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The hen-some winners of Australia's next top chicken awards

<p>The winners of Australia's Next Top Chicken competition have been crowned, with the winners ranging from feathered and fluffy, to just utterly fabulous. </p> <p>The annual competition, run by <a href="https://www.thegoodlifebackyard.com.au/australias-next-top-chicken-competition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Good Life Backyard</a>, gives farm enthusiasts a chance to show off their feathered friends, with the competition receiving hundreds of entrants this year. </p> <p>Tens of thousands of votes were cast by the public, ultimately crowning a Buff Laced Polish Frizzle, named Little Bird, the top chook for 2024. </p> <p>The top award is given to a chicken that embodies all the qualities of a standout star, and will be featured in the coveted spot on the 2025 Top Chicken calendar. </p> <p>The winner of Australia's next top rooster is Big Boy McFuzzle, who rules the roost with presence and charisma.</p> <p>Awards were also handed out to the funniest picture, as well as two random prize winners. </p> <p>Each year competition organisers draw random entries "ensuring everyone has a shot at winning".</p> <p>"Every chicken deserves a chance," organisers said.</p> <p>"This year's event was such a wonderful display of all breeds, abilities, disabilities and dedication to raising healthy, happy chickens."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Good Life Backyard</em></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 16px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 18px; line-height: 24px; font-family: proxima-nova, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size-adjust: inherit; font-kerning: inherit; font-variant-alternates: inherit; font-variant-ligatures: inherit; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-variant-position: inherit; font-feature-settings: inherit; font-optical-sizing: inherit; font-variation-settings: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #333333; caret-color: #333333;"> </p>

Family & Pets

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Biggest winners and losers of the 2024-25 Federal Budget

<p>The unveiling of the federal budget by Treasurer Jim Chalmers was marked by a dual focus on addressing cost-of-living pressures and strategically investing in Australia's future – and was predictably met with <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">both praise and criticism. </span></p> <p>Reflecting a delicate balancing act between providing immediate relief to vulnerable segments of society and ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability, the measures to alleviate cost-of-living pressures and support key sectors appear commendable, yet concerns persist regarding the adequacy of support for welfare recipients and the potential implications of immigration policies on international education. </p> <p>Read on for the high points, the low points, and all the biggest winners and losers of the federal budget for 2024-25.</p> <p><strong>BIGGEST WINNERS:</strong></p> <p><strong>Low and Middle-Income Earners:</strong></p> <p>At the core of the budget lies a commitment to alleviate the financial strain on low and middle-income earners. With the implementation of stage three tax cuts, Australians can anticipate a welcome increase in their take-home pay. These cuts, announced earlier in the year, are projected to inject an average of $36 per week into taxpayers' pockets by 2024-25. Notably, this initiative is expected to benefit 84% of taxpayers and 90% of women, signalling a targeted effort to support those most in need.</p> <p><strong>Parents:</strong></p> <p>In a move towards greater gender equality and financial security, the government has extended superannuation payments to parents on paid leave. This initiative aims to bridge the superannuation gap and provide approximately 180,000 families annually with additional financial support during crucial early parenting stages.</p> <p><strong>Households and Small Businesses:</strong></p> <p>Acknowledging the escalating energy costs, a $300 rebate on energy bills was announced for more than 10 million households. It was this facet of the budget that drew ire from Jacqui Lambie, Federal Senator for Tasmania, who was furious over the "bizarre" decision, which sees funds being spent on high-income earners such as herself at a time of rising inflation. 'We don't need $300, I can assure you,' she said to a post-budget panel on <em>ABC's Insiders</em> on Tuesday night. "That [funding] should have been passed forward. I find it bizarre."</p> <p>Additionally, small businesses stand to benefit from a $325 boost to alleviate power bill pressures. The extension of the instant asset write-off and the abolishment of 457 nuisance tariffs signal the government's commitment to supporting small businesses and fostering economic growth.</p> <p><strong>Aged Care Workers, Renters, Women, Last-Minute Travellers, Music Festivals, and PBS Patients:</strong></p> <p>The budget also addresses various sectors of society, including aged care workers, renters, women, last-minute travellers, music festivals and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme patients. Measures such as wage increases, rent assistance, healthcare subsidies and support for cultural events underscore the government's multifaceted approach to addressing societal needs.</p> <p><strong>Students:</strong></p> <p>Recognising the financial challenges faced by students, the government has taken steps to ease the burden of student debt. By wiping out $3 billion in student debt and overhauling the indexation of HECS debt, thousands of Australian students stand to benefit. Moreover, the introduction of payments for compulsory work placements acknowledges the financial strain faced by students pursuing vocational and tertiary education.</p> <p><strong>BIGGEST LOSERS:</strong></p> <p><strong style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">International Students:</strong></p> <p>In response to concerns about housing shortages and migration pressures, the government has signaled a crackdown on the influx of international students. Universities will be required to match enrolment growth with adequate housing infrastructure, potentially limiting opportunities for international students seeking education in Australia.</p> <p><strong style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Welfare Recipients:</strong></p> <p>Despite calls for a significant increase in JobSeeker and Youth Allowance payments, the budget falls short of implementing substantial changes in welfare support. While some targeted assistance is provided to individuals facing barriers to employment, broader calls for income support reform remain unaddressed.</p> <p><strong>High-Income Earners:</strong></p> <p>While the budget aims to provide relief to low and middle-income earners, high-income earners may experience a less substantial boost to their incomes compared to previous projections. This recalibration reflects the government's commitment to a fair and equitable distribution of resources.</p> <p><em>Image: ABC</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Peter Stefanovic slammed for "harsh" question to young million-dollar winner

<p>Peter Stefanovic has been slammed online for bringing up a past crime committed by the 19-year-old, who had his life change overnight when he won $1 million. </p> <p>Keegan Payne was fishing in the Northern Territory when he <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/travel/domestic-travel/this-is-crazy-teenager-goes-fishing-and-emerges-a-millionaire" target="_blank" rel="noopener">caught</a> a barramundi worth $1 million, that was part of a years-long fishing competition in the Top End. </p> <p>While dong the media rounds to celebrate his life-changing win, Keegan spoke with Stefanovic on <em>Sky News</em>, who chose to focus on a petty crime Keegan committed when he was just 16-years-old, cutting the joy of his win short. </p> <p>"There is a claim online that you stole a Polaris Ranger and Polaris quad that you and your friends stole and damaged from a business a few years back, first of all, is that true?" Stefanovic asked from his <a id="mol-c0669630-0788-11ef-a01a-6393dcd80371" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/sydney/index.html" target="_self">Sydney</a> studio during the live interview.</p> <p>Payne, who was speaking from the Darwin, simply answered, "Yes".</p> <p>"So, what happened?" Mr Stefanovic pressed.</p> <p>Payne explained he and his friends "were young", and "weren't thinking at the time" but having come up with the idea they "went for it".</p> <p>Stefanovic asked Payne if he regretted the act and he said he did "big time".</p> <p>Social media users were quick to condemn Stefanovic's line of questioning to the teenager, saying he chose to cut him down on live TV, rather than celebrate his success. </p> <p>One person wrote online, "Reporter hears good news. Does everything they can to dig up dirt and be negative. He made a mistake and took the fall out for it and was forgiven way before this win!"</p> <p>Another simply said, "S***ty reporting as usual", while others asked why people couldn't "just be happy for this kid?"</p> <p>"No one's perfect, but to shame him on tv? Talk about rip the carpet from beneath him! Stop kicking people back down when they move forward!" another added</p> <p>"Shows the mentality of dipsh*ts who like ruin other peoples happiness!"</p> <p>Another simply called Stefanovic a "grub", and said he was being "unfair" on the teenager.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Sky News / Million Dollar Fish  </em></p>

