Moruya-based skydiver Julia McConnel awarded OAM for service to parachuting



Skydiving world record breaker Julia McConnel has spent her life jumping out of planes all over the world but insists her hometown of Moruya on the NSW South Coast is one of the most beautiful places to enjoy her sport.

Ms McConnel is one of six South East residents recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours list, awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her service to parachuting.

“I was surprised for being nominated. So when I was actually awarded, it was just a lot of disbelief and shock,” she said.

After her first experience of tandem skydiving at 19, Ms McConnel was hooked, soon dedicating her life to the sport and lifestyle.

Among her achievements are several world records, including the 100 Way Canopy Formation where 100 skydivers jumped out of a plane and linked their parachutes into a diamond formation in Florida, 2007.

“That 100-way world record was one of the biggest highlights. Thinking about it now is making my heart beat,” the 44-year-old said.

Alongside her significant record-breaking achievements is her contribution to increasing safety within the sport through work with the Australian Parachute Federation.

Meanwhile Bega Valley Shire Council general manager Leanne Barnes OAM said she was “absolutely blown away” by her recognition in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours List for her work after the Black Summer bushfires.

Ms Barnes received a Public Service Medal for “outstanding public service to local government in New South Wales”.

“In the Black Summer bushfires, Bega sort of stepped up and took a leadership role,” she said.

“We went through unprecedented times — no-one has been through times like that — but we just said ‘hey, we’ve got to get on with it’.”

Ms Barnes is set to wrap up her role as general manager in July after 19 years with the council and said it was humbling to receive a reward for her work within the community.

Ms Barnes and Ms Connel are among a record number of women to receive an award this year.

The late Matthew Deveson was also awarded an OAM for his service to the Narooma community on the NSW South Coast through his work with the local business chamber.

Mr Deveson was a founding member of the Narooma and District Chamber of Commerce and Tourism from 2007 and the Narooma Oyster Festival from 2008.

President of the Narooma Chamber Dr JOpen in Tabenny Munro worked alongside Mr Deveson before he lost his battle with cancer in May this year.

“And the contribution that he made was absolutely remarkable, so his Order of Australia Medal is just such a worthy acknowledgement.”

Among the other South East residents recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birhday awards was Batemans Bay Chief Inspector Gregory Flood. He received an Australian Police Medal for his work during the 2018 Tathra Bushfires and his leadership in the Black Summer bushfires.

John Williams from Cooma was recognised for his service to the merino wool industry, and Jennifer Thompson for her contribution to the Batemans Bay community.

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Man arrested in hunt for PCSO Julia James’s killer



Detectives hunting the killer of PCSO Julia James have arrested a man in his 20s, they revealed on Saturday.

The arrest came 11 days after Mrs James, 53, was found bludgeoned to death in woodland near her home in Snowdown, Kent, on April 27, shortly after leaving the house with her Jack Russell dog.   

It emerged on Saturday evening that a woman from Canterbury claimed her daughter recognised the man in the photograph, which had been posted on the force’s Facebook page.

Her comment was spotted by Mrs James’s daughter, Bethan Coles, 31, a police officer, who wrote: “Please go to police if you have any information. We would be so grateful x”. 

The woman, who did not want to be named, later posted to say that she had been contacted by officers.

A Kent Police spokesman said: “Officers investigating the death of Julia James have arrested a man in connection with her murder.

“A man in his 20s from the Canterbury area was arrested at 9.30pm on Friday 7 May 2021, and remains in custody.”

The man held by police is understood to be a British national. A house in the former mining town of Aylesham, close to the scene of the killing, was later seen taped off by police, with forensics officers undertaking a search of the property in Sunshine Corner Avenue.

Officers with clipboards were seen going door to door, speaking to people living in surrounding houses on the new build estate, close to the outskirts of the village.

Kent Police repeated their appeal for any information that might help them in their hunt for Mrs James’ killer, with the force so far unable to establish what the motive for the attack was.

Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said: “We continue to urge anyone with information, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, to contact us.

“If you were in the Snowdown area between 1pm and 4.30pm on Tuesday 27 April please contact us. This includes anyone local who may have seen something out of place at the time, or who came across someone who made them feel uneasy – such as feeling compelled to cross the road or change the route they were walking.”

The arrest came after Kent Police said they were no longer seeking information about a man following the release of an image by the force.

