A TWEED COAST resident has been named as the recipient of the Windmill Trust Scholarship from the National Association for the Visual Arts.
Debbie Taylor Worley will use the $10,000 dollar scholarship to fund a practice-led journey to visit her family’s ancestral homeland between Tamworth and Walgett.
Ms Taylor Worley said the trip will allow her to reconnect spiritually with the places of her ancestors and childhood.
“The Windmill Scholarship allows me to take an extended research trip to Gamilaraay Country, my traditional country, to reconnect spiritually and literally to the places of my ancestors and my childhood,” she said.
“I’ll be investigating places and spaces significant to my culture and personal memories and creating artwork of the landscape, in the landscape and formed by the landscape.”
Ms Taylor Worley is a first nations doctoral candidate researching visual art after joining the Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art Program and completing an honours program as a mature age student.
“I never thought this would be possible when I first enrolled in my degree. I entered as a mature aged woman who thought I’d improve at a hobby,” she said.
“Instead, I gained a career in the arts as an exhibition co-ordinator for a Brisbane gallery, a part-time lecturer and arts workshop facilitator, and a practising artist and academic.”
Queensland College of Art Director Professor Elisabeth Findlay said that the scholarship has the potential to be a turning point in an artist’s career.
“Receiving an award like this can be a turning point in an artist’s career,” she said.
“We are delighted for Debbie and look forward to seeing the body of work she creates as part of the scholarship.
A Brisbane mother who lied about her young daughter having a terminal brain tumour and raised more than $10,000 via several fundraisers was “motivated by a sense of greed”, a court has heard.
The court heard the woman lied to her husband about the child’s illness and he had quit his job
Police discovered the hospital had no record of the child having cancer
Defence lawyer Nicholas Hanly says his client told a lie that “snowballed”
The 37-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of dishonestly gaining a benefit and was sentenced to nine months’ jail wholly suspended for two years in the Brisbane Magistrates Court.
She was also ordered to serve two years’ probation.
The court heard that in July 2018, the woman called an ambulance for her five-year-old daughter, who had been complaining of headaches.
Doctors diagnosed the girl with Arnold Chiari Malformation Type 1 — a variation of the skull hole where the spinal cord exits — and also found a small cyst.
The court heard that in May 2019, the woman told her husband and mother her daughter had a cancerous tumour that was terminal.
“This was a lie and the defendant knew it not to be true,” prosecutor Senior Sergeant Carrie Davidson told the court.
The woman and other family members set up a “bucket list” for the girl, which resulted in businesses donating experiences, such as a whale watching tour and a helicopter flight.
The court heard several fundraisers were also organised via social media and GoFundMe pages, which raised more than $10,000.
‘Motivated by a sense of greed’
In September 2019, the mother told police in an interview that the hospital had told her that her daughter had a tumour, Senior Sergeant Davidson told the court.
But the story soon unravelled after police checked the girl’s medical records at the hospital.
“It was explained to her [the mother] that police had made enquiries with the hospital, which advised that there was no record of cancer ever being discussed or suspected,” Senior Sergeant Davidson said.
“The defendant had been shown her Facebook posts [where she] admitted that she had lied about [the girl] having cancer.
Senior Sergeant Davidson said the mother was “motivated by a sense of greed”.
“The deceit and careful planning to deprive the community of a significant amount of money cannot go unpunished,” she told the court.
“The concerning aspect of these type of offences is the breach of trust. The offending was planned and systematic.”
‘Repeated and outrageous lies’
The prosecutor said the woman’s offending damaged the trust the community has in assisting genuine cases.
“It’s offensive to members of the community who really are struggling with cancer and its effects, and who rely on this assistance that the community offers in order to get them through these tough periods in their life,” Senior Sergeant Davidson said.
Defence lawyer Nicholas Hanly told the court his client started a lie that “snowballed”.
“She could not offer a specific reason for her offending other than that she was feeling highly stressed and depressed and had made foolish decisions and didn’t know how to end what had started.