Legal

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Beloved Oscar winner dies "exactly as he would have scripted it"

<p>Award-winning Hollywood screenwriter David Seidler has died aged 86. </p> <p>The playwright, best known for 2010's <em>The Kings Speech</em>, passed away while on a fly-fishing expedition in New Zealand. </p> <p>"David was in the place he loved most in the world — New Zealand — doing what gave him the greatest peace which was fly-fishing," his manager said in a statement to <em>The Hollywood Reporter</em>.</p> <p>"If given the chance, it is exactly as he would have scripted it."</p> <p>Seidler's cause of death has not been revealed. </p> <p>The British-American playwright, first moved to Hollywood - where he started his career - at the age of 40, with his first job writing <em>Tucker: The Man and His Dreams </em>for Francis Ford Coppola. </p> <p>He also worked on the <em>King and I</em> and <em>Madeline: Lost in Paris</em>.</p> <p>Seidler is best known for <em>The King's Speech</em>, starring Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter. The film won him an Oscar and BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay. </p> <p>He previously told <em> The Los Angeles Times</em> that his interest in the story of George VI came from growing up with a stutter, just like the one Colin Firth's character had in the film. </p> <p>"It began, obviously, by the fact that I was a stutterer as a kid — truly a profound stutterer," he told the publication.</p> <p>"I grew up always having a great soft spot in my heart [for him], because I knew he was a stutterer, who had, if not been totally cured, at least improved to the point where he could give these very eloquent, moving, stirring wartime speeches."</p> <p>Seidler is survived by his two adult children. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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Surprising Aussie beach crowned best in the world

<p dir="ltr">An iconic Australian beach has been named the best in the world in a prestigious list of the most picturesque coastlines on the planet. </p> <p dir="ltr">Each year, <a href="https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/best-beaches-in-the-world" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Condé Nast Traveler</a> ranks the beaches from around the world to curate a list of 34 locations that every beach lover needs to visit. </p> <p dir="ltr">In the top ten list, five beaches from both Australia and New Zealand feature, living up to the countries reputations of stunning coastlines. </p> <p dir="ltr">With a “combination of leaning palm trees on powdery sand”, the publication crowned Palm Cove Beach as the best beach in the world, describing the spot in Queensland as “the epitome of a tropical paradise”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Located north of Cairns, the publication shared that Palm Cove is relatively “crowd free” and home to a range of unique wildlife. </p> <p dir="ltr">While many on social media were quick to agree with the winning location, others argued that there are beaches around Australia more deserving of the crown. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The only way you rank Palm Cove as the best beach in the world is if you have never been to Palm Cove or don’t like beaches,” one wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Eyre Peninsula beaches leave Palm Cove for dead,” another added.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Best beach if you don’t ever want to go in the water. What about all the magic in WA?” one questioned.</p> <p dir="ltr">Check out the top 10 list of the world’s best beaches below. </p> <p dir="ltr">10. Die Plaat, South Africa</p> <p dir="ltr">9. Awaroa, South Island, New Zealand</p> <p dir="ltr">8. Noosa Beach, Australia </p> <p dir="ltr">7. Dune du Pilat, France</p> <p dir="ltr">6. Mona Vale Beach, Australia</p> <p dir="ltr">5. Ora Beach, Indonesia</p> <p dir="ltr">4. Wategos Beach, Australia</p> <p dir="ltr">3. Brekon, Shetland</p> <p dir="ltr">2. Honopu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii</p> <p dir="ltr">1. Palm Cove Beach, Australia</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

International Travel

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$280 million lotto winner cuts ties with "greedy" family

<p>Scotland resident Gillian Bayford went from rags to riches in an instant when she won the equivalent of a $278.36 million jackpot in August 2012. </p> <p>Thinking luck was finally on her side, Bayford didn't expect the amount of drama that came with the life-changing prize. </p> <p>It all began just 15 months after her lucky win with then-husband Adrian, who she split with allegedly due to the stress of managing the jackpot. </p> <p>Not long after, she spent $1,324,304 to pay off her family's debt, which included money that her late father Ian McCulloch and her brother Colin owed over a series of failed business ventures according to <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/woman-won-187m-lottery-severed-ties-greedy-family-2023-12" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Business Insider</em></a>. </p> <p>“My dad and brother built up one company after another and then closed them down,” Bayford said. </p> <p>“I’ve bailed them out of every debt.”</p> <p>She continued to keep her family financially afloat spending a total of $37.31 million on them, and even bought her parents - who were broke and living in a caravan at the time - a $522,388 penthouse apartment in eastern Scotland. </p> <p>But, according to the <em>Mirror</em>, that wasn't enough and her father insisted that she should give her brother around $1.5 million, for a new play-centre business. </p> <p>She obliged, and instead of thanking her, Colin now drives Audis with private plates, owns a $546,000 house and reportedly stopped talking to his sister. He even got married to his girlfriend without inviting Bayford to the wedding. </p> <p>“They have lost touch with where they’ve come from,” Bayford told <em>The Sun</em>.</p> <p>“They’re rubbing people’s noses in it by flashing their cash, which I think is downright nasty.”</p> <p>At one point her father even tried to take control of her winnings and even take a piece of her business. </p> <p>“It’s upsetting and raw,” she told the publication. </p> <p>“The money was supposed to make everybody happy. But it’s made them demanding and greedy.” </p> <p>She added, "they brought our name into disrespect in the village, and we had people threatening to torch the family house.”</p> <p>Bayford said that despite it all she takes pride in herself "because I know I’ve taken them out of a situation.”</p> <p>The lotto winner officially cut ties with her family in 2016 after they called her an embarrassment, while her mum Brenda McCulloch claims she’s heartbroken over the lack of contact with her daughter and grandchildren.</p> <p>“Gillian says that we didn’t try and get in touch with them, but if I’d tried she wouldn’t have let me,”  she said. </p> <p>Her mum also claimed that while her daughter was “generous,” the actual amount she gave her family was much lower. </p> <p>“Every word that comes out of their mouths is a lie. I wish them a happy life, but there will be no reconciliation now," Bayford refuted. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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"It's just unbelievable": The Block winners become instant millionaires

