Monthly Archives: July 2018

Aerial inspections give company a new perspective

Essential Energy will take to the air to patrol more than 3400 kilometres of powerlines across the Wellington and Dubbo regions over the next four weeks.
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Starting next week, a helicopter using high-tech equipment will take to the sky, with operators getting a bird’s eye view of the electricity network.

Regional general manager, Matt Patterson, said the helicopter would be used for low level patrols of powerlines across the New England, North West and Orana areas.

Operators will use high resolution digital cameras linked to GPS equipment to capture images of poles, powerlines and other equipment, as well as potentially damaging overhanging vegetation.

“Using these images and the automatically recorded coordinates, we are able to identify faults or potential problem areas and return quickly to carry out repairs or maintenance,” Mr Patterson said.

“Aerial inspections are perfect for inspecting overhead powerlines because they are fast and effective and not dependent on ground conditions. We don’t have to gain access to private property and it doesn’t matter if the terrain is difficult.”

He said that taking to the sky allowed Essential Energy to pinpoint potential weaknesses, including areas where the network had suffered damage from storms or where vegetation may create an issue.

“Once issues have been identified, we are then able to send our crews directly to the site to address the problems,” Mr Patterson said.

He said the aerial patrols, combined with Essential Energy’s ongoing inspection program of poles and wires from the ground, would ensure the local network was in the best possible condition to meet customers’ energy demands heading into winter.

Owners of sensitive animals should advise Essential Energy on 13 20 80 if they require a “no fly” zone, so that arrangements can be made before the aerial inspections begin. Visit essentialenergy南京夜网.au/aerialinspection for more information.

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Young star not ready to kick the habit yet

Box Hill South’s Courtney Young describes herself as footy mad. And she has allowed that madness to drive her to great heights, becoming one of the few females to win a Victorian School Sports Award for her efforts on the footy field.
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Young, 18, describes the win as one of the highlights of her life. “It was amazing,” she says.

“I know how many girls play football in the state and I’ve played alongside them at state and national championships and I know they’re all exceptional footballers so to be named among them is a massive honour.”

It’s little wonder the midfielder/ruck has had footballing success, with a lifelong love of the game behind her.

“Since I was about three or four I’ve always had a best mate who lives down the street, and we’d spend every single minute kicking the ball out the front, using the driveway as goals,” Young says.

“I’m in a very passionate football family, we’re all mad Geelong supporters, so I’ve always been surrounded by football and I love it.”

Starting in the Auskick program at Blackburn Junior Football Club, Young continued to play football right through to the end of year 12 at Box Hill Senior Secondary College, achieving success along the way.

“I made the Victorian [under-18] team last year and we went to Adelaide for the national championships,” Young says.

“We won all of our games comfortably, won the national championship, and I got named All Australian at the end of it, which was very exciting.”

Her school team was also Eastern Region champion from 2011-12, and she captained her club side (East Burwood Devils) in the same years.

Throughout all this, Young was able to maintain a high standard in her studies, with her coach at Box Hill, Cameron Black, especially proud of her leadership during her VCE.

“She was a very talented player, extremely dedicated and willing to help the younger students, but also one of the best students academically in the group,” Black says.

Unfortunately for Young, her playing days may be over all too soon, with years of bumps and bruises taking their toll on her shoulders, keeping her out of the sport for the foreseeable future.

“I’m waiting to hear back from my surgeon, but it could be a shoulder reconstruction. I’m just focusing on my coaching this year,” Young says.

“I’m coaching the under-12 girls at Blackburn, and I’m the midfield coach for the under-16 girls inter-league squad in the WJFL [Women’s Junior Football League], and also helping out the under-14 A-division boys in the EFL [Eastern Football League].

“At the moment I’m assuming my elite playing career is over, but if I could get back and play senior or reserves football that would be a bonus.”

Whether it’s on the field or off it, you can be sure that Courtney Young will be involved with the game for many years to come.

Courtney Young won a Victorian School Sports Award last week for her footballing efforts at Box Hill Senior Secondary College. Photo supplied

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Out of the void

Danielle “I miss him so much some days I can barely move” ? Danielle Stewart, now 37, was released from prison in 2010 after serving four years for the manslaughter of her husband. Photo: Tim Bauer
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Early days … Danielle Stewart (at right) aged about five, with her mother, father and younger sister Laura.

Indian adventure … with Chaim Kimel at the Taj Mahal, the day before they married, in September 2004.

Father figure … Chaim Kimel, who ran a catering company with Stewart. Photo: Jim Rice

Bereft … Kimel’s son, Fred Kimel, and daughter, Amber Rubenstein, leaving court in 2008. Photo: Kate Geraghty

The box arrived, an unremarkable cardboard carton. It sat sealed for days that turned into weeks in the corner. I couldn’t bring myself to open it. I knew that inside that inoffensive-looking box was a world of pain.

The person who’d sent the box admitted she was “glad to be rid of it”. The suffering and sadness it contained told her story – and it wasn’t a pretty one. I’d recently met her for the first time in Sydney and liked her a lot: she was vibrant, witty, charming, warm. A woman with a big smile … and scars on her wrists.