“This case is one which involves someone that has below average intellect, who has had a daughter diagnosed with a medical condition.
“She has then made a giant leap and formulated that it was something else fraudulently and reaped the benefits from that.”
Magistrate Mark Nolan said the woman’s story was a “complete fabrication” based on “repeated and outrageous lies”.
“Your conduct in fabricating and then repeating a story about your own five-year-old daughter suffering a terminal brain tumour is appalling and egregious in every respect,” Magistrate Nolan said.
“You preyed upon the kindness and the generosity of decent, well-meaning members of the community.”
The teenager’s dad told the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: “We were on holiday and my son who has just left school was told by us that he could have up to six people round.
“But instead he thought he and his friends could manage a social distancing party here for 20.
“One of the people invited someone else, who then invited a large number of gatecrashers.
“Our son tried to get rid of them and partially succeeded but some congregated on the road outside.”
Police arrived and the teenager received a £10,000 fine under new government restrictions aimed at cracking down on large gatherings and curbing the spread of the virus.
His parents said they decided to speak out because they want to give their side of the story following the statement by police.
They asked not to be named because they worry being identified would hurt their son’s future job prospects.
Police claim between 80 and 100 people gathered at the property, numbers hotly disputed by the boy and his family.
The boy’s dad said: “We came back early from holiday and met two police officers who had attended the house and they told us that they had done a drive past, had warned people outside and to turn music down.
“They did not go to the house or have contact with my son and when they did go to the house he co-operated with them. There was no warning here. They went straight for the fine.”
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The parents said unless they get a rapid response to their complaints they will report the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, England’s police watchdog.
It was the first £10,000 fine issued by Wiltshire Police since the new, increased penalties were introduced by the government for people holding gatherings of over 30 people.
The dad said of his son: “He did something wrong. He was utterly stupid. He ignored our instructions and the government advice. He is very chastened.
“But they were gatecrashed.
“This is a completely new law. We have never had legal restrictions on the number of people in a house before.
“This could go to the Supreme Court as to whether you can legally impose a criminal penalty when the majority of people were gatecrashers.”
Wiltshire Police did not issue any individual fines at the Devizes party, and say the fine issued at the weekend was the first since tougher measures were introduced.
In a media statement, the force said: “As we continue to navigate through the Covid pandemic, we all have to take personal responsibility for our actions and adhere to the regulations.
“Despite a warning, the organiser allowed the gathering of 80 to 100 people to continue, which is in clear breach of the current restrictions which state that ‘no gathering of more than 30 people may take place indoors which would constitute a rave if it were outdoors- amplified music, at night and due to loudness, duration and time it would likely cause significant distress to locals’.
“The organiser and everyone who attended was putting their own health and the health of others at risk.
“Officers attempted to engage with the group and educate them on the rules but we will enforce them if appropriate and proportionate.”
A spokesman for Wiltshire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said: “We can confirm we have received a complaint in relation to this matter. This will now be dealt with following the usual process so it would be inappropriate to comment “
Police across the UK have received dozens of reports of illegal gatherings over past two weekends since the new law came into effect.
Two organisers at a rave in West Glamorgan that attracted an estimated 3,000 people were handed fixed-penalty notices for £10,000 on Sunday.
Those facilitating or organising illegal raves, unlicensed music events, or any other unlawful gathering of more than 30 people may face a £10,000 fine.
Fines of £100 can be issued to those who participate in illegal gatherings and those who have already received a fine will see the amount doubled on each offence, up to £3,200. The £10,000 fine is imposed by the police.
The person receiving it then has the choice to either pay it or contest the case in the magistrates’ court.
An attempt by Twitter to promote Thursday’s mission to Mars liftoff from Florida didn’t exactly go as planned, as people either showed they had no idea about the upcoming event or were only interested in trolling.
