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  • Hannah Profile

    24 hours with Hannah Starkey: Social worker, counsellor and mum.

      Over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you a series of ’24 hours with’ where we profile some very inspirational women. Here at Mamamia, we know being a mum is a pretty tough job on it’s own. So when you add studying and working to the midnight feeds and nappy changes, we think you are, put simply, wow. That is why we decided to sit down with Hannah Starkey. She is a wife to her husband Drew and mum to her four-month-old daughter Theodora (Teddy). Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Dove. [read more]

  • anti abortion protests

    The Australian town where anti-abortion protesters are pushing women to self-harm.

              It’s terrifying. In Australia, we have a right to free and peaceful protest. But to force your ideals on to someone to the point of self harm is inexcusable. Health workers from Albury, NSW have told The Guardian that anti-abortion activists outside the only clinic in the region are doing just that. The protesters, who call themselves Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, are reportedly so overwhelming while picketed outside the clinic that women attending for a termination have been driven to self-harm. The activists have been around for over a decade. They surround Albury’s Fertility Control Clinic every Thursday – which is the [read more]

  • The funeral of Phillip Hughes will take place today.

    Wednesday’s news in under 5 minutes.

    1. Macksville ready to say good-bye to Phillip Hughes           The NSW town of Macksville will today host the funeral of Phillip Hughes. The service, which will be broadcast on Channel 9 and ABC News 24 as well as Fairfax and ABC radio, will begin with the tones of Youth Group’s Forever Young. Over 5000 people are expected to attend the funeral which will hear a tribute from Michael Clarke. Clarke who has been in the town preparing for the funeral for several days will also be pallbearer along with Aaron Finch, Tom Cooper, as well [read more]

  • Tom FI

    Tuesday’s news in under 5 minutes.

    1. Why did no one help this Mum?         The mother of a four-year old boy who was killed after being hit by a car on the NSW Central Coast last year has told an inquest that as she held her dead son in the middle of the road paramedics “looked the other way.” Thomas McLaughlin died after he was hit by a car as it reversed out of a driveway at McMasters Beach on the NSW Central Coast on January 6. Four-year old Thomas came from behind a parked car and was hit by a four-wheel [read more]

  • Australian batsman Phillip Hughes raises

    Experts: Phillip Hughes’ death was “very rare and very freakish”.

          Doctors who treated Australian batsman Phillip Hughes say the injury which led to his death was “incredibly rare”. Hughes died in Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital on Thursday, just days short of his 26th birthday. He had been in an induced coma since a bouncer caused a brain haemorrhage at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday. Australian team doctor Peter Brukner said there were only 100 cases of his condition ever reported. “I think in this instance, this was a freakish accident because it was an injury to the neck that caused haemorrhage in the brain,” Dr Brukner [read more]

  • baby feature image

    “When you try to kill your baby, you should lose your right to be called his mother”

                The dumping of a 17-hour-old baby by its 30-year-old mother into a drain is possibly one of the most heinous acts I have heard of in my life. The fact that the “mother” (surely she has forfeited the right to the word) is now allowed to name the baby is outrageous. I listened with horror as a caseworker for FACS (originally DOCS) said you must have some sympathy for what the mother was going through. Is she serious? Sadly the answer is that she is. From personal experience I have come to the conclusion [read more]

  • Love Makes A Way featured

    These women are willing to be arrested for what they believe in.

      You don’t often imagine a protest movement involving candles, prayer and the singing of hymns. But yesterday, to mark White Ribbon Day, that’s exactly how 11 female Christian activists protested the detention of 726 child asylum seekers in the office of Western Australian Senator and Assistant Minister for Immigration and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash. These women are the latest activists to join “Love Makes A Way”, a movement of religious leaders taking non-violent actions in the offices of Federal MPs to demand a timetable for the release of children in Australia’s immigration detention centres. [read more]

  • deborra-lee-furness-crop

    “We want to adopt, but we can’t. It needs to change.”

