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Shelley Duvall passes away at 75

<p>Shelley Duvall who starred in Stanley Kubrick's iconic horror film <em>The Shining</em> has passed away aged 75. </p> <p>Duvall died in her sleep on Thursday at her home in Bianco, Texas, after diabetes complications according to her friend and publicist Gary Springer. </p> <p>Her longtime partner, Dan Gilroy shared a heartbreaking statement. </p> <p>"My dear, sweet, wonderful life, partner, and friend left us last night," he said. </p> <p>"Too much suffering lately, now she's free. Fly away beautiful Shelley."</p> <p>Known for her thin physique, large expressive eyes and powerful performances, Duvall was remembered for her standout roles alongside Jack Nicholson in <em>The Shining</em> and Robin Williams in the comedy <em>Popeye</em>.</p> <p>She became Robert Altman's protégé after she was spotted by his staff members at a party in Houston, Texas in 1970, where she attended junior college, and Altman was preparing to film <em>Brewster McCloud</em> at the time.</p> <p>She also played memorable roles in some of his other films, including <em>Nashville</em> in 1975 and <em>3 Women</em> in 1977, which won her the Cannes Best Actress Award. </p> <p>"He offers me damn good roles," Duvall said about Altman for <em>The New York Times</em> in 1977.</p> <p>"None of them have been alike. He has a great confidence in me, and a trust and respect for me, and he doesn't put any restrictions on me or intimidate me, and I love him. I remember the first advice he ever gave me: 'Don't take yourself seriously.'"</p> <p>Despite <em>The Shining </em>being one of her greatest roles, filming it took an emotional toll on her, after having to be in hysterics during long days of filming, with one scene reportedly requiring 127 takes, </p> <p>By the 1990s she began retiring from acting and retreated from public life. </p> <p>"How would you feel if people were really nice, and then, suddenly, on a dime, they turn on you?" Duvall told the Times earlier this year.</p> <p>"You would never believe it unless it happens to you. That's why you get hurt, because you can't really believe it's true."</p> <p><em>Images: Soshellyduvall Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

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Revolutionary diabetes detection via smartphone: A game-changer in healthcare

<p>In a groundbreaking advancement, scientists from <a href="https://www.klick.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Klick Labs</a> have discovered a method that could revolutionise diabetes detection – using just a 10-second smartphone voice recording.</p> <p>No more travelling to clinics or waiting anxiously for blood test results. This new approach promises immediate, on-the-spot results, potentially transforming how we diagnose type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>The study, published in <a href="https://www.mcpdigitalhealth.org/article/S2949-7612(23)00073-1/fulltext" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Digital Health</a>, involved 267 participants, including 192 non-diabetic and 75 type 2 diabetic individuals. Each participant recorded a specific phrase on their smartphone multiple times a day over two weeks, resulting in 18,465 recordings.</p> <p>These recordings, lasting between six and 10 seconds each, were meticulously analysed for 14 acoustic features, such as pitch and intensity. Remarkably, these features exhibited consistent differences between diabetic and non-diabetic individuals, differences too subtle for the human ear but detectable by sophisticated signal processing software.</p> <p>Building on this discovery, the scientists developed an AI-based program to analyse the voice recordings alongside patient data like age, sex, height and weight. The results were impressive: the program accurately identified type 2 diabetes in women 89% of the time and in men 86% of the time.</p> <p>These figures are competitive with traditional methods, where fasting blood glucose tests show 85% accuracy and other methods, like glycated haemoglobin and oral glucose tolerance tests, range between 91% and 92%.</p> <p>"This technology has the potential to remove barriers entirely," said Jaycee Kaufman, a research scientist at Klick Labs and the study's lead author. Traditional diabetes detection methods can be time-consuming, costly and inconvenient, but voice technology could change all that, providing a faster, more accessible solution.</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Looking ahead, the team plans to conduct further tests on a larger, more diverse population to refine and validate this innovative approach. If successful, this could mark a significant leap forward in diabetes management and overall healthcare, making early detection simpler and more accessible than ever before.</span></p> <p>Stay tuned as this exciting development unfolds, potentially bringing us closer to a future where managing and detecting diabetes is as simple as speaking into your smartphone.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Teen athlete's tragic death just weeks before Paris Games

<p>A young Olympic hopeful has tragically died just weeks out from making his debut at the Paris Games. </p> <p>Jackson James Rice, 18, was found dead after a diving accident in Faleloa, Tonga on Saturday from a “suspected shallow water blackout”.</p> <p>The teenager had been set to become the first caucasian to represent Tonga at an Olympic Games, having qualified for the new kite-foiling event.</p> <p>He had been free diving from a boat when the tragedy unfolded. </p> <p>His body was found beneath the boat and despite several resuscitation attempts, he could not be revived. </p> <p>Rice's heartbroken father confirmed the news of the teenager's death to the Matangi Tonga newspaper, as tributes flowed for the young athlete.</p> <p>Rice’s sister Lily paid an emotional tribute to her brother on social media on Sunday, as she wrote on Facebook, “I was blessed with the most amazing brother in the whole world and it pains me to say that he’s passed away."</p> <p>“He was an amazing kitefoiler and he would have made it to the Olympics and come out with a big shiny medal … he made so many amazing friends all over the world.”</p> <p>Other friends paid tribute to the teenager on social media, with one writing, “I can’t begin to put into words what I’m feeling right now. I still cannot believe it, when I woke up to this news I thought you were playing around. You’re the most amazing friend anyone could ask for and anyone who has spent time with you would agree.”</p> <p>Rice was originally born in the US but moved to Tonga at a young age with his British-born parents. </p> <p>He grew up in Haʻapai, where his parents run a tourist lodge, and always viewed himself as Tongan.</p> <p>The talented athlete qualified for what had been due to be his first Olympic Games last December, after placing eighth at a Sail Sydney event.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

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Gina Rinehart demands for National Gallery to remove her portrait

<p>Gina Rinehart has demanded that her portriat be removed from the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra because she doesn't like it. </p> <p>The portrait of Australia's richest woman appears alongside many others, including Queen Elizabeth and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, in an exhibition by acclaimed Archibald Prize-winning Indigenous artist Vincent Namatjira.</p> <p>Namatjira's works are known for having cartoon-like qualities, as he often paints famous figures as caricatures. </p> <p><a title="www.smh.com.au" href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/art-and-design/portrait-gina-rinehart-doesn-t-want-you-to-see-mogul-demands-national-gallery-remove-her-image-20240513-p5jd59.html">Nine Newspapers </a>have the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) have been flooded with a dozen complaints about the portrait of Rinehart, including some from athletes she sponsors through her company Hancock Prospecting. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, has demanded the National Gallery of Australia remove a portrait of her from an exhibition by Archibald Prize-winning Indigenous artist Vincent Namatjira. THAT’S A GOOD REASON TO SHARE THE PORTRAIT WIDELY. <a href="https://t.co/pYoMh6vQcW">pic.twitter.com/pYoMh6vQcW</a></p> <p>— Maurie Mulheron (@maurie_mulheron) <a href="https://twitter.com/maurie_mulheron/status/1790621641502036239?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 15, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>One complaint allegedly accused the NGA of “doing the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party” with the portrait of Ms Rinehart. </p> <p>On the NGA website, Ms Rinehart is listed as a “friend” of the gallery, as she historically has donated up to $9999.</p> <p>The NGA has refused to take the painting down, and the artwork will be on display until July 21st.</p> <p>“Since 1973, when the National Gallery acquired Jackson Pollack’s Blue Poles, there has been a dynamic discussion on the artistic merits of works in the national collection, and/or on display at the gallery,” the NGA said in a statement. </p> <p>“We present works of art to the Australian public to inspire people to explore, experience and learn about art.”</p> <p>In response to the demand to have the painting removed, Namatjira released a statement saying, “I paint the world as I see it. People don’t have to like my paintings, but I hope they take the time to look and think, ‘why has this Aboriginal bloke painted these powerful people? What is he trying to say?’"</p> <p>"I paint people who are wealthy, powerful, or significant – people who have had an influence on this country, and on me personally, whether directly or indirectly, whether for good or for bad. Some people might not like it, other people might find it funny, but I hope people look beneath the surface and see the serious side too.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / X (Twitter)</em></p>