<p><strong><em>Warning! Spoilers ahead</em></strong></p> <p><em>The Block</em> 2023 has official drawn to a close, with mixed emotions hitting the renovation couples at a chaotic auction day. </p> <p>Two teams became instant millionaires on Sunday night, while one couple walked away with nothing as their house failed to sell. </p> <p>NSW childhood sweethearts Steph and Gian emerged victorious as this year's winners, pocketing $1.65 million in a record-breaking auction. </p> <p>Their house was purchased for a whopping $5 million after the reserve was set at $3.35 million. </p> <p>Steph and Gian's win is the biggest in <em>Block</em> history, surpassing the $1.586 million last year’s winners Omar and Oz made over their reserve.</p> <p>On top of their auction earnings, the couple also take home the $100,000 prize money.</p> <p>Also becoming instant millionaires were Melbourne sisters Liberty and Eliza, pocketing $1.05 million after their house sold for $4.3 million. </p> <p>WA team Leslie and Kyle placed third in the competition, taking home a more modest profit of $130,000 after their house sold for $3.1 million. </p> <p>All three of those houses were bought by serial-bidder Adrian Portelli, who also purchased last year's winning house.</p> <p>In a bizarre twist, Portelli even bid against himself, repeatedly raising the price by $100,000 despite already having the highest bid.</p> <p>“That’s...never happened before,” said a dumbfounded Scott Cam, while the auctioneer called it “the strangest auction I’ve ever done.”</p> <p>Despite three major auction successes, South Australian couple Kristy and Brett only made a $65,00 profit for their hard work on the season, after their house sold for $3.035 million. </p> <p>In a devastating blow, Queenslanders Leah and Ash failed to sell their home after bids failed to climb above their $2.97 million reserve. </p> <p>After tense negotiations, the team decided to pass a low offer, with the home still on the market. </p> <p>There is some hope for the Queenslanders, as their house could still sell for more than its reserve after auction.</p> <p>Two of the three houses that were passed in during last year’s auctions eventually sold for well over their reserve, scoring their teams respective profits of around $170,000 each.</p> <p>Speaking after their win, Steph and Gian said their were “overwhelmed” and described auction day as “surreal.” </p> <p>“This will change our lives,” they said of their $1.75 million win. </p> <p>“We have no idea what we are going to do with the money yet. It’s going to clear our debts in Sydney. It’s going to set us up for whatever the next stage is. It’s just unbelievable.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Money & Banking

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2023 Drone Photo Awards fly high as winners are revealed

<p dir="ltr">The winners of the 2023 Drone Photo Awards have been announced, with photographers all around the world recognised for their commitment to aerial photography in the fierce international competition.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thousands of submissions were received for the annual contest across nine different categories: photo of the year, urban, wildlife, sport, people, nature, abstract, wedding, series, and video. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Drone Photo Awards are open to both aerial photography and video, with platforms including “fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, balloons, blimps and dirigibles, rockets, kites, and parachutes.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The competition’s top award, Photo of the Year, went to a shot by Israeli photographer Or Adar. </p> <p dir="ltr">His submission, ‘Must resist’, presents the image of “protesters holding banners during a demonstration again Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul plans” from an aerial perspective, capturing the moment in Tel Aviv when “tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Israeli cities for the ninth straight week, on Saturday March 4th, to fight a government plan to overhaul the country's court system.” </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">🏆“𝐃𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐏𝐡𝐨𝐭𝐨 𝐀𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑” 𝐏𝐡𝐨𝐭𝐨 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫 🏆</p> <p>Congrats to Or Adar for his stunning image “Must resist”. 👏👏👏<a href="https://t.co/leaZw2sazu">https://t.co/leaZw2sazu</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sienawards?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sienawards</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dronephotoawards?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#dronephotoawards</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/photocontest?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#photocontest</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dronephotography?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#dronephotography</a> <a href="https://t.co/pyReGOTMC9">pic.twitter.com/pyReGOTMC9</a></p> <p>— Siena Awards (@SIPAContest) <a href="https://twitter.com/SIPAContest/status/1671458317472866313?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 21, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Polish photographer Sebastian Piórek took home the win in the Urban category for his shot of Chorzów in southern Poland, which was described by The Siena Awards as a photo that “beautifully juxtaposes the colourful ambiance and harmony of the playground against the backdrop of the city.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Indian photographer Danu Paran won the Wildlife category with his shot of a napping elephant, where “the elephant’s grey and wrinkled skin perfectly merges with the natural landscape, creating a harmonious composition that showcases the beauty of wildlife.”</p> <p dir="ltr">French photographer David Machet won for Sport with his photo of tightrope walker Nathan Paulin in the French Alps, as Paulin traversed a ‘highline’ almost 2.5 km in the air. </p> <p dir="ltr">The People category went to British photographer Simon Heather’s picture of people in Portugal enjoying a sunny day by the sea, while the Series award went to American photographer George Steinmetz for his photo series of farmland.</p> <p dir="ltr">Indian photographer Thomas Vijayan took home the Nature award for his photo of Svalbard, with Vijayan sharing that “it was surprisingly sad to see that the ice had already melted in June, and we were able to reach the ice cap with our ship.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The Abstract winner was Spanish photographer Ignacio Medem for a shot demonstrating how drought and poor water resource management has impacted a river in the American West.</p> <p dir="ltr">Polish photographer Krzysztof Krawczyk found success in the Wedding category, with his snap of newlyweds on a boat in the middle of a lake, while “they are enveloped by voluminous clouds and surrounded by thousands of dry leaves, resembling stars and creating gentle waves.”</p> <p dir="ltr">And last but not least, Bashir Abu won the Video category with “Why I Travel the World Alone”.</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Z6t4y3A28uA" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">And for anyone hoping to check the winners out for themselves, Adar’s image - as well as the top photographs from the other winning categories - will be available for viewing in the Above Us Only Sky exhibition set to take place for the first time at Italy’s San Galgano Abbey from July 8 to November 19. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Drone Photo Awards</em></p>

Art

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The Voice 2023 winner revealed in thrilling finale

