Tasmanian police say Victorian girl’s fatal cliff fall a ‘horrific’ end to family holiday


Police have described an 11-year-old Victorian girl’s fatal cliff fall at Tasmania’s Sand River Conservation Area as a “tragic” end to a family holiday.

Police say she was on a walking and rock climbing expedition with her siblings near Buckland, north-east of Hobart on Friday when she fell about 10 metres to her death.

In a statement last night police said: “CPR was administered but sadly the child died at the scene.”

“I believe the group were climbing but at that stage I am not sure what was happening, whether she was just walking and lost her footing that’s still a matter for the [coroner’s] report,” Acting Inspector Michael Foster said.

He said the girl was holidaying with siblings in Tasmania and her parents were in Victoria at the time of the accident.

Acting Inspector Michael Foster says a report is being prepared for the coroner.(ABC News: Fiona Blackwood)

Acting Inspector Foster said his thoughts were with the family.

Acting Inspector Foster said the area was a popular rock-climbing destination.

Rocky cliffs in bushland.
Cliffs at the Sand River Road Conservation Area near the Tasmanian East-Coast township of Buckland where a Victorian girl died after falling off a cliff(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

Sand River has been known to rock climbers for the past three years and is described as having north-facing crags which are sheltered from the wind.

Police said they would like to speak to anyone who was in the area around the time of the incident to “assist in preparing a report for the coroner”.

Anyone with information is urged to call Tasmania Police on 131444.

The girl’s name has not been released.

A police car at the side of a dirt bush road
Police are continuing to investigate the girl’s death.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

Thank you for spending your time with us on My Local Pages. We hope you enjoyed checking out this news release involving VIC news named “Tasmanian police say Victorian girl’s fatal cliff fall a ‘horrific’ end to family holiday”. This news update was presented by MyLocalPages as part of our national news services.

#Tasmanian #police #Victorian #girls #fatal #cliff #fall #horrific #family #holiday



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‘Do not read! Private!’ Little girl’s secret notebooks lost — and found — 37 years later


Nick Gunz knew it was a long-shot when he posted on Twitter hoping to track down the owner of a pair of secret notebooks discovered in a crawl space of his parent’s Etobicoke house.

The notebooks, dated 1983, belonged to a then-9-year-old girl named Alison Jenkins and one was labelled with clear instructions: “Do not read! Private!”

Gunz said he heeded that warning as he set out to find the author.

“I looked at them and rapidly realized that these things were somebody’s top-secret notebooks from the past, which I didn’t want to pry into,” he said. “But I thought, oh, maybe there’s a chance of finding the person.”

The only information Gunz had to go on was the address of his parents’ house on Orchard Crescent and Alison’s name and age, so he turned to social media to try to solve the mystery.

The old notebooks had been discovered by contractors putting in insulation into the crawl space beneath the roof of Gunz’s parents’ house. His parents thought he’d be interested in them, as he’s a naval and intelligence historian and part-time lecturer at the University of Toronto.

Gunz, 41, took the journals home and put them on a shelf and soon forgot about them before stumbling upon them again on Christmas Eve.

On a whim, he took a photograph of one of the notebooks and posted it on Twitter. That sparked some initial interactions with friends, who thought it was interesting.

Alison Jenkins, 46, is now a music teacher at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music in Vancouver. She penned the lost diaries in 1983, as a 9 year-old.

It wasn’t until Saturday night that he saw the post gain traction and thousands of people joining him in the search to find Jenkins.

“I think what happened was one of my friends posted it to a bunch of people and all of a sudden people started looking at it, replying, and coming up with suggestions,” Gunz said.

Meanwhile, 4,000 kilometres away, in Vancouver, Alison Jenkins awoke on Sunday morning to a bunch of Facebook messages from strangers asking her, “Is this you. Click on this link.”

“I had a whole bunch of Facebook messages and I thought it was spam,” Jenkins said. “I was like, this is very suspicious so I didn’t click on any of the links but I googled it because I recognized the house right away.”

It was the house she had lived in before moving to Vancouver in 1988.

A snapshot of Alison Jenkins' former home on Orchard Cresent where the lost diaries were found.