Officers had released a photograph on Friday of a man they said could be of “crucial importance” to the investigation.

But later in the day the force said the man had been identified and they were no longer appealing for information about him.

ACC Richards said: “I can confirm we have identified the man in the photo and we no longer need the media to run his image, nor do we need further information about him at this time.

“Despite identifying this individual, we are still keen to hear from those who have information that may help us.”

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Candles lit for murdered PCSO Julia James as Kent Police say they are ‘in deep shock’


The tribute paid by mourners and members of the public across the country came after Kent Police’s top officer said the force was “in deep shock” following her death.

Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said the force would do “all we can” to bring her killer to justice, but warned the community to be “very safe and very careful”.

No arrests have been made in connection with the killing of the Kent PCSO, as police consider “all possible” motives to the incident which happened near Dover in Kent.

The police chief’s words came as mourners left candles on their doorsteps at 7pm on Tuesday.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to Ms James as the vigil was held in her memory.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Johnson said: “Tonight we remember PCSO Julia James. My thoughts are with her friends and family.”

Speaking to ITV after visiting flowers left in her memory, Kent’s chief constable vowed to find Ms James’ killer.

He said: “You can imagine that the force are in deep shock with regard to what’s happened to Julia.

“We will do all we can to find out whoever did this to bring them to justice.”

Tuesday marks a week since the 53-year-old’s body was found in Akholt Wood, close to her home in the village of Snowdown.

The popular PCSO – described as “fiercely loyal” by her devastated family – died from serious head injuries while out walking her dog.

In a Facebook post, her daughter Bethan Coles said: “A number of people have asked about holding a vigil for Mum, and whilst I am so grateful for people wanting to remember her, I am very conscious that any gathering would need to be policed (if it was even allowed).

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Julia James: Family tributes to killed community police officer


The family of a police community support officer found dead in woodland said she “was fiercely loyal” and “loved with her whole heart.”

The body of Julia James, 53, was found in Akholt Wood, Snowdown, near Dover, on Tuesday.

She died from “significant head injuries” and a murder inquiry is under way, Kent Police said.

‘There are no words to adequately describe the void left in our lives,” her family said in statement.

“She was so naturally funny with a brilliant sense of humour,” they added.

A post-mortem examination carried out on Thursday concluded she died from a blunt force trauma, police said.

Ms James, whose body was found a few hundred yards from her house, had been taking her dog for a walk when she was killed. The pet was found unharmed at the scene.

She joined the force as a PCSO in 2008 and had more recently been working with victims of domestic abuse while based in Canterbury.

Ms James had been working from home on the day she died, and was not in uniform when she was found, police said.

Her family said they were “trying to understand how we will navigate our lives without her,” adding: “It seems an impossible task”.

She was a “fiercely loyal” wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister and friend, who “loved with her whole heart,” her family said.

“Nothing was too much trouble for the people she cared about,” the statement added.

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Julia Roberts’ Watergate Drama Is Coming Sooner Than You Thought – E! Online


It’s time to take another look at the Watergate scandal.

On Monday, Feb. 22, Starz revealed that the Julia Roberts and Sean Penn-led anthology series Gaslit will live on its network. Adapted from season one of Slate’s Slow Burn podcast, which examined the scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon, Gaslit will showcase the lesser known aspects of the political controversy.

Here’s how Starz described the series: “Gaslit is a modern take on Watergate that focuses on the untold stories and forgotten characters of the scandal – from Nixon’s bumbling, opportunistic subordinates, to the deranged zealots aiding and abetting their crimes, to the tragic whistleblowers who would eventually bring the whole rotten enterprise crashing down.”

Specifically, the new anthology series will have Roberts front-and-center as Martha Mitchell, a popular Southern socialite and wife to the President’s Attorney General. And, we’re happy to report, Penn is to star opposite Roberts as Attorney General John Mitchell.



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Jake Paul vs Nate Robinson: Sex ban, Julia Rose, Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr


Jake Paul says his beautiful girlfriend Julia Rose ‘f***ing hates’ him due to his sex ban prior to his fight with Nate Robinson.

The YouTube superstar, 23, embarked on his boxing career with a victory over fellow social media celeb AnEsonGib in January.

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Now he is less than one day away from his second bout — and it is set to be on one of the biggest sporting nights for years.

