Lucy and Gemma, two pretty little girls, live across the road from me.
While walking on the beach, I regularly meet a trio of handsome hunks named Max, Henry and George, as well as a stately old lady, Rosie, and her sprightly young companion, Ruby.
Their owners are Shane, Riley, Jordan and Tayla. (That’s one boy and three girls, for the record.)
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I recently attended the opening of the Templestowe Community Bank in my electorate. As a result of more than two years hard work by local traders and residents, the village has a bank for the first time in over a decade.
The branch was the 248th to open under the Bendigo Community Bank umbrella, one of the great local success stories of the past decade across Australia.
As the big banks closed their branches, and forced people to use ATMs and online services, many local communities lost an important institution. In some rural areas, this was devastating. In most, it caused considerable inconvenience to local residents.
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A second miracle has been confirmed for Mary MacKillop, and she is now on her way to becoming Australia’s first saint in 2010.
But who was she?
Mary MacKillop’s was a life of struggle and passion that was underpinned by integrity.
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It’s Thursday @ The Punch
Today in 1991 Vladmir Putin takes over presidency of Russia following Boris Yeltsin’s resignation.
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MELBOURNE’S Boxing Day Test has a profound effect on Aussie cricketers’ form. Some batsmen thrive on the festive atmosphere and give opposing bowlers a serve on the MCG wicket.
Other batsmen – and bowlers – crumble under pressure. Some Aussies had glorious batting innings and magic spells with the ball.
It was a memorable Test, particularly as the Melbourne crowd celebrated their Test hero – Shane Watson, who redeemed himself at the crease in Australia’s 170-run win.
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England is reportedly seriously considering pulling out of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in India in October because of fears its team will be targeted by Pakistani militants.
If it does pull the pin, it will be the first time England has not competed in the Games’ 80-year history - it’s potentially a very significant move. Presumably if the Brits pull out they won’t be the only ones - the whole Games could be in jeopardy.
Sport and geo-politics have always been inextricably linked, and sometimes this has resulted in great peril for the athletes. Images of the 1972 Munich Olympics, when Israeli athletes were taken hostage and then murdered by extremists with links to Fatah, are seared into our memories.
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* Warning - this post contains offensive language (actually, it depends a bit on your definition of “offensive”).
F***, f***, f***, f***, f*** and f*** it again. I have just agreed to write a 500 word article over the weekend. What a f****** pain in the arse. I should have said I was too f***** busy and they should get some other stupid f*** to do it.
Gosh, I hope I haven’t offended anyone. Have I used any offensive language? So what is offensive language anyway? You could go to any pub in Sydney and hear language much worse than I’ve used.
But you better not speak like that in front of a police man or woman. Especially if you are being difficult anyway and they are looking for some way to get you under their control.
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In January 2005 the public was still reeling from the devastation of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami when the beginning of the end for Mark Latham took place.
The then-Opposition Leader refused to break his summer holiday to put out a statement about the horrific event - he wouldn’t even return the calls of the then acting leader Senator Chris Evans (deputy Labor leader Jenny Macklin was also on leave). It turned out Latham was sick, of the pancreas and of politics, and he disappeared off into the Western Sydney sunset.
At the time it seemed inexplicable that someone wouldn’t halt their vacation for an hour or two to deal with a crisis of such enormity. But perhaps Mark Latham was a work life balance visionary.
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There were only a few minutes left of the 1970s. Patrick and I were sharing a peaceful New Years Eve joint in a friend’s back yard at quiet Hervey Bay.
We were 21, two of the (then) little town’s bright and shiny minds, the world at our feet, the stars in our sights. Where would we be, we wondered, come the 21st century? What would we be like? Would we follow the generational pattern of wild youth becomes tame middle-aged man becomes conservative old man?
So we made a pact that night, Patrick and I. In fear of turning into our parents, we vowed that each of us, no matter where we were, would be stoned as the 21st century rolled in. But Patrick hesitated. He turned to me under the unnaturally bright stars and said, very seriously: “Does it have to be just grass?”
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