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Legendary Aussie soap star dies just weeks before birthday

<p>Brian Wenzel has died aged 94.</p> <p>The beloved Aussie actor, known for his role on <em>A Country Practice</em>, passed away peacefully in an Adelaide nursing home, just weeks away from his 95th birthday.</p> <p>“It is with great sadness that we remember the life of beloved Australian actor Brian Wenzel,” the soap star's agent, Jennifer Hennessy confirmed in a statement. </p> <p>“His iconic and revered performances spanned multiple Australian generations with his wit and humour shining through to the end.</p> <p>“A passionate family man and devoted Carlton supporter leaves an irreplaceable mark on the Australian film and television industry.”</p> <p>Born on the 24th of May in 1929, Wenzel began his acting career at the age of just 17. </p> <p>He became a popular figure on Aussie TV in the 60s and 70s, starring in shows like <em>Homicide, Division 4</em>, and <em>Matlock Police</em>.</p> <p>He then scored his most memorable role as Frank Gilroy, an old-fashioned and uptight sergeant who was the heart of <em>A Country Practice</em> for 12 years. </p> <p>The show ran from 1981 to 1993, with a whopping 1,058 episodes, and he also briefly appeared on <em>Neighbours </em>after the show ended. </p> <p>Wenzel's role as Gilroy earned him a Logie Award for Best Actor in 1981.</p> <p>His final role on-screen was in 2014 for <em>John Doe: Vigilante</em>.</p> <p>In 2018 the actor had suffered two mini strokes that made him unable to walk unaided. </p> <p>“It’s terrible to not be able to walk and I can’t sing anymore, which is terrible. I’m hoping against all hope that I can get it all back again," he said at the time. </p> <p>Four years later, he was marred by his tragic battle with dementia and entered nursing care which he shared with his beloved wife Linda. </p> <p><em>Image: news.com.au/ Michael Marschall</em></p>

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Could not getting enough sleep increase your risk of type 2 diabetes?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/giuliana-murfet-1517219">Giuliana Murfet</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/shanshan-lin-1005236">ShanShan Lin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936"><em>University of Technology Sydney</em></a></em></p> <p>Not getting enough sleep is a common affliction in the modern age. If you don’t always get as many hours of shut-eye as you’d like, perhaps you were concerned by news of a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2815684">recent study</a> that found people who sleep less than six hours a night are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>So what can we make of these findings? It turns out the relationship between sleep and diabetes is complex.</p> <h2>The study</h2> <p>Researchers analysed data from the <a href="https://www.ukbiobank.ac.uk/">UK Biobank</a>, a large biomedical database which serves as a global resource for health and medical research. They looked at information from 247,867 adults, following their health outcomes for more than a decade.</p> <p>The researchers wanted to understand the associations between sleep duration and type 2 diabetes, and whether a healthy diet reduced the effects of short sleep on diabetes risk.</p> <p>As part of their involvement in the UK Biobank, participants had been asked roughly how much sleep they get in 24 hours. Seven to eight hours was the average and considered normal sleep. Short sleep duration was broken up into three categories: mild (six hours), moderate (five hours) and extreme (three to four hours). The researchers analysed sleep data alongside information about people’s diets.</p> <p>Some 3.2% of participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during the follow-up period. Although healthy eating habits were associated with a lower overall risk of diabetes, when people ate healthily but slept less than six hours a day, their risk of type 2 diabetes increased compared to people in the normal sleep category.</p> <p>The researchers found sleep duration of five hours was linked with a 16% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while the risk for people who slept three to four hours was 41% higher, compared to people who slept seven to eight hours.</p> <p>One limitation is the study defined a healthy diet based on the number of servings of fruit, vegetables, red meat and fish a person consumed over a day or a week. In doing so, it didn’t consider how dietary patterns such as time-restricted eating or the Mediterranean diet may modify the risk of diabetes among those who slept less.</p> <p>Also, information on participants’ sleep quantity and diet was only captured at recruitment and may have changed over the course of the study. The authors acknowledge these limitations.</p> <h2>Why might short sleep increase diabetes risk?</h2> <p>In people with <a href="https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/about-diabetes/type-2-diabetes/">type 2 diabetes</a>, the body becomes resistant to the effects of a hormone called insulin, and slowly loses the capacity to produce enough of it in the pancreas. Insulin is important because it regulates glucose (sugar) in our blood that comes from the food we eat by helping move it to cells throughout the body.</p> <p>We don’t know the precise reasons why people who sleep less may be at higher risk of type 2 diabetes. But <a href="https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.23501">previous research</a> has shown sleep-deprived people often have increased <a href="https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-511X-9-125">inflammatory markers</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-015-3500-4">free fatty acids</a> in their blood, which <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-018-1055-8">impair insulin sensitivity</a>, leading to <a href="https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.23501">insulin resistance</a>. This means the body struggles to use insulin properly to regulate blood glucose levels, and therefore increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>Further, people who don’t sleep enough, as well as people who sleep in irregular patterns (such as shift workers), experience disruptions to their body’s natural rhythm, known as the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5995632/">circadian rhythm</a>.</p> <p>This can interfere with the release of hormones like <a href="https://doi.org/10.1210/edrv.18.5.0317">cortisol, glucagon and growth hormones</a>. These hormones are released through the day to meet the body’s changing energy needs, and normally keep blood glucose levels nicely balanced. If they’re compromised, this may reduce the body’s ability to handle glucose as the day progresses.</p> <p>These factors, and <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.aar8590">others</a>, may contribute to the increased risk of type 2 diabetes seen among people sleeping less than six hours.</p> <p>While this study primarily focused on people who sleep eight hours or less, it’s possible longer sleepers may also face an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>Research has previously shown a U-shaped correlation between sleep duration and type 2 diabetes risk. A <a href="https://doi.org/10.2337/dc14-2073">review</a> of multiple studies found getting between seven to eight hours of sleep daily was associated with the lowest risk. When people got less than seven hours sleep, or more than eight hours, the risk began to increase.</p> <p>The reason sleeping longer is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes may be linked to <a href="https://doi.org/10.2337/dc15-0186">weight gain</a>, which is also correlated with longer sleep. Likewise, people who don’t sleep enough are more likely to be <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2017.07.013">overweight or obese</a>.</p> <h2>Good sleep, healthy diet</h2> <p>Getting enough sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>Based on this study and other evidence, it seems that when it comes to diabetes risk, seven to eight hours of sleep may be the sweet spot. However, other factors could influence the relationship between sleep duration and diabetes risk, such as individual differences in sleep quality and lifestyle.</p> <p>While this study’s findings question whether a healthy diet can mitigate the effects of a lack of sleep on diabetes risk, a wide range of evidence points to the benefits of <a href="https://www.who.int/initiatives/behealthy/healthy-diet">healthy eating</a> for overall health.</p> <p>The <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2815684">authors of the study</a> acknowledge it’s not always possible to get enough sleep, and suggest doing <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33137489/">high-intensity interval exercise</a> during the day may offset some of the potential effects of short sleep on diabetes risk.</p> <p>In fact, exercise <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2023.03.001">at any intensity</a> can improve blood glucose levels.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/225179/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/giuliana-murfet-1517219">Giuliana Murfet</a>, Casual Academic, Faculty of Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/shanshan-lin-1005236">ShanShan Lin</a>, Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/could-not-getting-enough-sleep-increase-your-risk-of-type-2-diabetes-225179">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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50 years on, Advance Australia Fair no longer reflects the values of many. What could replace it?