Danielle Stewart, 37, seems to captivate everyone who meets her. Seeing her, drinking in her confidence and physical attractiveness, it seemed almost impossible to fathom that she’d only recently finished a prison sentence. The contents of the box, which she was temporarily entrusting to me, were the legal documents used during her long and harrowing trial.

Danielle Stewart does not remember stabbing 55-year-old Romanian-born Chaim Kimel in the belly twice with a foot-long ornamental dagger on the night of August 23, 2006, after a ferocious domestic argument in their fourth-floor apartment in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Recovering from a near-lethal cocktail of the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel and alcohol that had caused her to spend three days comatose in St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, she came to in a prison cell, calling out for her husband. “I saw my name on the board and it had ‘Murder’ written next to it,” she says. “It was the worst moment of my life. In one instant, my entire life had changed and Chaim’s had ended.”

One day, she was living in fashionable Rose Bay and studying for a communications degree at University of Technology, Sydney (UTS); the next, she was an inmate of Mulawa Correctional Centre at Silverwater, in the city’s west. During a recorded phone call with her father on August 29, made while she was in custody, Stewart said, “If I could swap Chaim with me right now, I would do it immediately. There is no way I meant to kill him.”

On September 17, Stewart wrote in a letter to her friend Angela Batley of her “horror” at what had happened, how much she loved Kimel, her “shame” at the damage she’d done to his children, Amber, then 27, Fred, 25, and Jordan, 16: “There is not a single part of me that wants him dead,” she wrote. “I want my life back. I want our life back. I miss him so much some days I can barely move.”

But there were those who, having observed the marriage, were not surprised by the tragic turn of events. “It was never going to end well,” says friend Victoria Bergin, who has known Stewart since she was 14.

In an early prison telephone conversation, Stewart’s ex-boyfriend Jason Gooden told her, “This was going to happen, Dan. You’ve been under too much stress for too long. It just didn’t surprise me when I heard it, you know.”

But, says Stewart now, if anyone was going to end up dead, “I thought it would be me. I tried to commit suicide multiple times in that relationship. I think with the Seroquel overdose, that is what I was doing. I didn’t want to die, but I knew there was no way out, that mentally I was never going to be able to escape”.

So how does a personable middle-class woman, who’s widely acknowledged to be exceptionally intelligent, wind up in prison for a stabbing murder of which she has no memory?

Danielle Stewart passed a happy early childhood, the elder of two daughters born to public-servant parents John* and Emily* Stewart, in Evatt and then Curtin, Canberra. She and John were close in the way that fathers and daughters often are. “He was a wonderful dad when I was little,” she tells me. “Always taking me to swimming lessons at 5am every day. He’d come to every sports carnival – I was sports-mad – read me books at night before bed, sing to me, help me with my homework. He did all the things that dads do. He drove me and my little friends everywhere and they all loved him. He was always so funny and full of fun and joking with us.”

But when Stewart was seven, a neighbour in the NSW south coast town of Batemans Bay, where the family was building a holiday house, began to abuse her sexually. “He was in his 50s and I used to go over there to watch TV as we didn’t have one. His wife used to give me cookies and milk and he’d take me upstairs when she went out. At first, it was for six months, while we lived there. Then it would happen on school holidays. He was an estate agent and he’d let me and my friend play in the new house up the street, which was for sale and unoccupied, and he’d abuse us there. He was a predator. He did all sorts of things to us whenever he could get me, or us, alone. This happened regularly until I was 10.”

When she was 11, Stewart’s mother died of cancer. John had sent her away for the weekend with the family of a friend. Her friend had an older brother, who was about 17 or 18, says Stewart. She spent each night locked in the ensuite bathroom of the hotel room she was sharing with the siblings in a desperate bid to escape his unwanted attention. (Over the course of the next few years, she confides, she wouldn’t always manage to keep him at bay.)

Emily died while she was away. “Dad didn’t tell me until we’d got back from the train station,” she says, “until I’d prattled on to him about all the presents I’d brought back for her.”

Further compounding her grief, John remarried just six months later to a woman with three younger children. To a grieving child it was an unacceptable betrayal, and, at 12, Stewart took an overdose – “300 pills of unknown origin”, she says. “I didn’t want to die, but I wanted the pain to stop. It was relentless and debilitating and terrifying. I used to get into trouble just for being upset.

“After Mum’s death, Dad fell apart. Like his dad, he suffers terribly from depression and for years I was terrified he’d kill himself. Dad is not strong; he needs support. He needs a strong woman.”

One day, Stewart’s maternal grandparents turned up at her house, saying that they’d come to take her away to live with them for a while down the NSW south coast, in Eden. John had said nothing to her of this plan and, distraught at the thought of moving away from her friends, Stewart told them she wouldn’t go.

“Dad told me I had to leave,” she says. “I was too hard to handle, apparently, and I was upsetting my step-siblings. He found me a youth refuge. I refused to go there, too, and ran away.”

“Dan wasn’t that bad,” says her friend of 24 years, Elle O’Brien. “She was just acting out her grief. Her father should have done more to bring her into the family. She struggled a lot with that rejection by her dad.”

A penniless 12-year-old, Stewart spent a few nights sleeping rough before returning, defeated, to the family home in Curtin. But there was no warm welcome in wait: there, she found her bags packed and waiting for her. John drove her straight to a local, short-term youth refuge and it was here that she’d spend the next three months.