          By KATE LEAVER Deborra Lee Furness has just found out she’s the NSW Australian of the Year and she’s on the phone from New York. It’s perfect timing, of course, because it’s National Adoption Awareness Week here. The exact cause she’s being honoured for working on. “Awards are nice, obviously. It’s an honour,” Furness says. “But it’s also just such a great excuse for me to talk about what we can do next, what we’re doing with adoption, what’s important.” And that’s exactly what she did. In fact, she barely draws breath before she launches into an infectiously passionate monologue. [read more]

  • Chris. (Photo: Facebook)

    Chris was 21 when the hospital turned him away. He died days later.

            Trigger warning: This post involves details of suicide and self-harm that could be triggering for some readers.  By GRACE JENNINGS-EDQUIST Christopher Ball was only 21 when he visited the emergency department of Redland Hospital after cutting himself with a razor blade. The young man, who had previously attempted suicide as an inpatient at a mental health facility, was turned away from the hospital on the 3rd of September this year. Just days later, on 14 September, Christopher – whom his mother describes as “a very popular boy” with “hundreds and hundreds of friends” – lost his battle with depression. Christopher’s [read more]

  • The case has been called pure neglect.

    He was 80kg when he died. He was 10 yrs old. He never stood a chance.

    By SHAUNA ANDERSON       He weighed more than twice the average weight for a 10-year old boy. His mother couldn’t even make her bed without a hit of ice. This 10-year old boy never stood a chance. In yet another heartbreaking example of how chronically our system fails many children an innocent 10-year old boy has died. Killed, according to the Coroner, by neglect. The heartbreaking story has promoted the NSW coroner to call for changes to health policies and an establishment of a specialised weight management unit for children. Fairfax Media reports that the boy referred to [read more]

  • mia freedman

    Right now it feels like pedophiles are everywhere.

          By MIA FREEDMAN On Sunday night I watched the 60 Minutes interview with pedophile David Farnell, father of baby Gammy, who was convicted on 22 charges of child sex abuse against little girls as young as four years old. He now has a baby girl of his own in his care. It was disturbing. On Monday, I watched 4Corners where more pedophiles were exposed. Priests this time, who systematically abused children for decades, ably assisted by the Catholic church who systematically covered up their crimes. It was devastatating to see the utter destruction of victims’ lives. On [read more]

  • Karen doesn't agree.

    “The Government doesn’t owe me a dream job, but I owe it to myself to try.”

          A couple of days ago, Mamamia ran a post in response to the Government’s proposal to make unemployed Australians apply for up to 40 jobs a month in order to qualify for welfare payments. The post was called “A letter to Australia’s job snobs: It’s time to grow up and get a job,” and in it Susie Carling wrote about why she thinks it’s not good enough for people to refuse to apply for jobs that aren’t in their chosen field, or jobs that are seen as “beneath them”.  At the end of Susie’s post, Mamamia put a call out for stories – from people who [read more]

  • Mia Freedman and Nick Kyrgios

    Mia: “What I’ve learned about why Australia needs sporting heroes.”

    I’ve learned a lot in the three years since I became a national object of hate for suggesting sports people aren’t heroes. So yesterday, when I woke up to the news that Aussie tennis player Nick Kyrgios had beaten World Number 1 Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon and the entire country went nuts, I kept my big mouth shut.  And not just because my Dad texted me first thing in the morning to say: It was excellent advice and he knows me very well but I’d already come to the same conclusion. Back in 2011, I made so many mistakes when, [read more]

  • comfort teddy

    When parenting breaks your heart.

              Once you are a parent, your pores open up and more of life’s stuff gets inside you. You can’t screen out the horror stories about what happens to little children because there is a little child on your lap now, and you can’t help thinking, Oh my God, what if that happened to him? I’ve always been a kid person. I wanted to be a mum for a long time before I became one. But I didn’t know how tired I’d be. Or how angry I’d get. I had no idea that the stakes would feel [read more]

  • cooper harris

    Was this little boy’s death a horrible mistake? Or something more sinister?

          Warning: This post contains some distressing content and might be upsetting for some readers.  Update: The mother of 22-month-old boy Cooper Harris has told police  she searched the internet for information on how child deaths in cars occur. Leanna Harris told police that in the months prior to her son’s death she searched for what temperature cars had to be for a death to occur. The admission comes after Harris’ husband Justin Ross Harris suggested he did the same thing. And the reason they did it? They were fearful they would make the fatal mistake one day. [read more]

  • masterfchef

    One reality TV show contestant speaks out about what life is really like behind the cameras.