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/wendy-hargreaves-1373285">Wendy Hargreaves</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a></em></p> <p>On April 8 1974, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam announced to parliament the nation’s new national anthem: <a href="https://www.pmc.gov.au/honours-and-symbols/australian-national-symbols/australian-national-anthem">Advance Australia Fair</a>.</p> <p>Australia was growing up. We could stop saving “<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Save_the_King">our gracious Queen</a>” and rejoice in being “young” and “girt”.</p> <p>Finding a new anthem hadn’t been easy. There were unsuccessful <a href="https://www.naa.gov.au/help-your-research/fact-sheets/australias-national-anthem">songwriting competitions</a> and an unconvincing opinion poll. Finally, we landed on rebooting an Australian favourite from 1878.</p> <p>After Whitlam’s announcement, Australians argued, state officials declined the change and the next government reinstated the British anthem in part. It took another ten years, another poll and an official proclamation in 1984 to adopt the new anthem uniformly and get on with looking grown-up.</p> <p>Advance Australia Fair was never the ideal answer to “what shall we sing?”. The original lyrics ignored First Nations people and overlooked women. Like a grunting teenager, it both answered the question and left a lot out.</p> <p>On its 50th anniversary, it’s time to consider whether we got it right. Advance Australia Fair may have helped Australia transition through the 1970s, but in 2024, has it outstayed its welcome?</p> <h2>How do you pick a national anthem?</h2> <p>A national anthem is a government-authorised song performed at official occasions and celebrations. It unifies people and reinforces national identity. Often, governments nominate a tune by searching through historical patriotic songs to find a <a href="https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/golden-oldie">golden oldie</a> with known public appeal.</p> <p>For example, the lyrics of the Japanese anthem <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimigayo">Kimigayo</a> came from pre-10th-century poetry. Germany’s anthem <a href="https://www.britannica.com/topic/Deutschlandlied">Deutschlandlied</a> adopted a 1797 melody from renowned composer <a href="https://www.britannica.com/biography/Joseph-Haydn">Joseph Haydn</a>. An enduring song or text offers star quality, proven popularity and the prestige of age.</p> <p>In the 1970s, Australia’s attempt at finding a golden oldie was flawed. In that era, many believed Australia’s birth occurred at the arrival of explorer <a href="https://www.britannica.com/biography/James-Cook">James Cook</a> in 1770. Hence, we narrowed our search to hymns, marches and fanfares from our colonial history for possible anthems.</p> <p>With 2020s hindsight (pun intended), <a href="https://theconversation.com/our-national-anthem-is-non-inclusive-indigenous-australians-shouldnt-have-to-sing-it-118177">expecting First Nations</a> people to sing Advance Australia Fair was hypocritical. We wanted to raise Australia’s visibility internationally, yet the custodians of the lands and waterways were unseen by our country’s eyes. We championed “history’s page” with a 19th-century song that participated in racial discrimination.</p> <h2>Changing anthems</h2> <p>With a half-century on the scoreboard, are we locked in to singing Advance Australia Fair forever? No.</p> <p>Anthems can change. Just ask <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Morrison_(jazz_musician)">James Morrison</a>. In 2003, the Australian trumpeter played the Spanish national anthem beautifully at the <a href="https://www.daviscup.com/en/home.aspx">Davis Cup</a> tennis final. Unfortunately, he <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2003-11-28/spanish-angry-over-anthem-mix-up/1516684">played the old anthem</a> that heralded civil war.</p> <p>Morrison’s accidental performance incited a fist-shaking dignitary and an enraged Spanish team who temporarily refused to play. Morrison did, however, to his embarrassment, later receive some excited fan mail from Spanish revolutionists.</p> <p>If we want to change our anthem, where could we begin? We could start by revisiting the golden-oldie approach with a more inclusive ear. Perhaps there’s a song from contemporary First Nations musicians we could consider, or a song from their enduring oral tradition that they deem appropriate (and grant permission to use).</p> <p>If we have learnt anything from Australian history, it’s that we must include and ask – not exclude and take.</p> <p>We could also consider Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton’s 1987 song <a href="https://www.nfsa.gov.au/collection/curated/asset/101146-i-am-australian-various">I Am Australian</a>, which reached golden-oldie status last year when the <a href="https://www.nfsa.gov.au/slip-slop-slap-i-am-australian-join-sounds-australia">National Film and Sound Archive</a> added it to their registry. The lyrics show the acknowledgement and respect of First Nations people that our current anthem lacks. The line “we are one, but we are many” captures the inclusivity with diversity we now value.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KrLTe1_9zso?wmode=transparent&start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>I Am Australian wouldn’t be a problem-free choice. Musically, the style is a “light rock” song, not a grand “hymn”, which could be a plus or minus depending on your view. Lyrically, romanticising convicted killer <a href="https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/kelly-edward-ned-3933">Ned Kelly</a> is controversial, and mispronouncing “Australians” could be considered inauthentic (fair dinkum Aussies say “Au-strail-yins”, not “Au-stray-lee-uhns”).</p> <p>That said, Australians are quite experienced at patching holes in our anthem. Advance Australia Fair required many adjustments.</p> <p>If the golden-oldie approach fails again, how about composing a new anthem? We could adopt <a href="https://nationalanthems.info/ke.htm">Kenya’s approach</a> of commissioning an anthem, or could revive the good ol’ songwriting competition. Our past competitions weren’t fruitful, but surely our many talented musicians and poets today can meet the challenge.</p> <h2>It’s time to ask</h2> <p>Fifty years on, we acknowledge Advance Australia Fair as the anthem that moved our nation forward. That was the first and hardest step. Today, if Australians choose, we can retire the song gracefully and try again with a clearer voice.</p> <p>Changing our anthem begins with asking whether the current song really declares who we are. Have our values, our perspectives and our identity changed in half a century?</p> <p>Australia, it’s your song. Are you happy to sing Advance Australia Fair for another 50 years? <img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/226737/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/wendy-hargreaves-1373285">Wendy Hargreaves</a>, Senior Learning Advisor, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/50-years-on-advance-australia-fair-no-longer-reflects-the-values-of-many-what-could-replace-it-226737">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Shutterstock | Wikimedia Commons</em></p>

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Millions of Aussies to get cash boost in weeks

<p>Millions of Australians are set to receive more money when payments are indexed. </p> <p>On March 20, those on the age pension, disability support pension and carer payment will be pocketing extra money. </p> <p>Single people on the pension and carer payment can expect an extra $19.60, with maximum amount increasing to $1116.30. For couples, the rate will go up $29.40 per fortnight, with the maximum being $1682.80.</p> <p>People on rent assistance, JobSeeker, single parenting payments and ABSTUDY will also benefit from payment increases, with single parenting payment going up by $17.50 a fortnight.</p> <p>Single JobSeeker recipients with no kids, and people over 22 on ABSTUDY, will get an extra $13.50 per fortnight, while each member of a couple will get an additional $12.30 per fortnight.</p> <p>The government has also changed the eligibility criteria for parents seeking welfare payments, with the last budget revealing that 77,000 parents will receive benefits for the youngest child up to the age of 14 instead of eight. </p> <p>The income and assets limits will also be increased in line with indexation in March.</p> <p>Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said that these changes will be implemented to ensure that Centrelink recipients would be able to have more money in their accounts, with the rise in cost-of-living. </p> <p>“Our number one priority is addressing inflation and cost of living pressures,” Rishworth said.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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Young musician dies weeks after writing final song