As a kid, Jenkins was really fond of writing diaries, and was a big fan of the children’s novel Harriet the Spy. She always had blank books as a kid and believes the notebooks Gunz found had been Christmas gifts.

Jenkins still has other diaries from when she was young, and sometimes reads them to her boyfriend to make him laugh, but doesn’t remember much about leaving the notebooks discovered in her old home.

“I must have either thought that would be a good place to hide from my brother so that he wouldn’t read them. That was probably the thinking,” Jenkins said. “I would imagine that I was hiding it from my little brother, and I probably forgot them when I moved.”

Gunz now plans to put the notebooks in a padded envelope and ship them to Jenkins.

Alison Jenkins in her old room growing up in Toronto back in the 1980s.

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“It’s been a delightful bit of fun. It’s a pretty grim time overall (right now), and it’s just been a delightful little thing to happen,” Gunz said. “It feels like a little gift to be able to restore to somebody their piece of history.”

Jenkins and Gunz were in touch through email on Sunday and Jenkins sent him photos of what the house used to look like when she was a kid.

As it turned out, Jenkins and Gunz had more than the house in common. Both attended the same school as kids — Islington Junior Middle School.

Jenkins, who is now 46, teaches music at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, which is an after-school program for kids. She works in professional theatre as an actor, musician and music director as well.

In her spare time, she is a singer and songwriter with over 40 videos on her YouTube channel.

“You get so used to bad news, and to have something nice like this happen with such lovely people that were nice enough to try to track me down and not even read the diaries,” Jenkins said.

“I said to Nick, there’s no way I would’ve been that nice, I totally would’ve read those diaries if I found them,” she laughed.





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Boy Scouts of America decision to admit girls starts ‘highly damaging’ recruitment war, Girl Scouts say


The Girl Scouts of America says the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to allow girls to join has led to a “highly damaging” recruitment war, marketplace confusion and some girls unwittingly joining the wrong organisation.

Lawyers for the Girl Scouts filed papers in the Manhattan federal court last week to repel an effort by the Boy Scouts to toss out before trial a trademark infringement lawsuit the Girl Scouts filed in 2018.

Last month, lawyers for the Boy Scouts asked a judge to reject claims that the Boy Scouts cannot use “scouts” and “scouting” in its recruitment of girls without infringing trademarks.

They called the lawsuit “utterly meritless.”

The Boy Scouts pointed to legal arguments in which it blames the Girl Scouts for reacting to its expansion plans with “anger and alarm” and said the Girl Scouts launched a “ground war” to spoil plans by the Boy Scouts to include more girls.

In a statement, the Boy Scouts said it expanded program offerings for girls “after years of requests from families” who wanted their boys and girls both participating in its character and leadership programs or for other reasons, including a desire to become an Eagle Scout.

“We applaud every organisation that builds character and leadership in children, including the Girl Scouts of the USA, and believe that all families and communities benefit from the opportunity to select the programs that best fit their needs,” the statement said.

In its filing, the Girl Scouts said the Boy Scouts’ marketing of expanded services for girls was “extraordinary and highly damaging to Girl Scouts” and had set off an “explosion of confusion”.

The Girls Scouts said they can prove there are “rampant instances of confusion and mistaken instances of association between Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts” after the Boy Scouts targeted girls and their parents with marketing and recruiting communications in ways it never has before.

Girls have been featured prominently in recent Boys Scouts of America ad campaigns.(Facebook: Boy Scouts of America)

In its statement, though, the Boy Scouts said: “To imply that confusion is a prevailing reason for their choice is not only inaccurate — with no legally admissible instance of this offered to date in the case — but it is also dismissive of the decisions of more than 120,000 girls and young women who have joined Cub Scouts or Scouts BSA since the programs became available to them.”

The organisation cited proof from a narrow subset of documents turned over by 19 of 250 local Boy Scout councils, including evidence that registration fees sometimes were returned to parents who mistakenly thought they registered girls for the Girl Scouts.

It said repeated instances of confusion and interference at the local level by the Boy Scouts was a tiny fraction of what was occurring nationwide.

Each of dozens of times the Girl Scouts complained about unfair marketing, the Boy Scouts responded by blaming individuals, churches or others for what they said was an isolated incident, the lawyers said.