“The other kids were pretty messed up,” she remembers. “It was co-ed, so there was lots of illicit sex – and alcohol. You had to look after yourself.”

When Stewart again returned home, where she would stay until the end of year 7, her problems only intensified. “I felt so alone, unloved, misunderstood,” she says, “and as the problems at home got worse, I got worse. I was sneaking out of the house, drinking, drugging. I missed my mum so terribly, I just wanted to be with her.” She attempted suicide. “I used a razor in my bedroom downstairs. There was no internet back then and I didn’t know how to do it [properly].”

On her 13th birthday, John threw Stewart out again. Once more homeless, she ended up at her friend Elle O’Brien’s house, where the girl’s mother fed her spaghetti bolognese and home-baked cake, an act of kindness Stewart says she’ll never forget. She stayed here for the next four years.

Then, at 16, and a student at Narrabundah College in Canberra’s Kingston, Stewart became a student of the Grafton-born poet and jazz enthusiast Geoff Page, who immediately recognised in her writing talent. “She was leagues ahead of anyone I’ve encountered writing contemporary poetry at that age,” he says. “She had some of the same virtues as Sylvia Plath, a real feeling for adventurous imagery. There was a lot going on in her brain at an intense level and she had the talent to turn it into something moving.”

In 1994, Page helped her publish an anthology of poems, called I for Icarus, which was well received. Later, he’d write to her while she was in prison.

After finishing high school and a brief period studying performing arts at Melbourne’s Monash University, Stewart moved to Bondi in Sydney to share a flat with her stepsister, Myfanwy Thompson, who was a year younger. Jason Gooden, in a statement he made to police about her during this time, said, “When we were together, Danielle was the fittest person I ever met. She never took drugs, except for prescription drugs, and was a manic trainer who exercised all the time and was obsessed with dieting. She rarely consumed alcohol socially, but was okay on a couple of drinks. There were several times when she had more than a few drinks and became seriously distressed. She would get a wild, terrified look on her face.”

She also, said Gooden, became distressed on the “many” occasions that her father failed to show up for a dinner arrangement. “On one occasion, she became highly distressed and hysterical and I had to comfort her all night while she lay curled up in the foetal position. Danielle had this constant hope that her father might do something for her.”

In 1998, Thompson died suddenly after falling off a cliff in Bondi while under the influence of ecstasy. “She was gorgeous, my best friend,” says Stewart. “Her boyfriend had got into dealing ecstasy. I couldn’t handle seeing her wasted all the time, so I’d moved out with other friends.” Then, three years later, Myfanwy’s younger brother Tristram died of an aneurysm after earlier being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

It was in a state of intense emotional fragility that Stewart – by now 24 and drifting from one menial job to the next – met 50-year-old Chaim Kimel in a nightclub in late 2000. “He was very charismatic, very gregarious, very charming, very generous, strong and creative,” she says now. “He loved his children and they loved him.” Quickly, she went to work for him in his furniture retail outlet, Eclectica, in Mosman. “We got along, even though I was this little girl from Canberra and he was this older Israeli Jew. We had a common interest in books and art, music and food.”

Kimel introduced her to his family, to whom he was exceptionally close, and offered her a security she’d never experienced before; the couple started living together. Says his daughter, Amber Rubenstein, now 34, “When I first met Danielle, we quickly became friends. [At first] I respected her intellect, her humour, her confidence, her maturity, and I liked her obvious affection and care for my father.”

“He was the father figure she’d been missing,” Stewart’s grandmother and closest ally, Elaine Craker, tells me.

Elle O’Brien is less circumspect in her summing up. “I was always disturbed when she was with him,” she tells me. “She wasn’t herself, she lost her strength. She was a beautiful, smart young woman with a great future, but he treated her like a little girl and told her what to do. He treated her like a possession and she was under his spell. He was a very egocentric man.”

Admits Stewart now, “I loved him. I still do. It is a love-hate thing and it won’t ever go. With those types of personalities, there is that level of attention, you become their entire focus.”

“He was very personable,” says Craker carefully, “but he [could also be] demanding and overpowering. He would take over.”

No one disputes that Kimel was a big drinker who often indulged in cocaine. His relationship with Stewart was passionate, volatile, often fuelled by alcohol and prone to sudden, destructive turns. And now Stewart was drinking immoderately at the same time that she was taking powerful medications for depression. There were noisy fights; the police were called. On one occasion, Kimel was jailed for a night for breaking an AVO.

“I’d moved into temporary accommodation and Chaim came after me,” explains Stewart. “He broke into my room and stole my laptop and wallet. The police busted him on the way out and took him to jail for the night.” Kimel, who was drunk, informed the police with exaggerated politeness that Stewart had called him, telling him she’d taken 14 Valium tablets.

When Stewart drank, her pain, fear and anger would surface. “I’m fine when I’m not in an emotional situation,” she says, “but when I’m under threat, the flashbacks can be extreme.”

Jordan Kimel, who’s now 23, lived with his father and Stewart from the age of 10 to 16 and was in the Rose Bay apartment the night Kimel died. “There were multiple occurrences where Danielle was destructive,” he remembers. “She would break prescription glasses, cut up $10,000 worth of business suits, delete important documents from my father’s computer. Once, she punched through a glass bathroom window and slashed her wrists. And she’d punch my father, too.”