<p>Cat Janice has died aged 31 with her family by her side.</p> <p>The young musician, who had a large following on TikTok, had been battling cancer since January 2022 when doctors diagnosed her with sarcoma, a rare malignant tumour. </p> <p>She was declared cancer-free on July 22 that same year, following extensive surgery, chemo and radiation therapy. </p> <p>The mum-of-one was sadly re-diagnosed with cancer in June last year and despite fighting hard in the second round of her treatments, Janice told fans in January that her cancer "won" and that she "fought hard but sarcomas are too tough".</p> <p>Janice's family have announced her passing in a statement shared to her Instagram. </p> <p>"From her childhood home and surrounded by her loving family, Catherine peacefully entered the light and love of her heavenly creator," they said. </p> <p>"We are eternally thankful for the outpouring of love that Catherine and our family have received over the past few months."</p> <p>Before she died, Janice publicly announced that all her music would be signed over to her 7-year-old son, Loren, to support him in the future. </p> <p>Just weeks before her death, she released her final song <em>Dance You Outta My Head </em> in the hope it would spread "joy and fun". </p> <p>"My last joy would be if you pre saved my song 'Dance You Outta My Head' and streamed it because all proceeds go straight to my 7-year-old boy I'm leaving behind," she said, before the song was released. </p> <p>The song went viral, and took he number one spot in several countries and the number five spot on the Apple Itunes globally.</p> <p>Her family have said that the love she received for her final song, was unbelievable parting gift she could have ever received.</p> <p>"Cat saw her music go places she never expected and rests in the peace of knowing that she will continue to provide for her son through her music. This would not have been possible without all of you."</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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12 signs that you’re borderline diabetic

<p><strong>Do you have diabetes?</strong></p> <p>If you are a borderline diabetic, it means you have prediabetes. Your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not enough to be diagnosed with full-blown type 2 diabetes. Maybe you’ve noticed that you’re losing weight or more tired than normal. Or perhaps you’re thirsty or have vision issues. Here’s a look at some of the more common signs that you could be a borderline diabetic.</p> <p><strong>You’re really thirsty and are peeing a lot</strong></p> <p>“Prediabetes is caused when the body is unable to efficiently process blood sugars,” says endocrinologist Dr Jason Ng. “This happens over time as the body builds up resistance to insulin, the hormone that helps the body control blood sugars.” As you become insulin resistant, the body has to produce more insulin to keep blood sugars at a good level.</p> <p>Eventually it can’t keep up, so blood sugars rise. Prediabetes may take you by surprise, as there often aren’t symptoms – though there are a few subtle cues you can look out for. “A patient may feel slightly more thirsty and have to urinate more over time as well as the sugars increase in their body,” Dr Ng says.</p> <p><strong>You're exhausted </strong></p> <p>Borderline diabetes could be one of the medical reasons you’re tired all the time. If you’re one of the 2 million Australians who have prediabetes, according to Diabetes Australia you may notice you’re not feeling up to your normal activity level. “Patients may feel more tired or sluggish,” Dr Ng says. Blood sugar fluctuations can cause fatigue; plus, other factors that often appear with blood sugar problems could be the culprit, such as depression or obesity, according to a study published in 2012 in Diabetes Educator.</p> <p>Physical activity is recommended by the American Diabetes Association to help with prediabetes symptoms, but ironically people with the condition may be too tired to exercise. If that’s the case, see your doctor. “Most of prediabetes is diagnosed by lab work at a doctor’s office,” Dr Ng says. With prediabetes, “fasting sugar is between 100 to 125 mg/dl or a random blood sugar between 140 to 200 mg/dl.”</p> <p><strong>You’re losing weight</strong></p> <p>Among the silent diabetes signs you might be missing is weight loss. Although we associate blood sugar problems with being overweight, once you start becoming borderline diabetic you may actually drop kilos. If you’re going to the bathroom more frequently, you’re excreting extra sugar and losing more kilojoules. Diabetes may also keep sugar in your food from reaching your cells.</p> <p>This might leave you “feeling hungry all the time,” says Dr Deena Adimoolam, assistant professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease. So if you’re eating more than usual and still losing weight, talk to your doctor.</p> <p><strong>You have blurred vision </strong></p> <p>One of the clear signs you have high blood sugar is actually not seeing clearly. Dr Adimoolam says that blurred vision is a sign that you’re borderline prediabetic. Why? Diabetic eye disease occurs when high blood sugar causes damage to the blood vessels in the eye, which can leak and swell, leading to vision changes. According to the National Eye Institute, one type of eye damage, diabetic retinopathy, is the leading cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and the leading cause of blindness among adults.</p> <p>A study by The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) found that 8 per cent of prediabetic participants had diabetic retinopathy. It can be addressed if caught early, so bring up blurry vision to your doctor as soon as you notice it.</p> <p><strong>You have dark areas on your skin</strong></p> <p>One body changes that could signal a bigger problem that you are borderline prediabetic are dark patches on your skin called acanthosis nigricans (AN). The condition usually appears in elbows, armpits, knees, or on the neck, has a velvety texture, and likely occurs because excess insulin causes a rapid growth of cells. It’s also more common in people with obesity – another risk factor for prediabetes.</p> <p>But a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine showed that although patients with AN tend to have multiple risk factors for diabetes, AN itself may also be an independent risk factor for the disease. Because of this, AN’s presence may help doctors detect prediabetes sooner.</p> <p><strong>You have PCOS</strong></p> <p>Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder where a woman’s hormones are unbalanced. Studies like one published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2017, have shown that PCOS is a risk factor for diabetes.</p> <p>It’s not known exactly how they are linked, but researchers are looking into the connection between PCOS and insulin. High levels of insulin may contribute to increased production of male hormones called androgens, which is a symptom of PCOS. PCOS is also associated with being overweight, as is prediabetes – but studies have shown that even average-weight women with PCOS are at increased risk of high blood sugar.</p> <p>Also, women with PCOS may be more likely to have gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant; more on that later), which also can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. If you are diagnosed with PCOS, your reproductive endocrinologist may test your glucose level to make sure you’re not borderline prediabetic.</p> <p><strong>You don't get good sleep </strong></p> <p>“When you don’t get enough sleep, less insulin is released in the body,” says Dr Richard Shane, behavioural sleep therapist. “Sleep deprivation can cause insulin-producing cells to fail to use the insulin efficiently or to stop functioning. Your body also secretes more stress hormones, which interfere with insulin’s ability to be effective.”</p> <p>In one study, duration and quality of sleep was shown to be associated with prediabetes. Another factor could be that we tend to crave kilojoules and junk food for energy when we’re tired – plus, we don’t feel like exercising. This can lead to inactivity and weight gain, other risk factors for prediabetes.</p> <p><strong>You have a family history of diabetes</strong></p> <p>Among the medical facts you should know is your family’s health history. “There can be a genetic cause for the development of type 2 diabetes due to certain gene mutations,” Dr Adimoolam says. “Some people may have a genetic predisposition to developing type 2 diabetes due to presence of certain genes than have been passed down from one generation to the next.” One study in Diabetologia found that a family history of diabetes increased the risk for prediabetes by 26 per cent.</p> <p>The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) says that you’re more likely to develop diabetes if you have a family history of the disease. In addition, “Some data suggests that the risk of type 2 diabetes is five times higher in those with diabetes on both the maternal and paternal sides of the family,” Dr Adimoolam says.</p> <p><strong>You're of a certain age </strong></p> <p>There are many reasons why you’ll age better than your parents, including that you know age itself is a risk factor for certain conditions – so you’ll take measures to prevent them. Unfortunately, prediabetes is more likely in older people. “The higher your age, the greater risk for development of diabetes,” Dr Adimoolam says. “This might be related to increased body fat with age, which increases one’s risk for type 2 diabetes.”</p> <p>In addition, Dr Ng says that high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also risk factors for prediabetes. These are all common conditions as we age, and are also associated with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of disorders that can lead to heart disease and stroke.</p> <p><strong>You had gestational diabetes</strong></p> <p>Having had gestational diabetes in the past also puts you at risk for prediabetes now, according to research, including a study in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. “Once you have been diagnosed with any form of diabetes, like gestational diabetes, you are at an increased risk for developing this again over time, especially with weight gain,” Dr Adimoolam says.</p> <p>According to the American Diabetes Association, doctors don’t know exactly why gestational diabetes develops, but it could be that pregnancy hormones affect how the body uses insulin. The NIDDK suggests women who’ve had gestational diabetes have their blood glucose tested every three years.</p> <p><strong>You're overweight </strong></p> <p>You can potentially reverse type 2 diabetes if you lose weight – and the same goes for if you are borderline diabetic. “By and large, obesity is the main cause of insulin resistance, as certain fat cells are known to cause and intensify insulin resistance over time,” Dr Ng says. And it’s not just how much you weigh, but where your weight is located on your body. “Waist size is typically proportional to centralised, or abdominal, obesity,” Dr Adimoolam says.</p> <p>“The more centralised abdominal fat, the higher one’s insulin resistance, and the greater the increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes.” Genetics may also play a role here, as certain body types with more abdominal fat (“apple-shaped”) can run in families and certain ethnic groups, she says.</p> <p><strong>You have an unhealthy lifestyle </strong></p> <p>Whether you are borderline prediabetic or not, there are many science-based reasons to start working out. “Lack of exercise may promote weight gain, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes,” Dr Adimoolam says. A study from Johns Hopkins published in the Journal of General Internal Medicineshowed that people with prediabetes who dropped 10 per cent of their body weight dramatically reduced their risk of diabetes – but every little bit helps.</p> <p>Dr Ng suggests losing even 5 to 7 per cent of your body weight, quitting smoking, and adopting a borderline diabetic diet. “Interventions that typically reduce weight include increased exercise, especially aerobic exercise, 150 minutes or more per week, and eating a balanced, low-fat diet that is not heavy on carbs,” he says. “Prediabetes is often thought of as a ‘warning sign,’ which is why lifestyle intervention is so important.”</p> <p>Ultimately, the message is that prediabetes is not irreversible. “Prediabetes is the stage before one develops type 2 diabetes, and in most cases is preventable,” Dr Adimoolam says. “You may not need medications to treat prediabetes if you are able to change your lifestyle, with the goal for treatment focusing on diet changes and exercise.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/diabetes/12-signs-that-youre-borderline-diabetic?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Body