<p>In a thrilling conclusion to The Voice's 12th season, Tarryn Stokes, a talented vocalist from Team Rita, emerged as the champion. The grand prize of $100,000 and a coveted recording contract with Universal Music Australia now belongs to her.</p> <p>Facing formidable competition in the final four, including Charlie Pittman (Team Guy), Ethan Beckton (Team Jason), and Ezra Williams (Team Jess), Tarryn, at the age of 40, seized the victory.</p> <p>The climactic showdown featured each of the top four contestants performing twice. First, they shared the stage with their respective coaches for a duet, followed by a solo performance.</p> <p>Tarryn's coach, Rita Ora, joined her in a mesmerising duet rendition of the timeless Tina Turner hit, "The Best". Tarryn returned to deliver a jaw-dropping solo performance of Eric Carmen's "All By Myself", a rendition deeply inspired by Celine Dion's iconic version. Her solo act stood out as the highlight of the night, solidifying her status as a deserving winner.</p> <p>Ezra Williams kicked off the evening with a captivating performance of Camila Cabello's "Don't Go Yet" and later shared an emotional, stripped-down version of Harry Styles' "As It Was" with coach Jess Mauboy.</p> <p>Ethan Beckton took the stage alongside his coach, Jason Derulo, for a stirring rendition of Lewis Capaldi's "Someone You Loved". Ethan later returned for his solo act, delivering Ed Sheeran's "Eyes Closed".</p> <p>Charlie Pittman's powerful performance of Shawn Mendes' "When You're Gone" set the tone for his evening. He and coach Guy Sebastian surprised the audience with a tropical-pop twist on Natalie Imbruglia's classic, "Torn".</p> <p>While Tarryn celebrated her victory with a $100,000 cash prize and a recording contract with Universal Music Australia, it's important to note that success in the music industry is not guaranteed. Last year's winner, Lachie Gill, failed to make an impact on the charts, and the last Voice winner to score a top 20 hit was Judah Kelly back in 2017. Diana Rouvas, the winner of Season 8, also faced disappointment when her winner's single failed to crack the ARIA top 500.</p> <p>Coach Rita Ora showered Tarryn with praise, highlighting her dedication and undeniable talent: "Tarryn's sacrificed time with her kids to make her dream come true. She is undoubtedly one of the best singers I've seen on a show like this."</p> <p>In response, Tarryn shared her inspirational message: "I want people to know that they can still pursue their dreams as parents."</p> <p><em>Image: Network Seven</em></p>

TV

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Dancing With The Stars winner crowned!

<p>After five weeks of dancing up a storm, the winner of <em>Dancing With The Stars</em> has been crowned. </p> <p>The finale came down to an actress and a singer going head-to-head, with the mirrorball trophy awarded to the champion at the end of the epic battle.</p> <p>The two finalists were <em>Home &amp; Away</em> star Emily Weir, and Human Nature singer Phil Burton, with Burton emerging victorious to win the show’s 20th season.</p> <p>“This show has just been so incredible for the last seven weeks. I’ve had the absolute time of my life. And, you know, it is a competition but it doesn’t feel like it when you are out here and you are with all these amazing people. It’s been an absolute joy to be a part of it,” Burton said after his win.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CvCec-utGhC/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CvCec-utGhC/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Dancing with the Stars Australia (@dancingau)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The colourful finale saw the six remaining couples each perform a freestyle routine in the hopes of winning the coveted trophy.</p> <p>Weir and her dance partner Lyu Masuda performed an energetic routine to the Spice Girls hit track <em>Spice Up Your Life</em>, with judge Todd McKenney saying he “absolutely loved” the “fantastic” performance.</p> <p>“You were shimmying for Jesus, darling,” fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood told her.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Burton and dance partner Ash-Leigh Hunter danced to Wilson Pickett’s 1962 classic <em>Land of a Thousand Dances</em>, a performance Revel Horwood said was “full of rhythm and musicality.”</p> <p>“It seems, Phil, that you can turn your hand to any genre of dance - and that proves it,” he said.</p> <p>Both Burton and Weir scored the highest score from the judges for the night, tied at 39 points, putting them at an equal footing for the top two.</p> <p>But in the end, Burton’s Human Nature fanbase helped him win the audience vote over Weir, becoming the newest champion of the show. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Seven / Instagram</em></p>

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“Far out… I did it”: MasterChef winner crowned!

<p dir="ltr">Brent Draper has been announced as <em>MasterChef Australia’s</em> winner!</p> <p dir="ltr">Brent was a returning contestant who had previously withdrawn from the 2021 season of <em>MasterChef</em>, after revealing that he was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/food-wine/it-ain-t-weak-to-speak-masterchef-s-brent-draper-opens-up-about-his-anxiety" target="_blank" rel="noopener">struggling with his mental health</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">For the first round the pair had to make “a dish that tells a story,” a challenge that was set by judge Melissa Leong.</p> <p dir="ltr">Both contestants presented a dish with a pork base, with Brent opting for a pork chop with tamarind ketchup glaze, roast cabbage and salsa, which the judges deemed “perfectly executed”.</p> <p dir="ltr">He scored a near perfect 29 out of 30.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rhiannon went next whipping up a crispy pork belly dish with citrus caramel, fennel and orange salad and crispy shallots.</p> <p dir="ltr">Although judge Andy Allen called it “the best-looking plate” she’d presented all season, she also received some criticism mainly that she was a bit stingy with the sauce.</p> <p dir="ltr">She scored 25 out of 30.</p> <p dir="ltr">The second and final round was more intense as the pair had to recreate a pocket watch dessert made up of layers of coffee, cream and cake.</p> <p dir="ltr">Both contestants struggled with making the clear “glass” sugar dome that sits on top of the cake. While Rhiannon nailed it after two attempts, Brent couldn’t quite do the same after running out of time, so he had to present a final dish he thought he’d “stuffed up.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Although his dish was less than perfect, Brent did a “very good job” at recreating the textures and flavours of the cake, which impressed pastry chef Amaury Guichon.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rhiannon’s dish failed to impress the judges with Amaury saying that the “textures are all over the place,” which Mel Leong agreed was an issue as it meant “we lose the joy of the dish.”</p> <p dir="ltr">In the end Brent scored 34 points in round two and Rhiannon scored 27.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brent redeemed himself after withdrawing from season 13 of the show, with a final score of 63.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rhiannon did her best and had a final score of 52 points.</p> <p dir="ltr">The finale of this year’s <em>MasterChef </em>ended with an extended tribute to Jock Zonfrillo, which showed a highlight reel from his time as a judge and the message: “Give it up for Jock Zonfrillo.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The season 15 <em>MasterChef </em>winner took to his Instagram to share his joy and tribute to Zonfrillo.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Far out… I did it,” he captioned the post.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is a big win but it isn’t just for me. Honestly it’s for every single person who backed me, who reached out and shared their hard stuff and stories with me, it’s for all those who never gave up.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cuwdb0pxGvi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cuwdb0pxGvi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Brent Draper (@brentdraper_)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“This win is for us and I couldn’t be happier than I am right now in this moment!!”</p> <p dir="ltr">He thanked the MasterChef judges before adding his tribute to Jock.</p> <p dir="ltr">"And to the man who’s been the most influential for me on my food and mental health journey, Jock. I’m gutted you’re not here mate and that we won’t get to have a scotch and celebrate this together - but just know that this win is for you.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Thank you for the legacy you’ve left behind, for the memories and laughs and just know that you’ll never ever be forgotten in our home ❤️”</p> <p><em>Image: Ten</em></p>

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2023 Australian Book Industry Awards winners announced