And yet there were some periods of tranquillity. In 2004, Stewart enrolled at UTS to begin her communications degree. Together, she and Kimel started an online catering company, Epicurean, using a $30,000 loan from Craker and, later that year, eloped to India, where they became husband and wife at the Taj Mahal.

“Part of the reason I married Chaim was because I was worried about my grandparents’ money,” she tells me. “If I left him, there’d be no legal recourse for me to get it back. He took it without shame; he never planned to pay it back.”

Because of that money, agrees O’Brien, “[Stewart] was trapped.”

In the seven years they were together, Stewart left Kimel seven times. Once, in 2005, after fleeing their apartment, she told Gooden that Kimel often came home drunk and frightened her. Craker believes that “she was suffocated and unhappy. She left him once and came [to Eden]; she didn’t know what to do. He’d ring and she’d go back. I’d tell her I didn’t understand why and she’d say, ‘I love him.’ ”

“I was never taught how to function as an adult,” says Stewart. “I never developed any life skills, so I was really utterly dependent on him. I kept leaving Chaim because he was a narcissistic alcoholic whose only concern was his own welfare. While he could be caring, it was undermined by his desire to keep me enslaved to him. When I left him, he’d follow me and get me back. When your sense of self-esteem is so low and a learnt helplessness has set in, you don’t feel able to support yourself. My friends had dropped off because they couldn’t stand him. The only times I responded with violence were when I was trying to leave and he’d try to stop me. He’d hide my wallet, phone, computer, passport. Those times always ended with me being in hospital, not him. I never tried to kill him: I tried to kill myself.”

Indeed, the cardboard box contains records of at least six admissions to hospital because of overdoses taken by Stewart during the marriage. Long before her trial, she repeatedly told doctors her husband was controlling, he’d smashed her head into a door, and she had nothing to live for.

A report by psychiatrist Dr Rosalind Foy describes “chronic feelings of unworthiness”, “depression, anxiety, inability to trust people”. She describes Stewart as “terrified” of losing Kimel. Foy diagnosed a borderline personality disorder related to childhood trauma.

Amber Rubenstein, by now concerned for her father’s physical and emotional wellbeing, told him repeatedly to stay away from Stewart. “He told me he’d made a commitment to be there for her and loved her unconditionally,” she recalls. “He was convinced unconditional love would cure her.”

In 2006, while separated from Kimel, Stewart met Melbourne university professor Joeri Mol and moved to Victoria to be with him. Quickly, she discovered that she was pregnant with Mol’s child. In a statement Mol made to police on December 13, 2006, he said, “Danielle was in a complete panic over what she had done by giving up her life in Sydney. She did not want to raise the child with me and she did not want to be a single mother.”

A week later, she returned to Sydney. Kimel had said he’d take her back – providing she terminated the pregnancy. She had her second abortion in six months – the first had been to Kimel – an event that sent her spiralling into a deep depression.

By this time, Stewart – apart from studying at UTS and running Epicurean – was working part-time at a Sydney ad agency, Holy Cow! “I was also trying to manage Chaim and my escalating cocaine addiction. And the alcohol dependency,” she says. “I was working like a dog, paying the bills, trying to keep the family together. He never did any work.”

On August 9, 2006, Gooden met her for a coffee on campus. “She ordered a small bottle of champagne,” he says. “She seemed withdrawn, unsettled – at the end of her tether. She told me she was getting some money together so she could escape once and for all.”

Two weeks later, on August 23, she and Kimel went for dinner with friends to Rose Bay restaurant Pescador. “Both Danielle and Chaim seemed to be in good spirits,” said Angela Batley, who was present, in her police statement. “Everyone was in a good mood.”

After dinner, everyone apart from Stewart went back to Batley’s house, where they carried on drinking. Stewart insisted she had to go home first, but when she turned up some time later, Batley noticed she seemed “moody”. At 11pm, the couple said goodbye; Stewart drove home while Kimel decided to walk. Some time later, Batley says she felt an unaccountable need to phone Kimel. She asked if Stewart was okay. “He said, ‘She’s on the computer; she’s drunk. I have to go.’ ”

“I had an assignment due, I had to study [that night],” Stewart tells me. “I went home after dinner because I wanted to work. [Chaim] kept calling me and saying, ‘Come and pick me up.’ I’d taken a packet of Seroquel and kept saying I didn’t want to pick him up because I didn’t want to drink. Finally, he convinced me [to drive to Batley’s].” (Why Kimel chose to walk home that night given that Stewart had gone there with the express purpose of giving him a lift remains unclear.)

Jordan was at home when the couple got back to the apartment on New South Head Road. He described the ensuing events in his police statement as follows: “Danielle said to me, ‘I shouldn’t have gone to Angela’s house. I’ve had too much to drink.” She started playing loud music through the computer. When his father arrived, he asked her to turn it down before the neighbours complained. A silly, drunken argument followed where she would turn the music up and he would turn it down. Finally, said Jordan, his father turned off the computer.