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From this week, you’ll be able to look up individual companies’ gender pay gaps

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/natasha-bradshaw-1358801">Natasha Bradshaw</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a></em></p> <p>There will be nervous executives all over Australia this week.</p> <p>Come Tuesday, large private sector organisations will have their company’s gender pay gaps published for the first time for all to see, name, and shame.</p> <p>As they brace for the fallout, let’s look at how what we will be told is changing, and what it will mean for you.</p> <h2>What is changing?</h2> <p>Every year, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (<a href="https://www.wgea.gov.au/">WGEA</a>) collects information from every employer with more than 100 employees. Until now it has published only a summary of the findings on its website, including Australia’s overall gender pay gap, and the gap by industry and employment arrangement.</p> <p>But for the first time legislation enacted last year also allows WGEA to publish the gender pay gaps of individual employers.</p> <figure class="align-right zoomable"><figcaption></figcaption></figure> <p>Tuesday’s release will include each large company’s median gender pay gap, and the share of women it employs in lower- and higher-paid jobs.</p> <p>Employers will have the chance to publish a <a href="https://www.wgea.gov.au/data-statistics/data-explorer">statement</a> alongside their results to provide context.</p> <p>That means from Tuesday you will be able to look on the <a href="https://www.wgea.gov.au/">WGEA website</a> and find the median gender pay gap of your large private sector organisation, or of an organisation you are thinking of joining, and how it stacks up against its competitors.</p> <h2>Why the change?</h2> <p>Australian women, like women elsewhere, have made astounding progress in the workforce in recent decades.</p> <p>Women are both working and earning more than ever before. But progress has stalled, and the gender pay gap remains stubbornly persistent.</p> <p>The Albanese government has shown its commitment to gender equity by increasing the <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/child-care-subsidy">childcare subsidy</a> and extending <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/parental-leave-pay">paid parental leave</a>.</p> <p>But beyond this, the options for governments are limited. Most of the barriers to women getting better-paid jobs can only be broken by employers.</p> <p>The public naming and shaming that will begin on Tuesday will push accountability onto employers, holding them responsible for the conditions in their workplaces.</p> <p>Workers and bosses are going to take notice: when employer gender pay gaps were released in the UK in 2018 it was the <a href="https://www.genderpay.co.uk/wp-downloads/moving-forward-may-2018/presentations/Gender_Pay_Gap_Moving_Forward_May_2018_Studio_2_5_Nick_Bishop.pdf">biggest business news story of the year</a>, with coverage rivalling the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.</p> <p>At a time when companies are fighting for top talent, it is going to make it more difficult for employers with large pay gaps to hire talented women.</p> <p>Research shows that on average women are willing to accept a <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3584259">5% lower salary</a> in order to avoid working for the employers with the biggest gender pay gaps.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vAr1Lhaw0Ao?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Workplace Gender Equality Agency.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Let’s not rush to judge</h2> <p>While <a href="https://www.wgea.gov.au/about/our-legislation/publishing-employer-gender-pay-gaps">naming and shaming</a> will help make this policy effective, we should be careful about rushing to judgement.</p> <p>It is possible for an employer to be making serious efforts to improve while its gap remains large.</p> <p>And some actions aimed at improving things, such as implementing a gender quota on entry-level positions, can worsen a company’s apparent gender pay gap in the short term by temporarily increasing the number of lowly-paid women.</p> <p>Also, there will be firms that have a low gender pay gap because they pay both men and women poorly.</p> <p>On Tuesday, we should instead look closely at whether the organisation has outlined clear steps it will take to improve, and how it compares to its competitors. In future years, we will be able to see how things have changed.</p> <h2>What will matter is what employers do next</h2> <p>Since the UK reforms were introduced in 2018, the gender pay gap has narrowed by <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3584259">one-fifth</a>, with the biggest improvements coming from the worst offenders.</p> <p>UK companies have also become more likely to include wage information in their job ads, equalising the starting point of wage negotiations for all applicants.</p> <p>But for existing employees, the narrowing of the gap has been caused more by slower growth in men’s wages than faster growth in women’s wages, which isn’t good news for anyone looking for a pay rise.</p> <p>The full effects of the Australian reforms won’t be seen for some time.</p> <p>It is likely that making high-paid jobs more accessible to women will allow employers to tap into a new talent pool and encourage more highly credentialed women into the workforce, adding to productivity growth.</p> <p>What is clear now is that if we want to narrow the gender pay gap, we need to know what’s happening. The avalanche of data due on Tuesday will be a start.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/224167/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/natasha-bradshaw-1358801"><em>Natasha Bradshaw</em></a><em>, Senior Associate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/from-this-week-youll-be-able-to-look-up-individual-companies-gender-pay-gaps-224167">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Influencer's tragic update following son's death at six weeks old

<p>Aussie Influencer Veruca Salt has shared an emotional tribute to her son who <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/influencer-announces-tragic-death-of-six-week-old-son" target="_blank" rel="noopener">died in his sleep</a> at just six-weeks-old. </p> <p>The 25-year-old, real name Kimberley Summer Hartley, shared a video of the funeral service for her son Cash, with Taylor Swift’s rock ballad <em>Long Live </em>playing in the background.</p> <p>At one moment, Hartley can be seen being consoled by her friends, as black and white balloons were released into the air. </p> <p>The board at the service showed a picture of Cash with the words "A celebration of life", followed by the baby boy's full name, the date he was born and passed away, and “forever dancing with the fruits”. </p> <p>The video ends with a black and white video of Cash being comforted by his mum and smiling as she stroked his cheek. </p> <p> </p> <div class="embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important; width: 573px; max-width: 100%;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7337251408909028609&display_name=tiktok&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40verucasalt444%2Fvideo%2F7337251408909028609&image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-sg.tiktokcdn.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-alisg-p-0037%2F3377edfbc6c44ee3a82e4a4c625f5884_1708336979%3Fx-expires%3D1708552800%26x-signature%3DffE%252BCUSJ9VgzUsT3qdjowDvQ2d8%253D&key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>Fans took to the comments to share their condolences for the grieving mum. </p> <p>“Oh Veruca, if I could take even minutes off my life to give you more time with him I would in a heartbeat,”  one wrote. </p> <p>“Rest in paradise with the dancing fruits, beautiful boy,” said another.</p> <p>"Rest In Paradise Baby Cash. Please visit your Mommy in her dreams and keep her safe always. Sending love Veruca," commented a third. </p> <p>"I’m so sorry! What a beautiful send off for a gorgeous boy," added a fourth.</p> <p><em>Images: TikTok</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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Influencer announces tragic death of six-week-old son