<p>The winners of the 2023 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) have been revealed, while a whole host of titles taking home their well-deserved accolades from an impressive shortlist of 70. </p> <p>Categories included Book of the Year for Social Impact, International Book, Literary Fiction, New Writer, General Non-Fiction, Biography, Children’s Picture Book, and more - to the delight of booklovers all across the nation. </p> <p>There was an ‘overall’ winner from the big night, too, with Nagi Maehashi’s <em>RecipeTin Eats: Dinner </em>taking home the Book of the Year award. </p> <p>Nagi took to social media to celebrate her win, in the wake of her self-proclaimed “worst acceptance speech of the year”, to thank everyone and express her enthusiastic gratitude for all of the support for her work. And, of course, to thank her four-legged best friend and ‘co-author’, Dozer the dog. </p> <p>She wasn’t the only one with a smile on her face on the big night, however, with her fellow given plenty of reason to rejoice right along with her. </p> <p>And so, in no particular order, here are all the winners from the 2023 ABIAs! </p> <p><strong>ABIA Book of the Year &amp; Illustrated Book of the Year:</strong> <em>RecipeTin Eats: Dinner</em>, Nagi Maehashi</p> <p>“150 dinner recipes. Fail-proof. Delicious. Addictive. The food you want to cook, eat and share, night after night.</p> <p>"Through her phenomenally popular online food site, RecipeTin Eats, Nagi Maehashi talks to millions of people a year who tell her about the food they love.</p> <p>"Now, in her first cookbook, Nagi brings us the ultimate curation of new and favourite RecipeTin Eats recipes - from comfort food (yes, cheese galore), to fast and easy food for weeknights, Mexican favourites, hearty dinner salads, Asian soups and noodles, and special treats for festive occasions.”</p> <p><strong>General Fiction Book of the Year: </strong><em>Dirt Town</em>, Hayley Scrivenor</p> <p>“On a sweltering Friday afternoon in Durton, best friends Ronnie and Esther leave school together. Esther never makes it home.</p> <p>“Ronnie's going to find her, she has a plan. Lewis will help. Their friend can't be gone, Ronnie won't believe it.</p> <p>“Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels can believe it. She has seen what people are capable of. She knows more than anyone how, in a moment of weakness, a person can be driven to do something they never thought possible.</p> <p>“Lewis can believe it too. But he can't reveal what he saw that afternoon at the creek without exposing his own secret.</p> <p>“Five days later, Esther's buried body is discovered.”</p> <p><strong>Literary Fiction Book of the Year:</strong> <em>Horse</em>, Geraldine Brooks</p> <p>“A discarded painting in a roadside clean-up, forgotten bones in a research archive, and Lexington, the greatest racehorse in US history. From these strands of fact, Geraldine Brooks weaves a sweeping story of spirit, obsession and injustice across American history …</p> <p>“With the moral complexity of March and a multi-stranded narrative reminiscent of People of the Book, this enthralling novel is a gripping reckoning with the legacy of enslavement and racism in America. <em>Horse</em> is the latest masterpiece from a writer with a prodigious talent for bringing the past to life.”</p> <p><strong>General Non-fiction Book of the Year: </strong><em>Bulldozed</em>, Niki Savva</p> <p>“Between 2013 and 2022, Tony Abbott begat Malcolm Turnbull, who begat Scott Morrison. For nine long years, Australia was governed by a succession of Coalition governments rocked by instability and bloodletting, and consumed with prosecuting climate and culture wars while neglecting policy.</p> <p>“By the end, among his detractors — and there were plenty — Morrison was seen as the worst prime minister since Billy McMahon …</p> <p>“Niki Savva, Australia’s renowned political commentator, author, and columnist, was there for all of it … Now she lays out the final unravelling of the Coalition at the hands of a resurgent Labor and the so-called teal independents that culminated in the historic 2022 election. With her typical access to key players, and her riveting accounts of what went on behind the scenes, <em>Bulldozed</em> is the unique final volume of an unputdownable and impeccably sourced political trilogy.”</p> <p><strong>Biography Book of the Year: </strong><em>My Dream Time</em>, Ash Barty </p> <p>“<em>My Dream Time</em> is about finding the path to being the best I could be, not just as an athlete but as a person, and to consider the way those identities overlap and compete. We all have a professional and a personal self. How do you conquer nerves and anxiety? How do you deal with defeat, or pain? What drives you to succeed – and what happens when you do? The answers tell me so much, about bitter disappointments and also dreams realised – from injuries and obscurity and self-doubt to winning Wimbledon and ranking number 1 in the world.</p> <p>“My story is about the power and joy of doing that thing you love and seeing where it can take you, about the importance of purpose – and perspective – in our lives.”</p> <p><strong>Social impact Book of the Year: </strong><em>The Boy from Boomerang Crescent</em>, Eddie Betts</p> <p>“How does a self-described ‘skinny Aboriginal kid’ overcome a legacy of family tragedy to become an AFL legend? One thing’s for sure: it’s not easy. But then, there’s always been something special about Eddie Betts …</p> <p>“Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic and always honest – often laceratingly so – <em>The Boy from Boomerang Crescent</em> is the inspirational life story of a champion, in his own words. Whether he’s narrating one of his trademark gravity-defying goals from the pocket, the discrimination he’s faced as an Aboriginal person or the birth of his first child, Betts’s voice – intelligent, soulful, unpretentious – rings through on every page.</p> <p>“The very human story behind the plaudits is one that will surprise, move and inspire.”</p> <p><strong>Book of the Year for Older Children (ages 13+): </strong><em>Blood Traitor</em>, Lynette Noni</p> <p>“Kiva thought she knew what she wanted - revenge. But feelings change, people change … everything has changed.</p> <p>“After what happened at the palace, Kiva is desperate to know if her friends and family are safe, and whether those she wronged can ever forgive her. But with the kingdoms closer to the brink of war than they’ve ever been, and Kiva far away from the conflict, more is at stake than her own broken heart.</p> <p>“A fresh start will mean a perilous quest, forcing mortal enemies and uneasy allies together in a race against the clock to save not just Evalon, but all of Wenderall. With her loyalties now set, Kiva can no longer just survive - she must fight for what she believes in. For who she believes in. But with danger coming from every side, and the lives of everyone she loves at risk, does she have what it takes to stand, or will she fall?”</p> <p><strong>Book of the Year for Younger Children (ages 7–12): </strong><em>Runt</em>, Craig Silvey (illustrated by Sara Acton)</p> <p>“Annie Shearer lives in the country town of Upson Downs with her best friend, an adopted stray dog called Runt. The two share a very special bond.</p> <p>“After years evading capture, Runt is remarkably fast and agile, perfect for herding runaway sheep. But when a greedy local landowner puts her family's home at risk, Annie directs Runt's extraordinary talents towards a different pursuit - winning the Agility Course Grand Championship at the lucrative Krumpets Dog Show in London.</p> <p>“However, there is a curious catch: Runt will only obey Annie's commands if nobody else is watching.</p> <p>“With all eyes on them, Annie and Runt must beat the odds and the fastest dogs in the world to save her farm.</p> <p>“<em>Runt</em> is a heart-warming and hilarious tale of kindness, friendship, hurdles, hoops, tunnels, see-saws, being yourself and bringing out the best in others.”</p> <p><strong>Children’s Picture Book of the Year (ages 0–6): </strong><em>What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say</em>, Davina Bell &amp; Hilary Jean Tapper</p> <p>“A warm and whimsical guide to negotiating life's little moments and big emotions with empathy, kindness and words from the heart.”</p> <p><strong>International Book of the Year: </strong><em>Lessons in Chemistry</em>, Bonnie Garmus</p> <p>“Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.</p> <p>“But it's the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Forced to resign, she reluctantly signs on as the host of a cooking show, Supper at Six. But her revolutionary approach to cooking, fuelled by scientific and rational commentary, grabs the attention of a nation.</p> <p>“Soon, a legion of overlooked housewives find themselves daring to change the status quo. One molecule at a time.”</p> <p><strong>Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year: </strong><em>The Dreaming Path</em>, Paul Callaghan</p> <p>“The Dreaming Path has always been there, but in the modern-day world, it can be hard to find. There are so many demands on us – family, health, bills, a mortgage, a career – that it can be hard to remember what’s most important: you.</p> <p>“It’s time to reconnect with your story.</p> <p>“Through conversations, exercises, Dreamtime stories and key messages, Paul Callaghan and Uncle Paul Gordon will sit you around the fire and share knowledge that reveals the power of Aboriginal spirituality as a profound source of contentment and wellbeing for anyone willing to listen.</p> <p>"This ancient wisdom is just as relevant today as it ever was.”</p> <p><strong>Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year:</strong> <em>Off to the Market</em>, Alice Oehr</p> <p>“Sunday is market day. We are looking for pumpkin, apples, eggs, and bread. What else will we find? Where did it come from? And what will we make with it?</p> <p>“Learn all about produce in this delightful child’s tour of a food market, full of fun facts, delicious new discoveries, and charming characters.</p> <p>“A loving ode to the people who bring food to our table and connection to our community, from acclaimed artist Alice Oehr.”</p> <p><strong>Audiobook of the Year: </strong><em>The Whitewash</em> (Siang Lu, Wavesound) </p> <p>“Siang Lu's searing debut is a black comedy about the whitewashing of the Asian film industry, told in the form of an oral documentary. It sounded like a good idea at the time - a Hollywood spy thriller, starring, for the first time in history, an Asian male lead. With an estimated $350 million production budget and up-and-coming Hong Kong actor JK Jr, who, let's be honest, is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but probably the hottest, Brood Empire was basically a sure thing. Until it wasn't …</p> <p>“<em>The Whitewash</em> is the definitive oral history of the whole sordid mess. Unofficial. Unasked for. Only intermittently fact-checked, and featuring a fool's gallery of actors, producers, directors, film historians and scummy click-bait journalists, to answer the question of how it all went so horribly, horribly wrong.”</p> <p><strong>The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year: </strong><em>WAKE</em>, Shelley Burr</p> <p>“Evelyn simply vanished …Mina McCreery's life has been defined by the intense and ongoing public interest in her sister's case. Now a reclusive adult, Mina lives alone on her family's sunbaked, destocked sheep farm. The million-dollar reward her mother established to solve the disappearance has never been paid out.</p> <p>“Enter Lane Holland, a private investigator who dropped out of the police academy to earn a living cracking cold cases. Lane has his eye on the unclaimed money, but he also has darker motivations.</p> <p>“<em>WAKE</em> is a powerful, unsparing story of how trauma ripples outward when people's private tragedies become public property, and how it's never too late for the truth to set things right.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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The Block winners reveal adorable new baby’s name