“They were both yelling for about 15 minutes,” stated Jordan. “All of a sudden, I could hear them in the corridor outside my room. It sounded like someone was being hit or punched and I heard my father say, ‘Why are you being violent and attacking me?’ They kept fighting and I heard Danielle fall to the floor and scream. Soon after this, I heard my father say in a tense voice, ‘What are you doing? Are you crazy?’ I heard my father scream three times. I saw [his] white shirt was covered in blood all up the left side from underneath his ribs towards the middle of his torso. Danielle was standing about two metres away and she had our antique knife in her hand.”

Eyewitness reports of the scene describe Stewart as alternately lucid and disorientated with no memory of the traumatic events that had occurred. Later, it would be revealed that her blood alcohol reading was five times the legal driving limit.

Chaim Kimel died that night on the operating table at St Vincent’s Hospital of two stab wounds to the anterior abdomen. Stewart was arrested and charged with his murder on August 24; she pleaded not guilty on the grounds of self-defence. She was granted bail, but her father John was unable to agree to the 24-hour surveillance condition attached to it. Instead, it took Elle O’Brien’s mother, Amrit Turnbull, nine months to secure her release. From there, Stewart went to live with her grandmother. Facing 25 years in prison, she attempted to end her life twice more. One of the attempts involved taking an overdose of her prescribed medication, Seroquel.

“When I took that Seroquel, I went into psychosis,” she says. “It was an out-of-body experience where I thought the nurses were talking about me even though they weren’t. I was watching myself from afar. It was crazy, crazy shit. I am sure that is what must have happened on the night Chaim died.”

The trial, which began in July 2008, was an ordeal. By now the charge of murder had been downgraded to manslaughter. “I couldn’t defend myself in any way because I had no recollection of what had happened,” says Stewart. “It was like I was on stage without a script. I might as well have not been there.”

Speaking about the ornamental knife that was the instrument of Kimel’s death, Stewart says simply, “The knife wasn’t something I ever looked at: it was a decorative thing that I moved around the coffee table when I was cleaning the house.”

She was frustrated that the evidence she attempted to present of an abusive relationship was ruled inadmissible. Contacted by Good Weekend, her barrister, Belinda Rigg, declined to discuss the case.

For the Kimels, it was painful to see their father presented as someone they didn’t recognise. Any initial compassion they’d felt for Stewart dissolved as they packed up her things in the apartment. “There [was] a synopsis of a play [written by Stewart] in which one of her characters has secret desires to kill her older doting husband in a murderous rage,” says Fred. Had there been a degree of premeditation, they wondered.

“It was a university assignment, a book I was writing,” says Stewart. “I heard that somewhere men kill their partners because they want them to stay, whereas women kill their partners because they want to escape. I know why I was writing about prison: because I was imprisoned long before I was [actually] incarcerated.”

Danielle Stewart was sentenced to six years in prison for the manslaughter of Chaim Kimel; she served only four in Berrima Correctional Centre “There’s no doubt that jail saved me,” she says. “It prevented me from harming myself with alcohol and drugs. I wouldn’t recommend it, though.”

For the first nine months, she was detained in the mental-health unit. “If I’d been in the main prison, I’d have been eaten alive,” she says. “I was just crying and crying. Then they gave me a job in the kitchen. The girls I was working with were all actually smart and trustworthy and they helped me. I’m so grateful to them. They were all on murder charges, so some of them had been there for 15 years, 18 years.”

Her best friend on the inside was convicted on a double-murder charge. “I could trust her implicitly with everything; she was stauncher than any of the tough girls in there. It sounds weird, but we actually had fun.”

The threat of violence was always there, but “I managed to get a few of the heavies on side somehow and avoided the others where possible. I learnt to assimilate, to hide the fact that I was pretty and educated. I adapted where I could. In jail, I lost everything that made me me: my family, dog, business, house, studies, friends, freedom, clothes, make-up, choices. All I had was myself, my mind and my heart. I learnt to spot evil from a mile away – and evil does exist, I’ve come face to face with it – but I could still love. This is how I got through jail. Yes, I learnt how to operate within the system, but I could still see beauty in people, and I tried to speak to that.”

Stewart walked out of prison, a free woman, on June 24, 2010 and is still rebuilding her life. Her dream, she says, is to move to Spain and live in a house on the country’s south coast – “where I can see Africa from my bedroom” – and realise her ambition of becoming a professional writer. She has done her time, she says, albeit not as long as Chaim Kimel’s children would have liked.

She lives in Sydney, where she has a lease in her name alone for the first time in her life, and she’s back at UTS, finishing her degree. She asks for neither clemency nor sympathy: she is talking to Good Weekend because “I want to raise awareness of domestic abuse and help others. I want to be a good person and to make something good come out of the chaos and harm.”

It has taken courage to speak out. She is mending her relationship with her father. “Dad contacted me at Christmas and cried, apologising for not being there for me and saying he’s always loved me,” she tells me. “I love him and I know he loves me.”

But there is deep vulnerability, too. “I’ve paid for what has happened and I’ve done all I can to fix the issues within myself that contributed to Chaim’s death. I see both a psychiatrist and a psychologist, both of my own volition, nothing to do with parole directives. I don’t drink. I don’t take drugs. I take responsibility for my actions. I write when I can. I try to love my friends and family. I try to see beauty in the world and I’d like to hope, one day, that I can contribute to that beauty. Still, I love. I still love Chaim. I still love my father. In the end, love will be all I have.”

