on 810 square metres, off market for $960,000.
“These investors from down south are loaded – and they’re looking for the next best place to invest,” Mr Kural says.
“A lot of these interstate buyers are paying top dollar for these properties because they’re buying for tomorrow. They’re prepared to pay what they think it will be worth in one year’s time; they’re that confident of its capital growth.
“They’re land banking, looking to hold on to these blocks for a couple of years, then split them and build on them.”
They reckon big boys don’t cry, but the biggest Blue of them all now has shed a few in his time. And not afraid to admit it too.
“I called my dad straight away … I need to get myself together a bit,” NSW’s newly appointed skipper Boyd Cordner quivered, fighting back tears. “He’s been my No.1 supporter all my life. He was over the moon and is always proud of me no matter what I do. I think he was happier than I am.”
Which is saying something. The shy kid from Taree on the mid-NSW north coast was christened on Monday night as the man to lead his state – potentially for the next decade – after Paul Gallen’s representative retirement.
His father Chris has seen the struggles. Cordner lost his mother Lanai to cancer when he was only four, forcing his dad to raise him and his older brother Dane. There was the move to the city as a shy 16-year-old and the battle of city life. And the setbacks since? There’s been a few of them.
But when Laurie Daley wanted someone to lead primarily with actions, he found the fella with the unmistakably dimpled chin and asked him to help wrest State of Origin supremacy back south of the border.
“It means the world,” Cordner said. “As a kid all you ever wanted to do was to play State of Origin and play for NSW, but I haven’t even dreamed of being captain.
“It wasn’t until only recently when it started to get closer it hit home I might be selected as captain. Standing here now it’s a massive honour.
“I can’t really describe how I felt at the time [when I found out]. It’s an unbelievable honour for me personally and one of the highest honours you can get captaining your state.”
Not that he heard the news when Daley wanted him to hear it.
Driving home a few teammates from the Roosters’ narrow win over the Bulldogs on Sunday night, Cordner saw the coach’s name flash up on his phone. He let it go through to the keeper given it might not have been the right time to take it.
His teammates ditched a few minutes later it was then Cordner answered Daley’s call.
“I think it was a bit of relief because of all the talk after ‘Gal’ stepped down,” Cordner said. “There was a lot of talk about who was going to be the next captain.
“As it got closer my name started to get brought up a bit more and to find out off Laurie was an unbelievable feeling – a lot of joy, maybe a few tears … it’s something I’m very proud of. To look back now and see where I’ve come from and some of the setbacks to be here now as NSW captain is a pretty surreal feeling.”
The 24-year-old was elevated to co-captaincy at the Roosters this season and was identified as the most suitable man for the job from a field which included Aaron Woods, Wade Graham and Josh Jackson.
And not many can challenge his convictions.
As long ago as 2013 a young Cordner assertively told his coach Trent Robinson – mid-way through a premiership year no less – he wanted to represent his hometown of Taree in a City-Country fixture when his banged up body was best served spending a week in cotton wool according to his club.
What – if anything – Cordner pulls from the Gallen art of captaincy is questionable.
But the brash, straight-shooting Gallen is the antithesis of what Daley has found in Cordner for generational change for the Blues. And it’s hard to see Cordner being loathed as much as Gallen north of the Tweed.
“The things I’ve learned from past leaders I’ve had, especially Gal, he’s someone I’ve looked up to and the way he went about his business, he’s tough, he’s resilient and he led by his actions and he’s been an inspiration for this team for a while now,” Cordner said.
“It will be a hostile crowd [at Suncorp Stadium] and that’s what State of Origin is all about. I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be copping a fair bit and that’s part and parcel of it.”
London: Rolf Harris has attended his trial on groping allegations for the first time since leaving prison on Friday and heard as one of his accusers testified that she would never seek compensation and was motivated only by the quest for “justice” and “vindication.”
Harris has served time in Stafford prison for a conviction in 2014. He was released on Friday, five days after his trial for four counts of indecent assault began at Southwark Crown Court.
Harris arrived at court around 8.30 local time, 90 minutes before his hearing was due to begin. His in-person attendance has been well reported in the British media and the public and press galleries were both full and there was a large media presence outside the court, including photographers, journalists and cameramen.