<p>TikTok influencer Veruca Salt, real name Kimberley Summer Hartley, took to Instagram to announce the tragic death of her six-week-old son, Cash. </p> <p>The Gold Coast - based influencer, 25, shared the tragic news just one day after she posted a TikTok of her taking her newborn bub out for his first hospital visit, as he hadn't pooped in seven days. </p> <p>On Monday morning she revealed that her son “died in his sleep”. </p> <p>“It is with a heavy heart that I’m writing this,” she wrote.</p> <p>“My baby died in his sleep on Monday morning. I don’t know what happened, he is having an autopsy this week but it is unlikely that I’ll ever have an answer.</p> <p>“I’m just saying this because people are still commenting on my TikToks saying how happy I look with him and ‘just wait for the toddler stage’ and stuff and I (really) can’t take it anymore. I’m really sorry.”</p> <p>In her most recent <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@verucasalt444/video/7332609198599032065?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7142332295764346370" target="_blank" rel="noopener">TikTok</a>, she shared a clip of her grieving her son's death with the caption: "I knew he was dead but there was a part of me that really thought they were gonna wake him up." </p> <p>Fans have shared their condolences. </p> <p>"We are all standing by you Veruca. Take all the time you need ❤️" one wrote on TikTok. </p> <p>"I’ve never cried harder for a woman i don’t know, I'm so sorry Veruca the love you have for him never goes unnoticed," another commented. </p> <p>"Sending love this is the worst thing in the world to happen to anyone," a third added. </p> <p>"I'm so so sorry no mother should have to go through this💔" a fourth wrote. </p> <p>Queensland Police have confirmed the death, after they were called to a Southport unit at around 6.13am on February 5.</p> <p>The death is not being treated as suspicious.</p> <p>Police are currently awaiting autopsy results, Superintendent Craig Hanlon told the <em>Gold Coast Bulletin</em>. </p> <p>“It’s obviously a tragic situation and our hearts go out to the mother and the family.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram/ TikTok</em></p>

Caring

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Pink spotted at Bondi ahead of national tour

<p>In a dazzling spectacle of beach vibes and sun-soaked fun, pop sensation Pink has graced the shores of Bondi Beach ahead of her highly anticipated Australian tour.</p> <p>The iconic singer, known for her powerhouse performances and unapologetic personality, was spotted basking in the Aussie sun with her adorable children, making waves Down Under.</p> <p>The excitement was palpable as Pink, with her trademark pink hair, took to social media to express her joy at being back on Australian soil. "Bondi Beach, it's been too long!!!!!!! Bills was delicious, too. ️Soooooooo happy to be back on this side of the world! Thank you beautiful Australia for being our home away from home. Kids are stoked," she gushed alongside some envy-inducing beach pictures.</p> <p>It seems Bills, a popular eatery in Sydney, left quite the impression on the star. If Pink says it's delicious, it's practically a culinary endorsement for the ages. (Move over food critics; Pink's tastebuds have spoken.)</p> <p>But this isn't Pink's first love letter to the Land Down Under. The singer has long expressed her admiration for Australia and has been a staunch supporter during challenging times. In 2020, she pledged a generous $500,000 donation to the country's fire services during the devastating Black Summer bushfires, proving she not only rocks the stage but also has a heart of gold.</p> <p>As Pink gears up for her stadium tour in Australia, aptly named the Summer Carnival tour, fans are eagerly anticipating a spectacle that will undoubtedly leave them smiling and singing until their cheeks hurt. Kicking off at Sydney's Allianz Stadium on February 9, the tour will then take Pink and her musical carnival to various cities, including Newcastle, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.</p> <p>It's been nearly six years since Pink's 2018 tour, Beautiful Trauma, which wowed almost 560,000 Australian and New Zealand fans. Eager to share the joy once again, Pink expressed her excitement, saying, "I can't wait to bring the Summer Carnival tour to my home away from home and smile and sing together until our cheeks hurt. Summer 2024 can't come soon enough!"</p> <p>The tour is not just a celebration of Pink's electrifying stage presence but also a nod to her ninth album, Trustfall, released in February the previous year. The anticipation is building, and fans can't wait to witness the magic unfold live on stage.</p> <p>Adding a touch of whimsy to the excitement, Pink <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/music/my-home-away-from-home-pink-s-dream-down-under" target="_blank" rel="noopener">teased the possibility</a> of making Australia her permanent home last year. In an interview with <em>60 Minutes</em>, she revealed, "Last year, I was thinking about applying for citizenship; I am not even joking. I was like, 'If we're going somewhere Carey, [Australia] is where we're going'." Australia, get ready to welcome Pink with open arms – she might just become our newest citizen!</p> <p>So, as Pink readies to paint Australia with her musical colours and contagious energy, fans are counting down the days until the Summer Carnival kicks off, promising a tour de force that will linger in their memories long after the final note fades away. Bondi Beach, Bills, and a Summer Carnival – it's a Pink party, and everyone's invited.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Happy birthday AUD: how our Australian dollar was floated, 40 years ago this week