* Names have been changed.

This article originally appeared in Good Weekend.  Like Good Weekend on Facebook to get regular updates on upcoming stories and events – www.facebook南京夜网/GoodWeekendMagazine

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Boxing : the full-body power surge

Latest hit: Boxing training works not only the upper body but the core and legs. Photo: iStockGone are the days when boxing was thought to be primarily a male domain. Now, more women than ever are lacing up their gloves and stepping into the ring – or at least hitting the heck out of a punch bag. After the inclusion of women’s boxing in the London Olympics 110 years after it had featured previously, more and more women are taking up the sport. Whether you’re facing off against an opponent, boxing pads or even utilising your legs in a kickboxing class, boxing is a great way to boost your mood, burn fat and build your self-confidence.
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“Women are actually better boxers than men as they lead with their legs,” says Matt Spooner, head coach at UFC Gym in Sydney, who also trains actor Leonardo DiCaprio. “Even a 60 kilogram woman can hit with a force of 40 kilograms,” he says. “If a 90 kilogram man uses just his arms to box, he’ll only achieve a force of around 10 kilograms. That’s why women tend to be better boxers – they use their legs for power, whereas men rely on their arms.”

Power of the punch

Although boxing might seem to be just an upper-body exercise, it actually works your legs and core tremendously when the correct technique is used. “Boxing is especially good for toning and building strength and power in the chest, triceps, shoulders, midsection and the upper and lower back,” says trainer Kris Etheridge, the owner of Kris Etheridge Fitness, a private training studio in Toorak, Victoria.

A typical class usually involves a 10-minute workout, followed by two three-minute rounds, followed by a short rest phase of 30 seconds to 60 seconds. “This sequence is usually repeated for the duration of the workout,” Etheridge says.

And as women have found out, it’s all about your technique, not necessarily strength, that makes them so good at boxing.

“Learning to box correctly is worth it,” Spooner says. “Using your body correctly will ensure you’re getting the most out of your workout and not wasting energy.”

He suggests practising the following sequence to ensure your upper body isn’t taking the brunt of a strike.

“Start from the ball of your foot, step forward and using your ankle, knee and hip you use your core to rotate and as you land on your foot, your punch should land on target. There should be very little effort required from your arm.” By avoiding overuse of arm strength, you’ll be able to avoid neck, shoulder and arm injuries.

Fighting fit

“Many athletes use boxing training to improve their power, strength and explosiveness, as well as to improve their anaerobic threshold,” Etheridge says. “This is the rate at which their bodies can remove performance inhibitors such as lactic acid, allowing them to perform at a higher level for longer.”

And if you’re looking to melt fat, boxing is one of the highest calorie-burning exercises there is. “It uses all the muscles in the body,” he says. “Plus it pushes your heart rate above what you could maintain for a sustained period of time, because you employ short rest periods to catch your breath briefly before pushing your heart rate back up.” This process occurs for the entire duration of the exercise, allowing you to burn maximum calories, tone up and elevate your fitness.

The best news of all? “A boxing class raises your metabolic rate for 48 hours after your training session,” Spooner says. Usually, your metabolic rate returns to near normal after ending aerobic exercise, such as walking or running. So that 680 calories you just burnt in an hour is just the start to a trimmer, more toned and stronger you.Sure-fire hits


UFC Gym Sydney, Alexandria


Body punch boxing gym, Lakemba


Box Class, various outdoor locations


Boxing Works, Surry Hills


K-Box Studios, Surry Hills



Melbourne Martial Arts Centre, Finders Street


Fitness Ring Boxing and Kickboxing Studio, Richmond


Dynamic Boxing Fitness, Balwyn North


Elite Physique, Phillip


Kris Etheridge Fitness, Toorak


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Live export row dogs Gillard

The latest live export scandal, and a resulting ban on cattle exports to Egpyt, has embarrassed the Gillard government and fuelled claims it has failed to prevent animal cruelty.
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Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig was looking to tighten live export regulations following revelations of the animal abuse in Egypt. But the Greens and animal rights groups called on Labor to admit defeat and acknowledge the system had failed.

New footage shows extreme cruelty to cattle in Egyptian slaughterhouses the Australian industry has previously described as ”state of the art”.

Exports of livestock to Egypt were suspended after animal welfare group Animals Australia handed the graphic evidence to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry last week. The footage has not been made public, but Mr Ludwig has described it as ”sickening”.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said all animal abuse was repulsive to Australians and the export industry.

Greens senator Lee Rhiannon said this was more evidence is the government was failing to prevent cruelty.

”The Government should admit that they cannot stop cruel practices in overseas countries and give certainty to the industry by expanding the trade in processed meat from Australia,” she said.

The Livestock Exporters’ Council has suspended exports to Egypt, saying the cattle in the footage are Egyptian owned and the abuse took place at two abattoirs. But it is struggling to explain how the cruelty took place in abattoirs it has repeatedly said met Australian standards.

The council’s chief executive Alison Penfold said she had visited one of the two abattoirs, Ain Sokhna, near Cairo, in October last year and had not witnessed any cruelty or inhumane practices.