The two men will clash on the undercard of the epic Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr event. And he is taking it deadly serious — so much so he is refusing to sleep with his bombshell model girlfriend Rose.

Rose went global last year when she and two friends stole the show at the World Series by flashing the cameras behind home plate.

RELATED: Everything you need to know for Tyson vs Jones Jr.

Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather stuck to that practice, which famously is believed to ‘weaken the legs’ of a sportsman.

But the American, who has a fortune of around $A18 million, admits he is struggling.

And he is not the only one.

“I haven’t had sex in a while, which is difficult to do since I have a girlfriend and she’s hot as f***,” Paul said to TMZ.

“She’s pissed, man, she hates me. She just looks at me like, ‘I f***ing hate you, bro. Why can’t we do this right now?!’”

The couple got together earlier this year and despite a lack of antics between the sheets, Rose has helped Paul in the gym during his preparation for Robinson.

Sex is not the only thing that Paul has cut down on ahead of the clash. He also revealed he has been cutting out food as he looked to hit his target weight, which he did during Saturday’s weigh-in.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.



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‘I would love a world where misogyny speech was viewed as a historical curiosity, but that’s not the world we live in’ – Julia Gillard


In the ten years since she became Australia’s first female prime minister, Julia Gillard has become an advocate for women’s leadership.

Her 2012 speech in which she forcefully condemned the sexism of the leader of the opposition, Tony Abbott, has recently enjoyed a renaissance among users of the video sharing app TikTok.

We spoke to her about her new book of conversations with women leaders, and about sexism – with some quite colourful language involved.



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Australian surfer Jack Robinson marries Brazilian model Julia Muniz


Australian surfer Jack Robinson is officially off the market, marrying Brazilian girlfriend Julia Muniz.

Stab Magazine reports the glamour couple tied the knot in a ceremony that was watched by friends and family across the world via video conference system Zoom.

Muniz, a model and surfer, posted a picture on Instagram of the pair on their wedding day with the caption: “We did it.”

Robinson and Muniz have reportedly been together for a couple of years, and the West Australian has spoken glowingly of her influence on his life and career.

“She’s great, Julia’s really supportive,” Robinson told Wavelength last year. “She does a lot of modelling and stuff, she lived in LA before, and now she comes with me on a lot of the trips.

“She keeps an eye on me, with eating well and training good, it just keeps the motivation alive.”

Muniz travelled alongside Robinson to many of his events last year as he successfully qualified for the men’s Championship Tour, where he’ll get his chance to show off his skills on the biggest stage.

Robinson secured his championship spot with a win at last December’s Vans World Cup of Surfing in Hawaii, and Muniz’s impact on his surfing can’t be understated.

Stab reports: “Jack and Julia’s relationship has corresponded with a palpable and impressive improvement in Jack’s self-confidence, maturity, attitude — and the results have spoken for themselves.”



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Julia Zemiro delivers strong ABC programming that beats ‘reality’ TV


The ABC has announced it will cut back its budget for outside productions, but hopefully not the very solid Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery.

Julia Zemiro (Image: ABC)

Nine’s scheduling of Crocodile Dundee II last night (400,000 nationally) after the original last Wednesday night (390,000) is yet another example of how Nine, like Seven and to a lesser extent Ten, have been exposed for their over-investment and over reliance in so-called reality programs that are now ageing and flopping (especially Seven).

Nine has used the Crocodile Dundee films to hold up Saturday nights (the least watched night of the week) on its main channel in the past and on its digital channels, such as Go or Gem. Now it’s been promoted to hold up Wednesdays. COVID-19 has not caused the problem, merely added to it, and exposed viewers to the paucity of content on the commercial networks.

No wonder Netflix is booming in this country.

Last night Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery took film maker Gillian Armstrong around suburban Melbourne in a very solid episode. It reminded me of why the networks should be looking outside the big name ‘reality’ programs. It’s done very well for the ABC by an outside production house.

It will probably be chopped by the silly ABC management with the $5 million cuts to outside producers.

Seven won last night from Nine with the ABC third and Ten very weak in fourth.

In breakfast, Sunrise won with 474,000 national and 279,000 in the metros, with ABC News Breakfast 318,000/211,000 and Today with 309,000/204,000.

In the regions, Seven News, 628,000, Seven News 6.30, 566,000, the 7pm ABC News, 381,00, The Chase Australia 5.30pm, 378,000, Home and Away, 358,000.