Both the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, like other major youth organisations, have seen declines in membership in recent years as competition grew pre-pandemic from sports leagues and busy family schedules.

In spring 2018, the Boy Scouts program for 11 to 17-year-olds announced it would change its name to Scouts BSA in early 2019. The parent organisation, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Cub Scouts, a program serving children from kindergarten through fifth grade, kept their names.

The organisation started admitting girls into the Cub Scouts in August 2018, and Scouts BSA began accepting girls in February 2019, lawyers said.

AP



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Pip Edwards’ girls night in with Michael Clarke’s daughter and friends, Instagram, photos, Kyly Boldy


The relationship between former Australian Test captain Michael Clarke and fashion designer Pip Edwards continues to go from strength to strength.

After officially confirming their relationship in June this year, the pair have found themselves under the media spotlight as they continually show off their romance on social media.

Edwards showed on Boxing Day she’s settling into the family lifestyle after uploading a photo to her Instagram account, showing her and Clarke’s daughter, Kelsey-Lee, enjoying a girl’s night in.

As Edwards posed for the photo, Kelsey-Lee and two of her friends sitting on the kitchen bench displayed peace signs as the snap was taken.

The very next update on Edwards’ Instagram Stories showed Clarke lounging outside on a couch as the girl’s night in carried on indoors.

Clarke uploaded a photo to his own Instagram account on Christmas Day showing he and his daughter sitting around a Christmas tree which was overflowing with presents.

The duo set tongues wagging in July when they uploaded a photo of them laying on the beach, making their relationship Instagram official.

Edwards, 40, shared a photo of the pair at the beach with the caption: “Out of office.”

Clarke and Kyly Boldy confirmed in February they were separating after seven years of marriage.

“After living apart for some time, we have made the difficult decision to ­separate as a couple, amicably,” a joint statement read.

“With the greatest of respect for each other, we’ve come to the ­mutual conclusion that this is the best course for us to take while committed to the co-parenting of our daughter.”

Clarke and Kyly went to school together at Sydney’s Westfields Sports High, but didn’t start dating until many years later, after Clarke’s engagement with Lara Worthington (nee Bingle) was broken off in 2010.



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Albury photographer Gabrielle Connole captures Girls Have Stamina | The Border Mail


community, Girls Have Stamina, Gabrielle Connole, Photography, Outback

An Albury photographer travelled more than 6000 kilometres last month in a project that required the same strength and energy she wanted to document. Gabrielle Connole drove through rural NSW, South Australia and Northern Territory over three weeks, conducting Girls Have Stamina workshops. Involving in total about 200 girls aged between 10 and 13 years, the sessions saw participants draw or write their thoughts on a banner and then pose for a 35mm film portrait they received as a keepsake. “Rural girls are so fierce and fabulous and have so much to say and Girls Have Stamina was just about showcasing that,” Connole said. “It’s been such a big year for everyone. “So I thought as soon as I could hit the road as soon as the border’s open, now’s the time.” On the 11 metre banner added to throughout the trip, one can see in the slogans the spirit the photographer aimed to capture. “We’re stronger together”, “Outback girls rock”, “You should never feel you have to change for anyone” and “Family is my hope for life” are just some of the messages. Connole said the idea for Girls Have Stamina evolved from her own upbringing. “I knew firsthand the importance of being in a space where your authentic expression is encouraged and a space where girls feel safe and supported and celebrated,” she said. While still at university, she conducted her first workshop at her former school, The Scots School Albury. “One of the girls wrote on the banner … ‘girls have stamina’; I was like, ‘that’s it, I love it, that’s the name’,” the photographer recalled. Trying to organise school visits and travelling during a pandemic required its own stamina as did the drive itself, particularly during the South Australian restrictions. “It was still their last day of lockdown but I was given a permit to pass through so I drove from Alice Springs to Woomera in the one day, which was close to 11 hours and I passed maybe six or seven other cars,” she said. Connole is grateful for the support of Ford and Border businesses and also the girls at the workshops. “They blew me away, so much enthusiasm which was so awesome to see,” she said. “The group of girls that were waiting to get their portraits taken started really cheering on the girl that was in the spotlight. “You should have seen these girls, when they’re a bit nervous then they’d strike their pose and they’d just shine.” Stage two of Girls Have Stamina is in planning for 2021 and Connole is searching for passionate rural girls 10 to 13 years old who would like their story told. She can be contacted through gabconnole.com.