The 87-year old entered the courtroom slowly, accompanied by his niece Jenny and another woman. He laughed and talked with his defence team, then smiled and said “morning” to the press as he entered the dock – a glass-panelled room at the back of the courtroom.
Harris listened to the trial on a hearing loop. He wore a navy suit, white shirt and blue tie with a pink pattern.
Day five of the trial heard from the third of the accusers, who alleges Harris touched her breast and asked her “do you often get molested on a Saturday morning.” The woman alleges the incident took place in 1983 at a filming of the BBC’s Saturday SuperStore program.
Harris denies the allegation and three other counts of groping two more women who were aged 16 or below at the time.
Harris’ barrister Stephen Vullo QC asked the third woman if she was motivated by compensation, a question he has put to each of the accusers.
She, like the two other accusers, denied this: “It’s never been an issue for me??? I wasn’t interested, it was never in my interests,” she told the jury.
Under re-examination, the woman said she would not seek compensation even if the jury finds Harris guilty.
“No I haven’t and I don’t intend to. This has never been about compensation – this is about vindication and justice,” she said.
“I can’t understand how anybody would want to profit from something like this.”
The woman previously told the jury, comprising seven women and five men, that when she told her sister and parents about the incident, they did not believe that someone of Rolf Harris’ stature in the entertainment world would do such a thing.
“I spent thirty-odd years not being believed I didn’t think they’d believe me and I also didn’t think they would think it was a serious enough offence,” the woman said, when asked why she only came forward after Harris was convicted in 2014.
She said Harris’ previous conviction had not made it any easier to come forward.
“It’s probably been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life to be honest,” she said.
She, like the other two accusers have had private investigators employed by Harris trawling through their lives and contacting acquaintances they have not seen in thirty years.
“It’s been an awful experience,” she said.
“All I want is finally vindication and justice for the people that this has happened to over the years.
All three women, who came forward independently of each other, have denied being motivated by compensation. They all separately warned their families and friends that after the BBC identity Jimmy Savile was exposed as a sexual predator, that “Rolf Harris would be next.”
The trial is expected to last the rest of the week.
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The look on fellow MasterChef contestants’ faces said it all. “You’re joking,” was pretty much everyone’s reaction to news that beloved “dessert guy” Bryan Zhu had been eliminated during Sweet Week.
“Don’t cry because I’ll cry too,” said Bryan as he embraced his fellow MasterChef cooks, with 19-year-old Michelle ending up in tears.
From the moment he stepped on to MasterChef, Bryan has been shouting words of encouragement when others only felt comfortable clapping, and his enthusiasm for dessert was palpable, even down to his “piece of cake” humour in the face of such a stressful elimination challenge.
“I’m gutted. He’s got more soul, more spark than anyone in this competition for sure and he’s just such a good bloke,” an almost tearful Samuel pleaded to the judges when they handed down their decision.
Food court justice George Calombaris was unrepentant, but sad for Bryan. “We totally understand how you both feel because for us today was difficult because at the end of the day it is about the food,” he said.
“But Bryan when you put that smile on your face it lights up all of our hearts. You’ve brightened up this kitchen every time you’ve come into it. We’re going to miss you so much, we really are.”
So what cost him his place on MasterChef? Three hours of hell trying to recreate a floating ice cream that relied heavily on a helium-filled toffee balloon.
Made worse, the evil genius behind the semifreddo Zeppelin was also a hero of Bryan’s – Melbourne “pastry protege” and owner of Augustus Gloop Gelatery, Christy Tania.
Even Matt Preston wasn’t going to sugarcoat it for Bryan, Samuel and Trent, who faced elimination over Tania’s ice cream float.
“It’s, to be honest, not like anything the three of us have ever cooked anywhere, anytime before,” Preston said pointing at professional chefs Gary Mehigan and Calombaris. “…Between us we think the difficulty of this dish makes it the sort of dish you’d normally find in a finale.”
If anyone should have been quaking in his chef Crocs, it was Samuel; whose skill set did not dip very far into the dessert world.
But the pressure of being surrounded by his idols (firstly Janice Wong and now Tania) clearly got to Bryan.
“Being in black is surreal, I would never have thought I’d be in blacks for Sweet Week and I feel really disappointed in myself,” Bryan began the day saying. “Because my food dream revolves around opening my own dessert bar, doing really well in this sweets pressure test means a lot to me.