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (29.0%)
  2. Nine (24.8%)
  3. ABC  (18.9%)
  4. Ten (17.0%)
  5. SBS (10.39%)

Network main channels:

  1. Seven (20.8%)
  2. Nine (16.0%)
  3. ABC (14.1%)
  4. Ten (9.4%)
  5. SBS ONE (6.3%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 10 Bold (4.92%)
  2. 7TWO (3.5%)
  3. 7mate,Gem (2.7%)
  4. 10 Peach (2.6%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.79 million
  2. Seven News 6.30 — 1.67 million
  3. Nine/NBN News — 1.30 million
  4. Nine/NBN News 6.30 — 1.24 million
  5. 7pm ABC News — 1.17 million
  6. The Chase Australia 5.30pm (Seven) — 1.06 million
  7. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.03 million
  8. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.01 million
  9. 7.30 (ABC) — 948,000
  10. America’s Got Talent (Seven) — 826,000

Top metro programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.16 million
  2. Seven News 6.30 — 1.10 million

Losers: Crocodile Dundee II and Nine –– dinosaurs for a second Wednesday in a row, Ten as well for just being a loser.

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 1.16 million
  2. Seven News 6.30 — 1.10 million
  3. Nine News — 911,000
  4. Nine News 6.30 — 940,000
  5. 7pm ABC News – 786,000
  6. A Current Affair (Nine) – 698,000
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 649,000
  8. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 541,000
  9. Ten News First — 405,000
  10. The Project 6.30pm (Ten) — 350,000

Morning (National) TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) — 474,000/279,000
  2. News Breakfast (ABC, ABC News) — 318,000/211,000
  3. Today (Nine) – 309,000/204,000
  4. The Morning Show (Seven) — 232,000
  5. Today Extra (Nine) — 136,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 74,000

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Paul Murray Live (Sky News) — 70,000
  2. The Bolt Report (Sky News) — 69,000
  3. Selling Houses Australia (LifeStyle) — 64,000
  4. Credlin (Sky News) — 57,000
  5. AFL: 360 (Fox Footy) – 52,000
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Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard regrets not calling out sexist language earlier

Former Key Minister Julia Gillard has expressed regret over not contacting out sexist language before through her time as the nation’s chief.

Ms Gillard in 2012 delivered a now-well known anti-misogyny speech on the flooring of federal parliament, getting stinging intention at then-opposition chief Tony Abbott.

This Wednesday marks a decade given that Ms Gillard toppled Kevin Rudd as Labor leader to come to be Australia’s very first female PM.

“I knew that speech experienced landed with drive in the parliament,” Ms Gillard said on Sunday in the course of an job interview with former bash colleague Tanya Plibersek for EMILY’s Record, a not-for-revenue supporting progressive Labor women.

Ms Gillard stated she failed to have a feeling of the broader effect of her words until eventually Treasurer Wayne Swan had a silent chat with her afterwards.

“That conversation was the 1st penny dropping that this most likely was heading to converse far more loudly than the parliamentary chamber that working day.”

Ms Gillard hopes her trailblazing has built it easer for the country’s upcoming woman PM.

“With any luck , she’ll deal with considerably less of a gendered response but to the extent that she does it need to be termed out early. I believe I failed to connect with it out early enough,” Ms Gillard said.

“And she shouldn’t essentially choose all the stress on her very own shoulders of calling it out.

“As a political bash, as an Australian neighborhood, we must be calling it out
for her.”

Ms Gillard discovered she agonised more than her November 2012 determination to announce a royal commission into institutionalised youngster intercourse abuse.

“I quite much wanted to see that hurt and trauma dealt with,” she reported.

“But I was also very anxious that if you get in touch with a massive judicial point like a royal fee, it ends up staying persons who are decide-like sitting down on benches in really formalised proceedings.

“I was nervous that it would generate far more trauma.

The Royal Fee into Institutional Responses to Little one Sexual Abuse been given extra than 42,000 phone calls, resulted in creation of the Countrywide Redress Plan and the shipping of countrywide apology by Scott Morrison two years in the past.

Ms Gillard explained she was overcome by the assist from abuse survivors who shared their stories.

“Many had doorways slammed in their encounter for many years,” she additional.

“It enabled men and women to occur ahead realizing that it was not just them. Quite a few of those persons would have suffered in silence.”



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