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Coroner refers possible rapes and girl’s ‘suspicious’ remote community death back to NT Police, DPP


The Northern Territory coroner has referred the death of a teenage girl and the possible assaults of two others before they died back to police and prosecutors, saying he believes offences may have been committed.

Warning: This story contains details which may be distressing for some readers.

The referrals came along with findings about “blindness” and “indifference” on the part of government agencies before the deaths of six young people, in different remote communities, whose deaths were examined in joint inquests in September and October.

During the inquest hearings, NT Police conceded they had conducted inadequate investigations after the apparent suicides of 16-year-old Keturah Mamarika, who was known by her middle name Cheralyn, 15-year-old Layla Leering — known by some family members as Gulum — and 17-year-old Fionica James in 2016 and 2017.

Counsel assisting the coroner said Ms Leering and Ms James’s deaths were most likely suicide but there remained “highly suspicious circumstances” in the case of Ms Mamarika, who was found with vaginal injuries in a room at her family’s Umbakumba home.

In his findings, coroner Greg Cavanagh highlighted problems in the investigation and said more suspicion should have been aroused in Ms Mamarika’s case.

The coroner said it was “likely” Ms Leering was raped before her death in the Top End community of Bulla in 2017 and highlighted a cut on Ms James’s head when her body was found the day after her boyfriend threatened “war” on her family.

The two joint inquests investigated how various agencies responded to the young people’s situations.(ABC News: Stephanie Zillman)

The coroner referred all three files to NT Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The inquest into the girls’ deaths — and the deaths of three other young people in relation to petrol sniffing — probed the response of government agencies who became aware the children were at risk.

Those children were referred to as Master W, aged 12, Master JK, aged 13 and Ms B, who was 17 when she died.

The coroner said the most unsettling aspect in the girls’ cases was the “blindness” of government agencies to obvious trauma, especially in relation to sexual abuse.

The most damning conclusion was reserved for health authorities, who Mr Cavanagh said were making the same mistakes identified in a petrol sniffing inquest three years ago.

The coroner’s main recommendation was legislation to enshrine a new “multi-agency” committee spanning government departments dealing with families and communities, which was pulled together by the Territory Families department when notice of the inquests was given earlier this year.

He said the model should be flexible enough to allow “a measure of control for communities (as opposed to just participation)” and said problems would otherwise be entrenched.

Shady Beach near Yirrkala community in Arnhem Land.
The young people died in remote communities across the Northern Territory.(ABC News: Melanie Arnost, file photo)

But Mr Cavanagh said while a lack of coordination and information-sharing was evident, it was not the main problem.

“In my view, the primary issue for all agencies was their indifference to the evident plight of these children and their families,” he said.

“The very model utilised, where a few people fly in and fly out, is likely associated with that indifference.

“To expect the visit of a couple of days by a few workers from Darwin to change school attendance, wandering at night and volatile substance abuse in a remote community is not realistic, yet it continues.”



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Townsville joy ride lands girls in Children’s Court


Two teenage girls will front Townsville Children’s Court after they allegedly drove a stolen car and one assaulted a man on a long, “erratic” joy ride on Monday.

Police say the pair, aged 13 and 16, were driving the car “erratically at high speeds”. It was allegedly stolen in the early hours of the morning during a house burglary in Kirwan.

At 7.30am, the younger girl allegedly filled the car with petrol before leaving without paying at a service station.

Seven hours later, police say a Vincent man was filming the vehicle when one girl threw a tyre iron at him, missing him.

Police used tyre deflation devices to intercept the vehicle at 9pm, and despite the pair’s attempt to escape, they were apprehended a short distance away.

The 13-year-old was charged with one count each of unlawful use of motor vehicle, stealing and common assault and will appear in court on Tuesday.

The 16-year-old was charged with one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and stealing and is due to appear in court on Wednesday.



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Historic report finds First Nations women and girls need more support to break cycles of crisis



A landmark report that surveyed Indigenous women and girls in every corner of the nation has called for a National Action Plan to address the disadvantage they face on many fronts.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar held two years of meetings with Indigenous women and girls across Australia, in remote communities, cities and prisons.