“…My food dream is to open an East meets West dessert bar but my parents would always push me down a more academic path and worry that by pursuing a career in food it’s not always an easy path… And I really want to make them proud.”
So it was not long into the cook that Bryan began slipping into last place, much to the horror of the gallery above.
“Physically I just feel really trembly,” a sweaty Bryan said. “There is a lot of pressure riding on today. I’m the dessert guy so I want to prove myself.
“But this morning is not going well for me and it’s just the very, very tiny things that I’m doing wrong and I have wasted precious minutes.”
When his semifreddo mixture turned out icy, followed by his chocolate sauce not cooling down fast enough to temper, it looked like Bryan was mentally packing his bags.
“I just feel like I want to give up,” a distressed Bryan revealed. But then he rallied after a pep talk from Calombaris and Tania. “…I really want my food dream to come true, I want to fight really hard. I don’t want to give up.”
Suddenly Bryan was back and powering on, even to the point that he looked like overtaking Samuel. “I’m impressed with Bryan,” Tania confided to Calombaris during the cook.
“Food means a lot to me; it’s where I go, it’s my happy place,” a teary Bryan said after delivering one of the more respectable looking desserts out of the trio. “I really want to stay.”
But his MasterChef dream was set to burst when Samuel blew all expectations away with an almost perfect toffee balloon.
“When do we ever applaud when they bring a dish in?” asked a gobsmacked Calombaris.
“When it’s booliman’ impossible that’s when,” answered Mehigan, who could be mistaken for a grown up Augustus Gloop.
All the judges agreed that the balloon’s theatre was the most important element of the dessert.
“For me dessert is what you eat with your eyes first, it is for me. It’s important,” Tania said.
Even Trent managed to create a tiny balloon in the dying seconds of his cook. But not Bryan.
“My balloon didn’t get up, I’m devastated,” Bryan said going in to judging. “At this point I’m just second guessing every single element … I’m just in a whirlwind of emotions at the moment.”
The sinking feeling had begun to set in for viewers, who knew that unless every element tasted perfect Bryan did not stand a chance against Samuel and Trent.
“I’m just feeling really disappointed in myself for getting into this position,” Bryan told the judges. “A lot of it comes from family pressure I guess to succeed, to find a more stable job. But honestly at the end of the day, what makes me most happy is cooking.”
“A bit like your story,” Calombaris said to Tania.
“All parents want you to be happy,” Tania said to Bryan in a moment of camaraderie. “Your parents, my parents, a lot of parents out there their job is to make their children happy but they are not you. You know what makes you happy and it is our job as their children to show to them that we know what will make us happy, and we are going to be successful in this.
“But nobody, nobody is responsible to make you happy but yourself.”
If I could reach through the television to give anyone a hug, it would have been Bryan.
“Being here is amazing,” said a humble Bryan. “Standing in the same footsteps so many people have been through, I’m not going to give it up.”
MasterChef revealed that Bryan went on to do work experience with ex-contestant Reynold at KOI dessert bar and was looking for his own dessert bar premises.
“Walking through the doors with Christy’s words playing through my mind, I feel really inspired. I believe that with your dream if you will chase it, it will happen. I am going to write another story from start to finish.”
Between 1979 and 1982, Carlton dominated league football, winning three of the four premierships on offer, and winning 76 of 98 games, a strike rate of 78 per cent.
It’s a record that stands up very well against other great teams of the modern era, Brisbane in the early 2000s, Geelong between 2007-11 and Hawthorn’s recent three flags in a row. Yet for some reason, the Blues aren’t often mentioned in the same breath.
Perhaps that has something to do with the reputation those champion Carlton teams forged away from the football field.
The Blues were big drinkers, hard partiers, and tales of their exploits, like an infamous visit to The Lodge when the players walked away with the silver service cutlery, or the late night adventures of the likes of Wayne Johnston, Jimmy Buckley and Val Perovic, have become the stuff of football legend.
But on Tuesday, the football deeds of those famous Blues will be as front and centre as those stories at the launch of Larrikins and Legends, a new book taking an in-depth look at Carlton’s finest era, the function held, very appropriately, at Peter “Percy” Jones’s North Fitzroy Arms hotel.