<p dir="ltr">Elyse Knowles and Josh Barker have welcomed their second child - an adorable baby boy.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple took to Instagram on Sunday to announce the exciting news in a sweet video of their newborn son, and unveiled the sweet meaning behind the tot's name.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Zaii Barker 🤍 To love and protect. 18th May 🐚," the couple captioned the video.</p> <p dir="ltr">The parents are clearly in awe of their baby boy, as they used the song 'Eyes on You' by Ed Patrick in their announcement video.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Csfz4H8g2s2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Csfz4H8g2s2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Elyse Knowles (@elyse.knowles)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr"><em>The Block</em> 2017 winners’ friends, family and fans shared their love in the comments.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The cutest little squish going around," Elyse's sister Tahlea Knowles wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Congratulations ❤️ Zaii you're perfect! Enjoy this special time! So happy for you all!” commented their friend Lana Wilinson.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Well done mama! And the name is heaven. Xx," commented Lisa Wilkinson with a bunch of red heart emojis.</p> <p dir="ltr">Zaii’s birth comes two years after the couple welcomed their first-born son, Sunny.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple announced their pregnancy earlier this year, with Elyse revealing that she was halfway through her second pregnancy.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Very, very grateful for baby number 2. Half way until Sunny is a big brother," she captioned the post.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Westminster Dog Show waises the woof

<p dir="ltr"> It was a furry affair when 3,000 dogs - and their human companions - descended upon New York City’s Arthur Ashe Stadium for the 147th Westminster Dog Show, with their eyes set on one prize: the coveted title of Best in Show. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Westminster show, often dubbed the ‘Super Bowl of Dogs’ by its fans and supporters, is considered one of the world’s most prestigious dog events. With categories ranging from hound group to herding group, sporting, toy, and beyond, anything is paws-ible and the competition is fierce - and you’d be barking mad to think a win comes easy.</p> <p dir="ltr">The winner of each group advances through to the Best Show category, the final event of the entire weekend, and the prize that every pooch and partner hopes to take home. </p> <p dir="ltr">In 2022, a bloodhound named Trumpet seized victory, and put his name in the history books as the first bloodhound to win the competition. </p> <p dir="ltr">In 2023, Buddy Holly the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen (PBGV) followed suit, emerging victorious as the only PBGV to have claimed the title of Best in Show. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The winning moment for the Best in Show Winner, Buddy Holly, Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen! 💜✨<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WestminsterDogShow?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WestminsterDogShow</a> <a href="https://t.co/jzOVYmmtNL">pic.twitter.com/jzOVYmmtNL</a></p> <p>— Westminster Dog Show (@WKCDOGS) <a href="https://twitter.com/WKCDOGS/status/1656135503291244546?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">And it was celebration all around, with Buddy’s owner and trainer Janice Hayes telling <em>Fox Sports </em>that her canine companion is “the epitome of a show dog” as nothing bothers him, and that she had been dreaming of the win since she was just 9 years old.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rummie the Pekingese took out the runner-up position, earning the honour of Reserve Best in Show. Rummie also came in at the top of the pack for the Toy Group. </p> <p dir="ltr">As for how the show’s judges made their difficult selection, Ann Ingram explained, “like all things, beauty is subjective. A dog’s attitude in the ring can help. </p> <p dir="ltr">“If the dog loves itself, you can tell. He kind of has that attitude of, you know, ‘I’m a winner’.” </p> <p dir="ltr">Other winners included Cider the English Setter in the Sporting Group, Lepshi the Bracco Italiano for his breed’s debut, fan favourite Winston the French Bulldog in the Non-sporting Group, Monty the Giant Schnauzer in the Working Group, Ribbon the Aussie Shepherd in the Herding Group, and Trouble the American Staffordshire Terrier in the Terrier Group. </p> <p dir="ltr">“With breeds like Frenchies and bulldogs, where there are health concerns with the breathing, you want to see them be able to move without any signs of distress," Ingram noted.</p> <p dir="ltr">And when it came to her feelings towards the show and its many determined entrants as a whole, she added that “there’s bigger shows numerically, but the fact that you’re actually getting the absolute cream of the cream ... is quite exciting.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The whole razzmatazz of Westminster is very special.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Queen of the Jungle crowned for I’m a Celeb