“Who wants to be transported off this planet?” the official Twitter account published on Wednesday. While the background of their avatar, featuring the famous bird, has been changed to resemble the surface of Mars and their profile banner now shows an image of a NASA rocket launching in space, the generic tweet went over most people’s heads.
It likely didn’t help that in a year filled with a pandemic that has no end in sight, an economic shutdown, record unemployment, rioting, bitter political arguments headed into a contentious presidential election, offering to transport people off this planet seems more a statement about the state of the world than a promotion of a space mission.
Twitter even went out of their way to remind people what the tweet was actually about by directly responding to some and putting images of their avatars in space suits.
“Yes please planet where no one cares about what you look like, what designer brands you do or don’t wear or have just blissful peace and good music!!!!, and a seaside with wine and crisps! too much to ask?” one user responded.
“Not sure about the seaside, but Mars checks most of those boxes,” Twitter replied.
The Mars name-drops happened multiple times with many still not seeming to get the hint.
Other tweets were what you find on Twitter on a typical day — Donald Trump bashing, mask virtue signaling, binary political disagreements, etc.
I’ll stay, send everyone who isn’t wearing a mask.
Considering mainstream media coverage surrounding the launch pales in comparison to the attention given to bickering between politicians and offensive tweets, it should come as no surprise how few actually know the event is even taking place.
NASA’s rover Perseverance will be launched this Thursday and follow orbiters released by China and the United Arab Emirates, both sent out last week. The joint mission is being run by both NASA and the European Space Agency.
It will take seven months for Perseverance to reach Mars where it will look for evidence of microscopic life. Any samples collected will be returned to Earth by 2031.
Police in Atlanta offered a $10,000 reward and published photos of what appeared to be a masked white woman as they sought the people who burned down a Wendy’s restaurant where a black man was fatally shot by an officer as he tried to escape arrest.
The fast-food outlet was torched late on Saturday during demonstrations that erupted over the killing of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks.
His death on Friday came against a backdrop of nationwide and international protests against racial injustice and brutality by law enforcement following the May 25 death of George Floyd, an African-American man, in Minneapolis police custody.
Atlanta’s police chief, Erika Shields, resigned over the shooting. The officer suspected of killing Brooks was fired, and another officer involved in the incident was put on administrative leave. Both the officers are white.
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Brooks’ death was captured on police body camera footage, as well as by a surveillance camera.
As demonstrators in Atlanta took to the streets and chanted for the officers in Brooks’ case to be criminally charged, at one point late on Saturday blocking traffic on a nearby interstate highway, the Wendy’s restaurant went up in flames.
Police said they were seeking those responsible for the blaze, including a woman who was “attempting to hide her identity.” The department posted photos on social media of what looked to be a young white woman wearing a black baseball cap and face mask, and a video clip filmed by a protester that appeared to show a woman encouraging the flames.
Atlanta police release footage of interaction leading up to fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks
Atlanta police release footage of interaction leading up to fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks
“Look at the white girl trying to burn down the Wendy’s,” the man recording the video can heard saying. “This wasn’t us.”
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Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said on Saturday that she did not believe the shooting was a justified use of deadly force.
Police were called to the Wendy’s after reports Brooks had fallen asleep in his car and was blocking the drive-thru line, and tried to take him into custody after he failed a field sobriety test, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Body camera footage showed Brooks struggling with officers on the ground before breaking free and running across the parking lot holding what appears to be a police Taser. A second videotape from the restaurant’s cameras shows Brooks turning as he runs and possibly aiming the Taser at the pursuing officers before one of them fires his gun and Brooks falls.
Lawyers for Brooks’ family said he was the father of a young daughter who was celebrating her birthday on Saturday. They said the officers had no right to use deadly force even if he had fired the Taser, a non-lethal weapon, in their direction.
Prosecutors will decide by midweek whether to bring charges, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said on Sunday.
“(The victim) did not seem to present any kind of threat to anyone, and so the fact that it would escalate to his death just seems unreasonable,” Howard told CNN.