          It was only last month that Kelly Ramsay – a contestant on this year’s series of My Kitchen Rules – spoke out about how she felt manipulated by the show’s producers and had been hospitalised for physical exhaustion after the series. Then, only a few weeks later, Tully Smyth who appeared on the last season of Big Brother revealed that a “lack of psychological support” on the show left her feeling emotionally fragile and utterly alone following her eviction. Now, Jules Allen from MasterChef has opened up about her bittersweet foray into reality TV — and what it was like to crash back [read more]

  • ash cloud darwin

    Tuesday’s news in under 5 minutes.

    1. Manus Island review     An independent review into riots that took place at the Manus Island detention centre in PNG on February 16-18 this year has found that a Salvation Army worker allegedly fatally attacked Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati. The review found that protests exploded into fatal violence after months of tension between the mainly Iranian asylum seekers and the PNG nationals working there. The Salvation Army worker is expected to be charged in PNG. The report by former secretary of the Attorney-General’s department, Robert Cornall, says asylum seekers felt “anger and frustration at the former Labor [read more]

  • cecily mcmillan 2

    An involuntary act of self defence means Cecily McMillan could spend 7 years behind bars.

              The first time I heard about Cecily McMillan’s trial I couldn’t make sense of it. “You’re telling me,” I quizzed my classmate, “that Cecily was sexually assaulted by a police officer, but now she is the one being prosecuted? That she’s facing seven years in prison because she instinctively lifted her arm to protect herself?!” “Yes,” said my classmate, “that’s exactly what I’m telling you.” In 2012, Cecily attended an Occupy Wall St protest. When this legal demonstration was brutally disrupted by police, a policeman grabbed Cecily’s breast from behind as he tried to push [read more]

  • IMG_1233

    24hrs with Deanne Davies: Good skin guru and mum to two.

        Here at Mamamia we are doing a series of 24 hours with… amazing and inspiring women. Today’s amazing woman is Deanne Davies. As the owner of The Clear Skin Clinic in Double Bay, Dee says her favourite part about work is changing people’s lives. She explains that it’s about removing all the smoke and mirrors from what it takes to achieve the best skin you can. Sometimes that is about setting realistic expectations and not promising people miracles.   When asked about her family she said they are divine. “They are all beach babes, even my husband. They all [read more]

  • jews told to register in ukraine

    Friday’s news in under 5 minutes.

    1. Jews in east Ukraine city told to ‘register’ with pro-Russian forces. In abhorrent news, Jews living in the east Ukrainian city of Donetsk have reportedly been told to ‘register’ with the pro-Russian forces in the area. People of Jewish faith were apparently told they would need to hand over a list of the property they own and pay a fee – or face deportation. The US authorities have said that the leaflets making the orders appeared even as pro- and anti-Russian tensions have been rising in the area. Previously, it was reported that Jews leaving a synagogue in Donetsk [read more]

  • unschooling in Australia

    Don’t send your kids to school and they’ll go on to get a PhD. Wait, what?

                There are no classes, no teachers, and no tests. There is still reading and arithmetic, but kids are expected to learn these skills through the course of everyday life. Basically, children are given control over their own education – with no specific curriculum. Welcome to the world of ‘no schooling’. Otherwise known as, un-schooling. 60 Minutes investigated this new trend in schooling last night, and spoke to Rachael Clark – a mother who has chosen un-schooling for her children. “It’s allowing my children to learn naturally through their passions and what they enjoy to [read more]

  • periods are not dirty 2

    In this community, having your period lowers your status to that of a dog.

            For Radha, dinner is served at 7. She crouches down behind a shed, a good distance from her house, then waits. She knows what the menu will be: boiled rice, the same as yesterday and the day before. She knows that it will be her little sister who will serve it, throwing the rice onto her plate from a height, the way you would feed a dog. In Jamu, Radha’s village in western Nepal, her status is lower than a dog’s, because she is menstruating. She is only 16, yet, for the length of her period, [read more]

  • running away

    The prospect of being without a home is frightening – especially when children are involved.