<p>The season finale for I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! saw three final celebs compete for the crown, former netball great Liz Ellis, Olympic boxing champ Harry Garside and reality star Aesha Scott.</p> <p>Liz Ellis walked away as queen of the jungle, with Harry placing second and Aesha third.</p> <p>Ellis will receive $100,000 for her chosen charity, Share The Dignity.</p> <p>She shared her surprise at winning the competition, "Oh my gosh. Finally, I'm a queen!”</p> <p>Host Julia Morris revealed that the votes between Liz and Harry were “extremely close”.</p> <p>Speaking of her charity, Liz shared, "They worked with 3,000 charities to provide much-needed period products to women who are homeless, fleeing domestic violence or who are living right on the poverty line or struggling to make ends meet.”</p> <p>“It helps them and their family get through and allows them to be dignified. And you hear about women and their stories.”</p> <p>Earlier in the finale, Liz had told her fellow campers that she’d entered the jungle only expecting to last a few days but had instead walked away with a life-changing experience.</p> <p>Emotions flowed as each contestant was surprised by a loved one, Aesha with her partner, Harry with his father and Liz with her husband and children.</p> <p>Aesha and Liz were brought to tears.</p> <p>“My darlings. ... Oh, my God. Look at you. I‘m so happy you’re here. This is the best day ever,” Liz said as she hugged her son and daughter.</p> <p>The finale marks a dramatic season of I’m A Celeb, returning to production after a three-year absence due to Covid.</p> <p>Dr Chris Brown made a cheeky reference to Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s abrupt departure following her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/it-was-unbecoming-domenica-calarco-opens-up-on-her-feud-with-kerri-anne" target="_blank" rel="noopener">feud with MAFS’ Domenica Calarco</a>, “14 celebrities went into the jungle this season... and 13 of them pushed themselves to the limit.”</p> <p>Nick “Honey Badger” Cummins was at the centre of one of the most tough-to-watch scenes in the shows history, when a python bit him on the hand during a challenge. Cummins later joked to news.com.au that the animal attack had been a “beautiful moment.”</p> <p>It was also emotional for the hosts as this year’s season served as an <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/dr-chris-brown-and-julia-morris-open-up-on-final-show-together" target="_blank" rel="noopener">extended goodbye for Brown</a>.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram</em></p>

TV

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Winners of Sony World Photography awards revealed