Author Dan Eddy has spent considerable time interviewing not only the stars of those triumphant days, but it seems, many of the bit players as well, and the result is fascinating reading.
After Carlton won the 1972 premiership, its third in a five-year span, the Blues drifted for several years despite a glut of individual talent and roll call of instantly recognisable names. It was Alex Jesaulenko’s appointment as captain-coach six rounds into the 1978 season that whipped, almost literally some would argue, an under-performed group into top gear.
Jesaulenko’s torturous training sessions, in which players would run ridiculous numbers of laps, sprints over and over again, and drag tyres filled with bricks around behind them, themselves became the stuff of legend, a story from Carlton cult figure Vin Catoggio typical:
“Wayne Harnes was competing with somebody else, and he was that tired that he fell to the ground and couldn’t get back up,” Catoggio said.
“Jezza went up beside him and said, ‘Harmesy, get up!’ He said ‘I can’t,’ and Jezza said again ‘get up!’ to which Harmsey said, ‘Fuck you, I can’t!’ ‘If you don’t get up we’re going to stay out here as long as you want,’ so everyone was yelling ‘Harmesy, get up!’ He dragged himself to his knees, then got up on his feet and went for the next ball and again fell flat on his face. It was incredible to watch.”
After a rare loss in 1979, Jesaulenko had promised his players a tortuous Tuesday evening session and duly delivered. It began with three 1500-metre time trials, then 10 x 800’s,10 x 400’s, 10 x 200’s, and then man-on-man contesting for the rest of the night. “We started at five o’clock and we got off the track at twenty to eleven,” Harmes recalls.
But Carlton, already a skilful side, reaped the benefits of the extra physical and mental resilience their brutal coach had instilled in them, particularly Harmes.
In the grand final against arch enemy Collingwood, it was he who not only won the very first Norm Smith Medal, named after his great uncle, but who delivered one of football’s most famous moments, chasing his own errant kick to the boundary, diving full-length and fisting the ball into the path of Ken Sheldon, who kicked what proved to be the match-winning goal in the five-point thriller against Collingwood.
True to the club’s reputation of the time as loud, boisterous and perhaps arrogant, what ensued was not a basking in the premiership glow, but a civil war, when during a bitter boardroom split, Jesaulenko backed the incumbent, George Harris, lost, and promptly departed for St Kilda.
Jesaulenko’s old mate Percy Jones, asked to fill the breach in 1980, got Carlton to second on the ladder, only for the Blues to go out of September in straight sets. He, too, was unceremoniously tipped out. But the next man for the job, former Hawk David Parkin, would prove a masterstroke.
Carlton powered through the 1981 season, finishing on top of the ladder, comfortably beating Geelong in the second semi-final to earn a second week off, ready to face Collingwood, again playing the role of underdog, preparing for its fourth final in as many weeks.
Parkin was meticulous in his planning, his side perfectly prepared and a warm favourite. But grand final nerves remained an issue.
“Before the game, I went into our rooms and only five blokes were ready for the pre-match warm-up,” he recalled. “So I went into the medical room and there were seven players who were receiving a local anaesthetic, and I had known nothing about their ailments prior to that.
“That made 12, so where were the other eight players? I wandered through each room, and finally I found them. They were all lying on the floor holding hands in a darkened room listening to the psychologist, Laurie Hayden. ??? I staggered out of there thinking, ‘We’ve got seven physically, and eight mentally, who are incapable of doing the job today. As bad as Collingwood are, we’re not going to win with five players.”
For a time, it looked like the Blues wouldn’t, either. But two late third-quarter goals to Buckley and Rod Ashman pegged back a 21-point Collingwood lead. And in the last term, Carlton came right over the top to win by 20 points.
“My greatest memory is when Jimmy Buckley slotted the goal, and as we were going to the huddle he said, ‘Boys, they’re fucked! I can see it in their eyes, we’ll beat this mob’,” recalls rover Alex Marcou.
“I immediately turned to watch the Collingwood players at the huddle and they were arguing with each other because we’d kicked a couple of quick, late goals. I thought to myself, ‘Yep, Bucks is right.’ We were pretty fired up.”
Eddy was able to speak to virtually everyone connected with Carlton of the era. Except, perhaps not surprisingly, the famously reclusive Bruce Doull, who left him an apologetic voicemail. Not that the author was short on tributes from his teammates testifying both to his champion qualities as a defender, and the extent of his shyness.