But Ms Penfold said she was ”distraught and disgusted” by the footage presented to her on Friday.

In one piece of footage, an abattoir worker, who Ms Penfold said has since been sacked, tries to kill an injured animal by cutting leg tendons.

The same practice was documented in a different abattoir in Egypt in 2006, which led to the cessation of live trade with the country.

Trade resumed in 2010.

Animals Australia travelled to Egypt last month to obtain the vision after being contacted by an Egyptian veterinarian concerned about the treatment of cattle in the abattoirs.

The group’s communications director Lisa Chalk said there had been a failure to monitor the activities of the abattoirs. ”The footage shows some horrific instances of cruelty, but disturbingly it also reveals the systematic abuse inflicted on hundreds of Australian cattle each day in these slaughterhouses,” she said,

Mr Ludwig said the system the Government put in place following evidence of animal abuse in Indonesia in 2011 was a vast improvement on the previous self-regulation.

He said the new system worked because a complaint had led to an investigation, but tighter regulations should be implemented.

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Teaching old cows new tricks as dairy adopts robotic milking

For Beaudesert dairy farmer Greg Dennis, technological advances in robotic milking have not only increased production, they are paving the way for his latest business venture Scenic Rim 4Real Milk.
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“I had always had an interest in robotic milking, but I hadn’t done the research to support making the move to installation,” Mr Dennis said.

“It was only after we flew to Victoria and inspected two Lely robotic farms at Gippsland that we made the call.”

Mr Dennis now owns and operates the first Lely robotic dairy to be built in Queensland and says the gains in efficiency far outweigh the trials he faced during the installation period.

“The first three months are the most difficult, but I just tell farmers looking to make the switch to stick with it. The change is only temporary.”

Mr Dennis says the main issue he faced was training his herd to use the machines.

“You almost have to double your workload and you spend a lot of time working with your cattle,” he said, adding it was usually the two-year-old heifers who are the easiest to train.

“They usually end up teaching the older cows where to go and what to do.

“We were lucky enough to be in a position where we could increase the numbers and install three of the Lely robots and 12 months later we installed a fourth.

“Once we saw the efficiency and effectiveness of the robotic dairy it was obvious that it would be a positive step.”

Mr Dennis says he has mostly self-educated on the workings of the robots with most of what he deals with on a daily basis being learned ‘firsthand’.

“It’s not something you can talk about or have someone explain to you – you have to go through it in the moment.”

The biggest benefit we’ve seen is an increase in productivity and efficiency.

“Our milk production has risen by 15 per cent and the two main reasons for this is that the cows are able to milk themselves more often.

“The young heifers quickly become leaders in the herd and it takes time to break up old habits and the young ones don’t have any preconceived ideas or habits and they hit the ground running.”

Mr Dennis said the cows choose to be milked two to three times a day and move at their own pace – putting less pressure and stress on them to perform.

“There’s also less pressure on their udder if they’re milking more often and also the way the robot milks is better for udder health with its variable vacuum and pulsation.

“This works via sensors in the robot arm which deciphers milk flow and individual quarters will be removed if the milk flow falls below 400ml/minute.

“Our cows are probably quieter and calmer than other herds because they move at their own pace and not being pushed around by the farmer or dogs – so we see their foot health is maintained and we’re seeing less injuries.”

Greg said his milking herd are just like people and if they’re under less stress and pressure to perform, they will live a longer life and produce a better quality product.

“People often ask me if I had the time over would I still install the robots and absolutely, yes, I would in a heartbeat.”

Queensland Country Life

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GALLERY: Ironman Australia 2013 has been run and won

Photos from Port Macquarie’s big day by News photographers Peter Gleeson and Nigel McNeil.
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Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Photos by Port News photographers Nigel McNeil and Peter Gleeson

Click the photos below to check out more photos from the day.

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Kangaroos ends Power’s winning streak

North Melbourne defeated Port Adelaide by 10 points at Blundstone Arenain Hobart at the weekend.
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The Power was defeated without head coach Ken Hinkley, who stayed in Adelaide after suffering from a virus midweek, and ends their five-game winning streak start to the season.

Scroll through the round six matchphotosabove.

A general view during warm up. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Kangaroos fan shows his support. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Stand-in coach for Port Adelaide Alan Richardson gestures to Jay Schulz. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Oliver Wines of Port Adelaide handpasses the ball away from Aaron Black of the Kangaroos. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Robbie Gray of Port Adelaide kicks the ball ahead of Jack Ziebell of the Kangaroos. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Jake Neade of Port Adelaide kicks the ball for a goal. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Drew Petrie of the Kangaroos jumps for a high mark over Alipate Carlile of Port Adelaide. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Robbie Gray of Port Adelaide kicks the ball ahead of Jack Ziebell of the Kangaroos. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Majak Daw (C) of the Kangaroos celebrates a goal with teamates. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Daniel Wells of the Kangaroos runs with the ball away from Hamish Hartlett of Port Adelaide. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Majak Daw of the Kangaroos marks the ball against Brent Renouf of Port Adelaide. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Oliver Wines of Port Adelaide gets tackled by Daniel Wells of the Kangaroos. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Travis Boak of Port Adelaide. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Jake Neade (R) of Port Adelaide and Sam Wright of the kangaroos contest for the ball. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Stand-in coach for Port Adelaide Alan Richardson speaks to the players. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Angus Monfries (L) of Port Adelaide and Taylor Hine of the kangaroos contest for the ball. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Kangaroos coach Brad Scott thanks the fans after their win. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Travis Boak of Port Adelaide walks off after losing. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Sam Wright of the Kangaroos celebrates the win with a fan. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Stand-in coach for Port Adelaide Alan Richardson looks ahead after losing. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Port Adelaide players walks off after losing. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Drew Petrie (L) and Andrew Swallow of the Kangaroos celebrate the win with fans. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Leigh Adams (L) of the Kangaroos celebrates a goal with Aaron Black. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Drew Petrie of the Kangaroos marks the ball against Alipate Carlile of Port Adelaide. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Jake Neade (R) of Port Adelaide and Aaron Mullett of the Kangaroos contest for the ball. Photo: Michael Dodge.

