News in 5: Q&A on AVOs, Aussies urged to stop shaking hands, last photo of Oatlands kids.

1. “All I can do is wave a piece of paper.” Q&A asks whether AVOs are actually protecting women.

A domestic violence survivor believes Hannah Clarke could have been her and AVOs are not an “appropriate protection for people who are trying to be free”.

Geraldine Bilston’s chilling triple zero call was played on ABC’s Q&A last night, in which she could be heard screaming: “Oh my God, he’s trying to hit us in the car”.

Hannah Clarke and her three children were doused in petrol and set alight inside their car by her estranged husband, before he killed himself on February 19, 2020.

hannah clarke family
Hannah and her three children were killed when her husband set fire to their car. Image: Facebook.

"I lived for many years in an abusive relationship and I guess I've gotten somewhat used to reading about and seeing the weekly murders of women by their current or ex-partners," Geraldine explained on the ABC program last night.

"But for me personally when it's something to do with a vehicle and breaching an AVO those ones really hit me really hard. I honestly feel like it could have been me."

Geraldine also had an AVO out against her partner, like Hannah had, and told the program: "I had been assaulted the day before, I had gone to the police, I had an AVO in place.

"All I can do is wave a piece of paper that’s an AVO in the air that’s supposed to protect me, that’s not an appropriate answer for us."

Geraldine says everybody deserves the right to leave a relationship and "deserves that whether they are with a partner that is kind and looks after them or whether they find themselves in a relationship where it’s not occurring and they should have the right to choose to leave that person freely. And if they need help, then we have to find a way to help them".


2. Australians urged to stop shaking hands as the nation's chief health officers consider bans on large gatherings.

The nation's chief health officers will meet today to consider additional "social distancing" restrictions, after it was revealed Australia had recorded its first cases of human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

People have already been urged to stop shaking hands.

A 53-year-old healthcare worker in Sydney's west has tested positive to the virus and it's not known how he contracted it. A 41-year-old Sydney woman also has it - and it's believed she may have caught it from her brother after he returned from Iran.

Before these cases, the only people with the virus in Australia were those who had contracted it in other countries.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee could choose to enact restrictions like bans on sport and entertainment events, and request people work from home.

Australian singer Peter Andre has already put coronavirus measures in place at his concerts, with signs at his London speaking gig reading: "Please do not have any physical contact with Peter Andre, Please DO NOT take any selfies".

Peter Andre
Twitter @liamIngram7

The NSW Government has already ordered public schools to cancel overseas trips planned for the start of the year, with the World Health Organisation now reporting the spread of the virus is very high at a "global level".

It is now spreading more rapidly outside of China than within, however WHO does still think the outbreak can be contained.

Outbreaks in South Korea, Iran and Italy are the greatest concern, with WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying "we're in uncharted territory."


The global death tally is at 3044, according to Reuters.

3. The mum of three kids killed in the Oatlands crash has shared the last photo they took together.

In the photo, taken at 7:45pm on February 1, the smiling faces of Angelina, 12, Leanna, 10, and Sienna Abdallah, 9, and their cousin Veronique Sakr, 10, and Mabelle Kassas, can be seen peering into the camera lense.

A hundred metres down the road after taking that photo, four of the children in their group of seven - who were headed to the shops to buy icecream - would be killed by an alleged drink driver.

Leila Abdallah, mother of the three Abdallah children killed in the crash, shared the image on Facebook, captioning it: “Their last sunset walk on this earth. Saturday 1/2/2020 before God called them back home".

Oatlands kids
Last photo of Oatlands kids before alleged drunk driver hit and killed four of their group of seven. Image: Facebook.

29-year-old builder Samuel William Davidson was allegedly three times over the limit when police allege he ran a red light and started travelling on the wrong side of the road.

Davidson's ute, police allege, then mounted the kerb and crashed into the crowd of kids.

He's facing 20 charges including four counts of manslaughter.

READ: "I can't leave you darling." The crash that killed four children and left a community grieving.

-With AAP

Feature image: ABC

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