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/selwyn-cornish-1297285">Selwyn Cornish</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/john-hawkins-746285">John Hawkins</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865"><em>University of Canberra</em></a></em></p> <p>These days, we take for granted that the value of the Australian dollar fluctuates against other currencies, changing thousands of times a day and at times jumping or falling quite a lot in the space of a week.</p> <p>But for most of Australia’s history, the value of the Australian dollar – and the earlier Australian pound – was “<a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/education/resources/explainers/exchange-rates-and-their-measurement.html#:%7E:text=exchange%20rate%20volatility.-,Pegged,or%20a%20basket%20of%20currencies.">pegged</a>” to either gold, pound sterling, the US dollar or to a value of a basket of currencies.</p> <p>The momentous decision to <a href="https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/the-long-road-that-led-to-the-floating-of-the-australian-dollar-20141121-11ra30">float</a> the dollar was taken on Friday December 9 1983 by the Hawke Labor Government, which was elected nine months earlier.</p> <p>As they approached the cabinet room at what is now Old Parliament House, Treasurer Paul Keating asked Reserve Bank Governor Bob Johnston to write him a letter to say the bank recommended floating.</p> <p>The letter, dated December 9, referred to the bank’s concern about the "volume of foreign exchange purchases and its belief that if these flows are to be brought under control we shall need to face up without delay either to less Reserve Bank participation in the exchange market or capital controls."</p> <p>By “less Reserve Bank participation”, Johnston meant a managed float; direct controls were to be considered “as a last resort”.</p> <p>The bank had long maintained a “<a href="https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/the-long-road-that-led-to-the-floating-of-the-australian-dollar-20141121-11ra30">war book</a>”, bearing the intriguing label “Secret Matter”, outlining the procedures to be followed in the event of a decision to float.</p> <p>An updated version was handed to the treasurer the day before the decision.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/articles/floating-exchange-rates-after-ten-years/">US</a> and the <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/23/newsid_2518000/2518927.stm">UK</a> floated their currencies in the early 1970s. Since the early 1980s the value of the dollar had been set via a “<a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2018/dec/understanding-exchange-rates-and-why-they-are-important.html">crawling peg</a>” – meaning its value was pegged to other currencies each week, and later each day, by a committee of officials who announced the values at <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/inside-the-floating-of-the-a-20131211-2z698.html">9.30 each morning</a>.</p> <p>If too much or too little money came into the country as a result of the rate the authorities had set, they adjusted it the next day, sometimes losing money to speculators who had bet they wouldn’t be able to hold the rate they had set.</p> <p>Keating had Johnston accompany him to the December 9 press conference instead of Treasury Secretary John Stone, who had argued against the float in the cabinet room, putting the case for direct controls on capital inflows instead.</p> <p>Johnston’s presence was meant to make clear that at least the central bank supported floating the dollar.</p> <h2>Speculators now speculate against themselves</h2> <p>Keating told the press conference the float meant the speculators would be “<a href="https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/from-the-archives-1983-the-australian-dollar-floats-free-20191206-p53hjq.html">speculating against themselves</a>”, rather than against the authorities.</p> <p>One banker quoted that night confessed to being “<a href="https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/from-the-archives-1983-the-australian-dollar-floats-free-20191206-p53hjq.html">absolutely staggered</a>”. “I’m not sure they know what they have done,” the banker said.</p> <p>The following Monday on ABC’s AM program, presenter <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2003-12-08/20-years-since-dollar-floated/102568">Red Harrison</a> heralded “a brave new world for the Australian dollar”. He said, "from today the dollar must take its chance, subject to the supply and demand of the international marketplace, and there are suggestions that foreign exchange dealers expect a nervous start to trading when the first quotes are posted this morning."</p> <p>At the time, the Australian dollar was worth 90 US cents. At first it <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/speeches/2013/sp-gov-211113.html">rose</a>, before settling back.</p> <p>Since then, the Australian dollar has fluctuated from a low of <a href="https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/australian-dollar-floated">47.75</a> US cents in April 2001 to a high of US$1.10 in July 2011.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="6ExL8" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/6ExL8/3/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <h2>The long road to the float</h2> <p>The idea first took hold in Australia when Commonwealth Bank Governor <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2022/dec/hc-coombs-governor-of-australias-central-bank-1949-1968.html">“Nugget” Coombs</a> visited Canada in 1953, at a time when it was one of the few countries with a floating exchange rate.</p> <p>On his return, Coombs wrote the bank should consider Canada’s experience.</p> <p>A strong advocate from the mid-1960s was the bank’s economist <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1475-4932.1986.tb00915.x">Austin Holmes</a>. Among those he mentored at what by then was called the Reserve Bank were Bob Johnston, Don Sanders and John Phillips.</p> <p>All three were in the cabinet room when the decision was taken.</p> <h2>Backed by Cairns, opposed by Abbott</h2> <p>An unlikely advocate in the 1970s was the left-wing Labor treasurer <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-03/05Hawkins.pdf">Jim Cairns</a>.</p> <p>But asked in 1979 whether he was in favour of a float, the then Reserve Bank governor <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/about-rba/history/governors/sir-harold-murray-knight.html">Harry Knight</a> responded by quoting Saint Augustine, saying “God make me pure, but not yet”. An oil shock was making markets turbulent at the time.</p> <p>In 1981, the Campbell inquiry into the Australian financial system delivered a landmark report to Treasurer John Howard, <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/publication/p1981-afs">recommending</a> a float. The idea was backed by neither the Treasury nor Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.</p> <p>Two years later, Howard watched from opposition as Labor did what he could not.</p> <p>The Liberal Party generally backed Labor’s move, with one notable exception – the later prime minister, <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/tony-abbott-wrote-20-years-ago-floating-dollar-didnt-make-sense-20131206-2ywpm.html">Tony Abbott</a>, who in 1994 wrote that "changing the price of the dollar moment by moment in response to each transaction makes no more sense than altering the price of cornflakes every time a buyer takes a packet off the supermarket shelves."</p> <h2>A success by any measure</h2> <p>The floating exchange rate has served Australia well.</p> <p>When the Australian economy has slowed or contracted – in the early 1990s, the Asian financial crisis, the global financial crisis and in the COVID recession – the Australian dollar has fallen, making Australian exports cheaper in foreign markets.</p> <p>When mining booms have sucked money into the country, the Australian dollar has climbed, spreading the benefit and fighting inflation by increasing the buying power of Australian dollars.</p> <p>It’s why these days, hardly anyone wants to return to a <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/education/resources/explainers/exchange-rates-and-their-measurement.html">pegged</a> rate.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/217548/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/selwyn-cornish-1297285">Selwyn Cornish</a>, Honorary Associate Professor, Research School of Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/john-hawkins-746285">John Hawkins</a>, Senior Lecturer, Canberra School of Politics, Economics and Society, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/happy-birthday-aud-how-our-australian-dollar-was-floated-40-years-ago-this-week-217548">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Police Commissioner's son killed during schoolies week

<p>The son of South Australia's police commissioner has tragically died after an alleged hit and run. </p> <p>Charlie Stevens, 18, was celebrating the end of high school when he was run down on Friday evening in Goolwa, about 90km southeast of Adelaide. </p> <p>Charlie sustained irreversible brain damage from the incident, and died 24 hours later in hospital surrounded by his family. </p> <p>Police said the 18-year-old driver, Dhirren Randhawa, failed to stop at the scene but was found nearby.</p> <p>Randhawa has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, aggravated driving without due care, leaving the scene of a crash after causing death and failing to truly answer questions.</p> <p>In a statement, Commissioner Grant Stevens and his wife Emma thanked police, first responders and other emergency services workers who attended the incident.</p> <p>“The Stevens family also wish to thank the wider community for their support during this difficult time in particular the family acknowledge the dedicated staff at the Flinders Medical Centre for their care and support of Charlie and his family and friends,” they said.</p> <p>Tributes have poured in for the teenager, as his older brother Tom called Charlie his "best mate, biggest rival and number one fan".</p> <p>"It breaks my heart (that) my days of being a big brother have come to an end," he said.</p> <p>SA Police Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams became emotional when sharing speaking about the incident, as she told reporters Charlie was an apprentice carpenter who had recently finished school and as excited about the next stage of his life.</p> <p>“[Commissioner Stevens] is with his family who are waiting for other family members from interstate to arrive,” the deputy commissioner said.</p> <p>“As you can imagine, this is a very difficult statement for me to make."</p> <p>“We always talk about this happening to other people but the reality is it can happen to anyone.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: SA Police</em></p>

Caring

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"Sorry about that, kids": Baby Boomers blamed AGAIN for national woes