Warren “Wow” Jones, who would play the game of his life in the 1982 grand final, recalls a moment involving Doull from that very game.
“He hadn’t spoken to me in about five years, and at quarter-time I’ve grabbed a couple of oranges out of the bucket and I’m counting the pips as Parkin’s talking. Suddenly, Brucey tapped me on the shoulder and I thought ‘Shit! Bruce is going to ask me for some advice or something.’ I said ‘Yes Bruce?’ and he said, ‘Mate, you’re standing on my toe’!”
And it was that 1982 back-to-back triumph over Richmond, one of the most brutal grand finals of the modern era, which set the seal on this Carlton side as one of the greats.
The Tigers had finished on top of the ladder and dispensed with the Blues in the second semi-final. Carlton had struggled to get over Hawthorn in the preliminary final.
Parkin, sensing he would need a different plan of attack for the re-match with the warm favourite, took some gambles. Richmond key forward David Cloke had kicked five goals on Perovic in the second semi-final. Parkin decided to go with the much lower-profile Mario Bortolotto on Cloke with Perovic taking Michael Roach instead.
He also started a potential match-winner Peter Bosustow on the interchange bench alongside Marcou. Both gambits paid off big time, Cloke and Roach quelled, and the “Buzz” and little man Marcou playing big second halves in a bruising, draining game played in difficult conditions.
Carlton were known for their big third quarters. It was no exception in the game that mattered most, the Blues booting 5.4 to Richmond’s 0.6 to take a 17-point lead to the final break, the historic win sealed by Marcou’s goal on the run late in the final term.
Nine Carlton players, Doull (who’d played in his first flag back in 1972), Sheldon, Buckley, Harmes, Johnston, Marcou, Mark Maclure, Peter McConville, and skipper Mike Fitzpatrick played in all three premierships. They were heady days that wouldn’t last.
Carlton wouldn’t win the flag again for another five years. Indeed, the Blues have won only another two in the subsequent 35 years, and endured, through the mid-2000s, their darkest hours, and their only wooden spoons.
But the Blues of 1979-82 aren’t remembered so fondly by the faithful only because they were representative of the last great era Carlton have had, nor just for their exploits around the various pubs, bars and nightclubs of Melbourne.
They were a super football team, full of bona fide stars and which played eminently watchable football, and one which in hindsight was only a breath or two away from winning four consecutive premierships.
Theirs is a legacy that deserves more acclaim and it’s one Eddy’s book does a fine job in delivering.
Larrikins & Legends, by Dan Eddy (Slattery Media Group). Books available at books.slatterymedia苏州夜总会招聘.
Boss Moanaroa PHOENIX Charlestown rose from almost certain defeat on Sunday to maintain their unbeaten record in the Newcastle Major League.
Phoenix were down 5-2 to Boomerangs atthe top of the ninth at Stevenson Park.Daniel Arms startedtherally with a two run-single before coming home on a wild pitch to tiethe game.
Sean Doudle, who coached Boomers last season, then shut down the boys from Mayfield in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to an extra inning.Phoenix added another three thanks to RBI singles to left field from Tristan Watts and Rob Fenwick in the 10thbefore Doudle used all his guile and experience to garner three straight groundouts and secure an 8-5 triumph. James Donoghue was superb on the mound for Boomers, allowing only two runs from five hits in eight innings.
The action was just as excitingsouth at Miller Field as Toronto also prevailed in extra innings, 7-6 over Belmont.Boss Moanaroa hit a two-run bomb in the top of the fifth to give Toronto a 4-0 lead.Belmont hit back as Matt Ireland’s fence-clearing blast brought home three in the bottom of the dig.Pat Maat handed the Tigers back the lead with a two-run homerin the top of the ninth, before Belmont responded with a brace of runs to send the game into overtime.
Kenny Judge hit a lead-off single to kick-start the 10thand came home thanks to a double from Dillan McMaster. Toronto declared soon after in an effort to secure the win before darkness descended. Power hitter Moanaroa became an unlikely hero on the mound for Tigers, striking out Belmont’s Chris Hook to clinch victory.
Belmont have the bye in round seven.Toronto face Boomerangs at Stevenson Park andPhoenix host White Sox on Sunday.