A general view during the round six AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and Port Adelaide Power at Blundstone Arena. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Stand-in coach for Port Adelaide Alan Richardson looks ahead. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Chad Wingard of Port Adelaide. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Majak Daw of the Kangaroos kics the ball. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Hamish Hartlett of Port Adelaide slips over with the ball. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Hamish Hartlett of Port Adelaide looks ahead. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Kane Mitchell of Port Adelaide kicks the ball for a goal. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Justin Westhoff of Port Adelaide kicks the ball. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Robbie Gray of Port Adelaide runs with the ball. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Jake Neade of Port Adelaide handpasses the ball. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Jay Schulz of Port Adelaide marks the ball. Photo: Michael Dodge.

Oliver Wines of Port Adelaide kicks the ball. Photo: Michael Dodge.

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Parents plead for Casey childcare centre 

PARENTS using Casey’s council-run childcare centre are urging the council to mount a marketing campaign to attract new families as a last-ditched attempt to save it from closure.
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In March, councillors unanimously decided to close the centre — the municipality’s only council-run childcare service — at the end of the year.

Make an effort: The Keeshan family say the Casey childcare centre could be saved if more efficient marketing processes were in place. Picture: Wayne Hawkins

Anthony Keeshan, whose four-year-old daughter Heidi attends kindergarten at the centre, said parents felt it had never been marketed effectively.

“The centre has been used by a lot of fortunate families who have found out about it by luck almost,” he said. “A proportion of funds could well be allocated to take it from running at loss to bring it back to profit.”

Several councillors met parents at the Webb Street centre last week. However, many parents felt it was too late for consultation.

“These conversations should have been held before the decision was made to close the centre,” Mr Keeshan said.

He said councillors gave parents a “fair hearing” but “clearly had an agenda which they would not reveal”.

Annita Keevers, who has a three-year-old son in long-day care at the centre, said the council “heard but did not listen to the concerns [of parents]”.

She described the meeting as “tokenistic” but was hopeful new management would take charge and retain current services.

Mr Keeshan said the centre offered a unique mode of care, with occasional care available for his daughter before and after kindergarten.

“It’s a fantastic service and more people should have access to it.”

Casey mayor Amanda Stapledon said the decision to close the centre was based on declining demand.

“The centre has seen a reduction in use from 12,000 hours to 8000 hours during the current financial year,” she said.

Cr Stapledon said the council would provide one-on-one support to help families find alternative services to meet their needs.

What do you think? Post a comment below.

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Friends of Healesville Freeway Reserve out to gather support

Friends of Healesville Freeway Reserve will host an open daythis monthto bolster support for preservation of the Vermont site.
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VicRoads is in the process of developing three “land-use vision concepts” for the state government-owned 35.6-hectare reserve, which will be released in coming weeks.

The land was set aside for a Healesville-bound freeway, but those plans were abandoned in 2009.

VicRoads regional director Peter Todd said a structure plan will be developed based on community feedback on the three concepts.

Healesville Freeway Reserve, between Springvale and Boronia roads, is home to Bellbird Dell environmental reserve, community gardens, heritage buildings, sporting grounds, and a farm leased by disability group Nadrasca.

Open day organiser and Bellbird Dell Advisory Committee member Anne Makhijani said the Friends group hopes to use the open day to exhibit the reserve’s “many resident groups” to the local community and to political “decision makers”.

Last month Eastern Metropolitan Labor MP Shaun Leane tabled a motion in Parliament to ensure the preservation of the Nadrasca Farm. The motion was defeated 21 votes to 19.

Mr Leane said the future of the reserve looks bad. “If the government can’t say they can ensure Nadrasca can continue, then I have grave concerns for the whole reserve.”

But state member for Forest Hill Neil Angus said he had met regularly with VicRoads and the planning process was “progressing as it was meant to”.

Morack Ward councillor Bill Bennett said the Healesville Freeway Reserve open day would demonstrate “how important that parcel of land is to the community”.

VicRoads expects the structure plan will be completed by October. The open day is on Sunday May 26 from 10am to 2pm.

For information email [email protected]南京夜网.

Good friends: (from left) David Berry, Anne Makhijani, Joe Wilson and David McNeil. Photo by Scott McNaughton

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