<p>Australia's ongoing battle against soaring inflation is taking a toll on ordinary households, particularly young Australians, while – according to a recent News.com.au analysis – "<a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/why-boomers-and-big-business-are-to-blame-for-australias-economic-woes/news-story/d6478109e7701ad4cef152f38956e6b7" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cash-rich baby boomers and price-gouging corporations</a>" remain largely unscathed.</p> <p>This stark reality has been brought to light by financial experts and youth advocates, who point to the disproportionate impact of rising interest rates and living costs on younger generations.</p> <p>"Some interesting results from CBA's results presentation," observed ABC financial journalist Alan Kohler in a recent television appearance that has since gone viral. "They all highlight the great divide between generations."</p> <p>Kohler presented data showing that Millennials have the most debt and "baby boomers have most of the savings", with young people drawing down on their limited savings while boomers continue to grow their nest eggs.</p> <p>"And Gen Z and millennials are cutting back their spending and therefore doing all the hard work, helping the Reserve Bank get inflation down, but baby boomers are spending more and undermining that effort," Kohler explained. "So, sorry about that, kids."</p> <div class="embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; vertical-align: baseline; width: 580px; max-width: 100%; outline: none !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7267335675010141442&display_name=tiktok&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40equitymates%2Fvideo%2F7267335675010141442&image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-sg.tiktokcdn.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-alisg-p-0037%2FocNiGB6EkWBejOG1BH8DgQnwC2AVIM2QIebTQs%3Fx-expires%3D1699671600%26x-signature%3DSWclfroCkbHi55dgIg5%252FyW0Gf%252Bk%253D&key=5b465a7e134d4f09b4e6901220de11f0&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>Kos Samaras, director of research firm RedBridge Australia, echoed Kohler's sentiment, noting that millions of Australians are now in negative cash flow, struggling to make ends meet.</p> <p>"It's a train wreck," Samaras asserted. "These households are not driving inflation. It's people like myself and much older. Spending from 50+ is up, savings are up, and higher interest rates equal higher earned interest on savings. It's also super profits and other international drivers."</p> <p>PropTrack economist Angus Moore offered a more nuanced view, explaining that inflation is "never driven by a single thing or a single group."</p> <p>"For the sake of simplifying it, the reason we're seeing high inflation is down to two things," Moore clarified.</p> <p>"One is supply-led inflation, which is things like petrol and energy prices, disrupted supply chains driving up import costs, growth in construction costs, and so on.</p> <p>"More recently in the past 18 months, we've seen the second cause emerge, which is demand-led inflation. Basically, the economy is broadly doing very well. Unemployment is the lowest it's been in five decades. That's helped to give people more money, which has supported spending – or demand-led inflation."</p> <p>Amidst widespread financial hardship, corporations are reaping record profits, further fuelling public resentment.</p> <p>Electricity prices surged by 4.2 per cent in September, reflecting higher wholesale costs being passed on to consumers. Origin Energy, one of the country's largest electricity suppliers, saw a staggering 83.5 per cent increase in profits in the 2022-23 financial year.</p> <p>"The public have been told that supply chain issues and inflation are to blame for the cost-of-living crisis," said Joseph Mitchell, assistant secretary of the ACTU. "But when you see the profits like those posted, it is legitimate to ask whether Australia's big supermarkets have used the cost-of-living crisis as a smokescreen to push up their profit margins, despite costs decreasing for themselves."</p> <p>Similarly, Australia's biggest insurer IAG, which owns NRMA and CGU among others, posted a net profit of $832 million in 2022-23, skyrocketing 140 per cent on the year prior.</p> <p>"Insurance is an essential," Mitchell emphasised. "To protect our homes and to get to work we all have to pay those premiums. It's beyond the pale to expect hard working Australians to continue cop increases to life's essentials just to have big business creaming from the top."</p> <p>The Australia Institute's Centre for Future Work is demanding price regulations across strategic sectors such as energy, housing and transport, as well as competition policy reform to restrain exploitative pricing practices.</p> <p>"The evidence couldn't be any clearer – enormous corporate profits fuelled the inflationary crisis and remain too high for workers to claw back wage losses," stated Dr Jim Stanford, the centre's director.</p> <p>"The usual suspects in the business community want to blame labour costs for inflation. That claim simply doesn't stack up under the weight of international and domestic evidence that shows corporate profits still account for the clear majority of excess inflation, despite inflation moderating from its peak last year."</p> <p><em>Image: TikTok</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Tragic news after camper missing for 12 days

<p>Human remains believed to be that of missing camper Jessica Louise Stephens have been found by Northern Territory Police. </p> <p>The 35-year-old went camping at Kakadu National Park almost two weeks ago, and was reported missing by her mother on October 18. </p> <p>On Saturday afternoon police released a statement saying that they have recovered the remains on Nourlangie Rock, near where Stephens was believed to be travelling. </p> <p>Police also confirmed that the remains were located within the original search area. </p> <p>In an earlier statement, NT police reported that they found Stephen's belongings “a considerable distance from the walking track in harsh terrain”. </p> <p>It was reported that her vehicle was found <span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, 'system-ui', 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">in a car park near Nourlangie Rock. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, 'system-ui', 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">Acting </span><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">Senior Sergeant Steven </span><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">Langdon said that the search and rescue operation for Stephens, which commenced on the 24th of October, had covered around </span><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">140 square kilometres of the national park. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">Search efforts had been hampered by extreme heat, with temperatures reaching up to 48 degrees Celcius. <br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">Police have reported that they are in contact with Stephens' family and are preparing a report for the Coroner. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">Image:  ABC News/ </span></em><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;"><em>Karon Evans/ Getty</em></span></p>

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Melissa Leong axed just weeks ahead of filming

<p>In an unexpected turn of events, Channel Ten's beloved cooking show, <em>MasterChef Australia</em>, is set to undergo a significant makeover in 2024. The series, which has captured the hearts of food enthusiasts and reality TV aficionados alike, will introduce a new judging panel, leaving fans both excited and apprehensive.</p> <p>Melissa Leong, a fan favourite who joined the <em>MasterChef</em> family in 2019 alongside Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo, finds herself stepping away from the iconic show. Her arrival was part of a pivotal change in the program after the departure of original judges Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan, and George Calombaris due to a pay dispute. Sadly, the show faced another devastating loss with the <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/shattered-hearts-culinary-world-mourns-tragic-death-of-jock-zonfrillo" target="_blank" rel="noopener">sudden passing of Jock Zonfrillo</a> earlier this year, leaving a void that needed to be filled.</p> <p>According to sources reported by the <a href="https://www.afr.com/companies/media-and-marketing/masterchef-s-melissa-leong-axed-from-judging-lineup-20231023-p5ee9f" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Australian Financial Review</em></a>, Leong was made aware of this transition only recently, just a month before the new season began filming. The Australian public, deeply attached to the familiar faces they've come to love on the show, was left wondering about the future of <em>MasterChef</em>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/masterchef-shakeup-for-2024-new-sweet-gig-for-melissa-leong/news-story/4c3b7c3b77e942e09be516d631b5065a" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Daily Telegraph</a> broke the news that the new judging panel would include former contestant Poh Ling Yeow, Michelin-starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, and food critic Sofia Levin. While these newcomers bring their own expertise and charm to the <em>MasterChef</em> stage, they must face the challenge of filling the shoes of their predecessors and winning over the show's passionate audience.</p> <p>Andy Allen, who has been a part of the <em>MasterChef</em> journey since 2012, made the surprising decision to return to the series after what he described as a "difficult year" in 2023. Speaking about his choice, Allen said, "There is something special in the <em>MasterChef Australia</em> Kitchen, and it feels right to come back to work with the amazing production team, and to play my role in seeing the contestants do as I have done." With the new line-up, 2024 promises to be the beginning of a fresh chapter in the show's history.</p> <p>Notably, there were rumours that celebrity chef <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/food-wine/jamie-oliver-tipped-to-replace-jock-zonfrillo-on-masterchef" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Jamie Oliver might join the show</a> as a replacement. However, it appears that the production team opted for a mix of <em>MasterChef</em> alumni and culinary expertise to usher in this new era.</p> <p>Leong's connection with Channel Ten remains strong, as she is set to host <em>Dessert Masters</em>, alongside the pastry prodigy Amaury Guichon, known as "The Chocolate Guy". This spinoff series promises to showcase the skills of Australia's top pastry chefs and dessert makers through sweet-themed challenges. Dessert enthusiasts can anticipate an exciting showdown between some of the country's finest dessert creators.</p> <p>A Network 10 spokesperson has clarified that the decision was not influenced by any ongoing investigation and that Leong will continue to be a cherished member of the <em>MasterChef Australia</em> family. The spokesperson stated, "Melissa is set to return for a second season of <em>Dessert Masters</em> in 2024, alongside fellow judge and pastry prodigy Amaury Guichon." The scheduling of both programs, with<em> MasterChef</em> and <em>Dessert Masters</em> airing back-to-back, called for each show to have its distinct style, personality and hosting team.</p> <p>As fans eagerly await the new season of <em>MasterChef Australia</em> in 2024, there is a mix of anticipation and nostalgia. The departure of a beloved judge and the introduction of fresh faces signal a new chapter in the show's legacy.</p> <p><em>Image: MasterChef Australia</em></p>

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