<p>The winners for Sony’s World Photography awards have been revealed.</p> <p>Photographers were chosen across various categories to showcase different subjects, compositions and perspectives worldwide.</p> <p><strong>Photographer of the Year</strong></p> <p>The photographer of the year award was given to Edgar Martins, an acclaimed photographer from Portugal.</p> <p>Martin’s series of portraits, “Our War”, pays homage to his friend, photojournalist Anton Hammerl, who was killed during the Libyan Civil War in 2011.</p> <p>"In 2011, my dear friend and the photojournalist, Anton Hammerl, travelled to Libya to cover the conflict between pro-regime and anti-Gaddafi forces. On 5 April he was forcefully abducted and killed by government militia. Frustrated by the lack of progress in the investigation to find his mortal remains, in 2022 I took matters into my own hands and travelled to Libya.”</p> <p>Martins shared the story of his friend through a series of photographs.</p> <p>"This previously unseen body of work is structured as a self-portrait of Anton Hammerl through the people he photographed and met, and others involved in the conflict (freedom fighters or their descendants, ex-militia, local residents, Gaddafi loyalists or lookalikes, and so on).”</p> <p>Martins captured people in black and white or photo colours.</p> <p>"They were selected because they resembled him, espoused similar ideas and beliefs, or reminded me of him at different stages of our friendship.”</p> <p>His subjects were photographed alongside natural backgrounds across Libya.</p> <p>"This project portrays a complex story, warped by absence, that talks of the difficulty of documenting, testifying, witnessing, remembering, honouring and imagining.”</p> <p><strong>Architecture & Design</strong></p> <p>The winner for Architecture & Design was Chinese photographer Li Fan.</p> <p>Fan’s described their subject, an abandoned concrete factory in inland China.</p> <p>"Tieshan Cement Factory is located in Guilin City in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south China.”</p> <p>"The factory was built in 1996 and played an important role in Guilin's economic development and urban construction.”</p> <p>"However, because it was originally located in the Li River Scenic Area of Guilin, the cement factory has now been relocated, leaving behind the old buildings, water towers, pools and railway tracks.”</p> <p><strong>Creative</strong></p> <p>The winner for the creative category was Lee-Ann Olwage from South Africa and she described her photo series “the right to play”.</p> <p>"What do girls dream of? And what happens when a supportive environment is created where girls are empowered and given the opportunity to learn and dream? The Right to Play creates a playful world where girls are shown in an empowered and affirming way.”</p> <p>Olwage took portraits of schoolgirls in Kenya.</p> <p>"Worldwide, it is estimated that around 129 million girls are out of school and only 49 percent of countries have achieved gender parity in primary education, with the gap widening at secondary school level. Every day, girls face barriers to education caused by poverty, cultural norms and practices such as FGM, poor infrastructure and violence."</p> <p>The photo series asks what happens when a supportive environment is created where girls are given the opportunity to learn, dream and feel empowered.</p> <p>"For this project, I worked with girls from Kakenya's Dream in Enoosaen, Kenya who have avoided FGM and child marriage, showing what the world can look like when girls are given the opportunity to continue learning in an environment that supports them and their dreams.”</p> <p><strong>Documentary Projects</strong></p> <p>Kinsella Cunningham was named winner of the documentary projects category for his series "The Women's Peace Movement in Congo”.</p> <p>Her images showcase Peace activist Liberata Buratwa posing for a portrait in her garden at Rutshuru, Rutshuru Territory, North Kivu Province, DRC.</p> <p>"I have been working for peace since I was very young, she says. In 2008, at the height of a spate of massacres, Liberata led a delegation of women to meet Laurent Nkunda, the leader of CNDP. We told him, my son, rebellion will lead you nowhere, the bush is for the animals, not for the people.”</p> <p><strong>Portfolio</strong></p> <p>James Deavin was awarded the best portfolio for his vibrant series in the desert kingdom.</p> <p>"This portfolio was shot in the first half of 2022 in Saudi Arabia, where I was based at the time.”</p> <p>His series showcases the sunset side of the nation and its unique natural colour palate.</p> <p>" Given more time, I think these pictures would have fallen into more defined projects or narratives, perhaps relating to the large migrant worker and expat population (of which I was part), or Saudi car culture.”</p> <p>Deavin’s photographs aimed to shed light on the less-seen side of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.</p> <p>"As it is, I believe this collection shows my style and technique as a photographer – there is no deliberate connection between the images other than I was searching for special photographs that could eventually develop into projects.”</p> <p><strong>Sport</strong></p> <p>Al Bello was awarded the winner of the sport category.</p> <p>"Kelsie Whitmore is the first female professional baseball player to play in an all-male pro league. She plays outfield and pitches for the Staten Island Ferryhawks in the Atlantic League of professional baseball."</p> <p>"Whitmore posed for a photo in front of the New York Skyline on July 09, 2022 in Staten Island, New York. Whitmore was the first woman to appear in the starting lineup in an Atlantic League game.</p> <p>Her debut in the Atlantic League was as a pinch runner on 22 April 2022, and on 1 May she became the first woman to start an Atlantic League game, when she played as a left fielder.”</p> <p>"Kelsie stands with her teammates before their game against the Long Island Ducks at Fairfield Properties Ballpark on July 07, 2022 in Central Islip, New York."</p> <p>Bello titled their series "Female Pro Baseball Player Succeeds in All Male Pro League.”</p> <p><strong>Environment</strong></p> <p>The photo series that took out the environment category was shot in partnership between Federico Kaplan and Marisol Mendez.</p> <p>"Miruku focuses on the Wayuus, an indigenous population from La Guajira, Colombia's coastal desert. Commissioned by 1854/British Journal of Photography and WaterAid, the project examines how a combination of climate change issues and human negligence have led its various members to experience a stifling water shortage.”</p> <p>The two photographers have captured the struggle of Indigenous Colombian communities.</p> <p>"In the region, the problem is cyclical and polymorphous. While some communities can achieve certain stability during rainy seasons, temperatures are bound to rise, drying up the land again. Global warming only aggravates this, causing droughts and famine, and spoiling the facilities and installations that help source clean water.”</p> <p>"We framed the story from a female perspective to get a better understanding of how gender inequality and climate vulnerability interrelate. We sought to highlight the strength and resourcefulness of the Wayuu women, as we found it inspiring that, even under such conditions, they have established themselves as community leaders, teachers and climate activists.”</p> <p><strong>Landscape</strong></p> <p>Polish photographer Kacper Kowalski was the winner of the landscape category where he took to the sky to capture shorts of frozen lakes.</p> <p>"At the start of winter, I set out on a journey in search of harmony. Driven by instinct, I ventured further and further until I passed the boundaries of rationality. Whether it was fog or snow, frost or thaw, I took to the sky to see if it was possible to fly.”</p> <p>Kowalski’s series “Event Horizon”, was in black and white, and can be described as an otherworldly vision of ice and snow.</p> <p>"Whether it was fog or snow, frost or thaw, I took to the sky to see if it was possible to fly. When I could, I flew over frozen bodies of water, fascinated by their icy forms. Between January and March, I made 76 solo flights in a gyrocopter or a motorised paraglider, covering around 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) and spending 200 hours in the air."</p> <p>"My photographs were taken from a height of approximately 50-150 metres (165-495 feet) above bodies of water near Tricity in northern Poland.”</p> <p><strong>Still Life</strong></p> <p>Chinese photographer Zhang took out the top spot for the still life category with his series “The Sky Garden.”</p> <p>"Landscape gardening is a practice dating back to ancient times; Nebuchadnezzar II of the Babylonian Empire built a garden complex in the sky for his homesick princess consort, which was known as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The Sky Garden series takes its name from this history.”</p> <p>Zhang captured images of plants, trees and various shrubs being transported by crane from near his home to recently developed suburbs around him.</p> <p>"Three years ago I settled down in Wenjiang, and there is a tree nursery within walking distance of my home. Exotic trees and rocks from all over the world can be seen there, including Japanese black pines and maple trees.”</p> <p><strong>Wildlife & Nature</strong></p> <p>Corey Arnold won the category of wildlife and nature with his series, “Cities Gone Wild”.</p> <p>Part of the series showcases coyotes roaming in San Francisco, California</p> <p>"Bernal Heights Park is surrounded by city with no distinct wildlife corridor. Several pups were born to the resident pair in the spring. At least one pup is represented in these images."</p> <p>Arnold’s series shows three animals, black bears, coyotes and racoons that have adapted to survive in a human built landscape while other animals are disappearing.</p> <p>"I tracked these animals in cities across America to reveal a more intimate view of how wildlife is adapting to increased urbanization.”</p> <p><strong>Student Photographer of the Year</strong></p> <p>The student photographer of the year was awarded to Jing Long.</p> <p>"Yunnan opera is an important branch of traditional Chinese opera, and one that reflects the colourful Yunnan ethnic multiculturalism of southwest China.”</p> <p>The backstage realism highlights the work that goes into an art form from a bygone era.</p> <p>"However, in today's fast-developing society, this regional drama is in decline, and is gradually being forgotten by most people.”</p> <p>"There are only a few folk troupes remaining that represent Yunnan Quyi culture, and the average age of their members and audiences is increasing. This particular theatre is located along a small alley and charges just $1.50 for a ticket."</p> <p><strong>Youth Photographer of the Year</strong></p> <p>Wang Hai received the youth photographer of the year award for his unique geometric photo of chairs.</p> <p>"The opening ceremony for this school in Tianjin, China, was scheduled for September 4, 2022, and more than 2,000 people were expected to attend. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic no one was there. The neat rows of brightly coloured chairs create a strong sense of order in this lonely photograph, where everything seems to be fake.”</p> <p><strong>Natural World & Wildlife</strong></p> <p>Dinorah Graue Obscura took out the top spot for her enrapturing black and white photograph depicting a pair of crested caracara birds in southern Texas.</p> <p>"I think that a good picture does not need colour, it just needs to capture the desired moment in time. While I was shooting Crested Caracaras in flight in South Texas, I noticed these two, which were perched in a very similar way. They were staring in the same direction and not moving, almost as if they were posing for me. I was amazed by their powerful personalities.”</p> <p><strong>Sustainability Prize</strong></p> <p>Alessandro Cinique is the first-time winner of Sony’s sustainability prize.</p> <p>The prize was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Foundation and Sony Pictures' Picture This initiative.</p> <p>The series was entitled “Fog Nets’ and showcases the unlikely method Peruvians in Lima use to capture increasingly scarce water.</p> <p>"After Cairo, Lima is the second city in the world to be built in a desert. In recent years, migration from rural Peru to Lima has increased significantly, but the people who manage to settle in Lima are typically very poor and their biggest problem is lack of water.”</p> <p>The aim was to highlight an inspired solution to a crucial problem as well as showcasing extreme human endurance.</p> <p>"One solution that gives them hope is fog nets. Consisting of two poles that support a nylon net with small holes in it, these nets can collect about 200 litres (53 gallons) of water per day. The founder of the project is Abel Cruz, who started work on it more than 20 years ago, when he left his home region of Cusco and came to Lima to live in a settlement where water was a luxury.</p> <p>"According to Abel, there are now about 140 fog nets installed in Lima; this project aims to show how this artisanal method could help combat water shortages"</p> <p><em>Image credit: Sony Photography Awards</em></p>

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