              Like thousands of people in and around Melbourne, Sarah* lived in private rental with her husband and child. They were on a single income and after the death of her mum, Sarah was diagnosed with severe depression. The couple were struggling to cope and had fallen behind in their rent. By the time Sarah found us at Homeless Law, there was an eviction order and police were going to remove the family from their home in seven days. They were behind in the rent by about $400 and the landlord wanted to move back into [read more]

  • Why porn is not sex

    Shocking proof that watching porn can influence behaviour – in the most tragic way.

            This story is absolutely shocking – and does away with the claims that watching porn has ‘no effect’ on young men. A 12-year-old UK boy who raped his seven-year-old sister – after watching hard-core porn on an Xbox at his friend’s house – has avoided a custodial sentence. The boy, now 13, admitted to all the offences he was accused of, including rape and indecent assault. Instead of a sentence, the judge imposed a 12-month referral order – saying that he didn’t want to take the boy away from his family. Even his sister, the seven-year-old [read more]

  • kim walters choices 1

    5 reasons why my cancer was a gift.

                By LAURIE MARSDEN Cancer took me by surprise.  I thought I was too young, I had no family history, and most importantly I really had no breasts.  When I was 16 and a 32AA, my brother said (truthfully) that mozzie bites were bigger.  Nothing much changed as I grew older. Except, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  And my world became a blur of surgeries and treatment. It was a truly shitty experience, and yet paradoxically it was a real gift.  Here’s why: 1. It clarified my life. All those worries that seemed so important [read more]

  • Ellen Page

    Bravo, Ellen Page.

      The next eight minutes will go very quickly, but they will be worth it. Speaking at a conference to promote the welfare of LGBT youth in the US, Juno actress Ellen Page has revealed that she is a lesbian. But, that is not all she said. The 26-year-old then went on to address the social workers and youth there about the importance of LGBT welfare, and why gay rights are human rights. And it is the most eloquent, powerful display of oration you will watch today. Take a look:

  • parents leaving kids in the car

    She didn’t remember leaving her child in the car. By the time she realised, it was too late.

      It is one of the most tragic mistakes imaginable. But if experts are to be believed, it could happen to any of us. A mother of three named Jayde Poole is currently on trial for the manslaughter of her almost-six-month-old daughter, Bella. Back in December 2012, Poole frantically called the police to report a kidnapping after discovering that Bella was not in her cot. But when police arrived and searched the Bendigo property, they found Bella buckled in her baby seat. In the back seat of the car. Ms Poole had reportedly had no idea that she was there. [read more]

  • adoption parties 4

    It’s like picking a puppy. Except the puppies are human children.

              Imagine you and your family go out one day to choose a new puppy. You walk up to the pen and see numerous little nuggets running around and looking longingly into your eyes, begging you to take them home. Now imagine this same situation but bigger. Imagine 50 puppies in a room filled with toys and snacks. And now imagine those puppies are children. And the people standing around them? Imagine they are not potential owners but rather – imagine that they are the kids’ potential parents. Welcome to the world of Adoption Activity Days [read more]

  • schizophrenia

    “My son was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 17.”

          At 6.30am one morning in 2009 I walked into my 17 year old son’s bedroom and cheerily called out, “Morning honey – how did you sleep?”, as I did each and every morning to encourage the little treasure to drag himself out of bed and head off to school. He was sitting his HSC that year, was a little quieter than his usual fairly quiet self, and hadn’t been doing much socialising. Good for him! I thought. My very sensible son wasn’t out partying, chasing girls and getting wasted, he was at home with his family, locked [read more]

  • natural birth

    Wednesday’s news in under 5 minutes

    News Update: A team of international researchers has found that babies that die from SIDS have brain stem abnormalities. The condition is present regardless of whether babies are exposed to suffocation or co-sleeping.  The international research team which includes a scientist from Melbourne, will now focus on developing a blood screening test to detect the presence of the risk of SIDS in a child’s first year. 1. Forced caesarean mother’s case continues     In the UK the Judge in charge of the High Court (the President of the Family Division) has heard more on the case of the Italian [read more]