Her report, titled Wiyi Yani U Thangani, which means women’s voices in the language of the remote Western Australian region where she was raised, is the first time in more than three decades such a survey has been attempted.

The feedback Dr Oscar received was overwhelming – Indigenous women and girls need more support to break cycles of crisis in many areas of their lives.

As such, she is calling on the federal government to create a National Action Plan and establish an advisory body in consultation with Indigenous women and girls.

“As women and girls have frequently pointed out, governments are investing in crisis, not in preventing crisis,” the report reads.

Dr Oscar says the COVID-19 pandemic has proved government can mobilise to address the well-known challenges Indigenous women and girls face.

“The decisiveness and rapidity of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic stands in stark contrast to the political inertia and policy incrementalism that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have otherwise faced in recent years.”

“What the COVID-19 pandemic has proven is that necessary and large-scale change is possible, particularly in moments of crisis.”

The wellbeing of Indigenous women and girls is indeed a crisis in many areas, she said.

Chief among them is the incredibly high rate at which children are being removed from their homes and placed in to state care, Dr Oscar says.

Urgent and total reform of the child protection system, with a focus on prevention rather than intervention, is needed.

“No longer can we allow history to repeat itself.”

“Tinkering around the edges is no longer an option… if we do not act now, we risk even more generations being stolen from us, the erosion of our culture, and cycles of trauma to continue.”

A child protection notification system that automatically refers families engaged with the system to culturally safe legal advice should urgently be introduced by all states and territories, Dr Oscar says.

Other recommendations made in the report include: setting targets for the representation of Indigenous women in advisory and decision-making roles, creating a national framework for mandatory trauma-informed training for the entire human service sector, and addressing systemic racism.

All of this must take place in consultation with the women and girls it affects, who have been ignored for too long, Dr Oscar says.

“Our women on the ground know what they are talking about, that they are leaders, survivors, teachers and healers.”

“They carry with them a wealth of inherited, lived and learnt expertise.”

“What I do not want, for any of us, is to have to wait another 34 years to be listened to and heard.”



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AFLDD U17 Youth Girls Re-Launched


The AFL Darling Downs U17 Youth Girls competition will undergo a number of changes in 2021, which is set to inject new opportunities into the key age group of the regions female pathway. 

This will see the competition shift to Term 1 based season, with a compact 6-8 week program scheduled to kick off in mid-February. This see’s the competition align to the AFL Women’s season for the first time, which is due to kick off in early February. 

A new look 2021 season will also see a shift from a Friday night competition, to Sunday morning based fixtures, aiming to allow more opportunities for those players and clubs based outside of Toowoomba to participate. 

The changes come on the back of a review into regions top age youth competitions as part of AFL Queensland’s priorities to develop and maintain the region’s pathways from youth to senior football. 

This year saw former U17 youth girls participants Tiarna Jericho and Phoebe Baird progress to make their QAFLW debut’s this season, with the regions most recent AFLW Draftee Zimmorlei Farquharson also having played in the competition in her pathway to the elite level. The hope is that the new look competition will provide greater opportunities for participation and allow more of the regions female participants to develop their game as they progress from our younger mixed youth age groups to senior women’s football and beyond.

The competition will be run out of a centralised venue, with full competition details to be released in the new year. 

Team nominations for the 2021 season are currently open with the competition allowing both schools and local clubs to nominate teams.

For more information or to find your local team, please contact mitchell.simpson@afl.com.au

 





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More Russian Girls Singing Beautiful Old Love Songs


This article originally appeared on a new site about the Christian renaissance in Russia, called Russian Faith. Their introductory video is at end of this article.


The all-girl singing group called “Beloe Zlato” (literally “White Gold”) was started accidentally by a few girls with a love for old, traditional Russian music. They were then studying music in the city of Norilsk, found above the Arctic circle.

It caught on like wildfire. They now have a large following and are often invited to perform, especially at Christian, patriotic, and family events. 

They sing old songs in more modern arrangements, retaining the haunting quality of folk Russian music.

They are also famous for singing in random places, like park benches and trains. 


A video introducing Russian Faith



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