Margaret Whitlam, charity advocate, women’s rights campaigner and wife of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, has passed away in hospital at the age of 92. She was admitted after earlier falling in her Sydney home. A statement released by the family said:
“She was committed to public service, and her lifetime devotion to many causes was recognised when she was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1983.
“Her marriage to Gough in 1942 marked the beginning of a true political and personal partnership/
“He admired her intellect, wit and commitment to improving the lives of others; she described him as ‘delicious’ and ensured his feet remained well-grounded.”
In 1997 she was named as one of Australia’s National Living Treasures:
That old maxim that we should all sleep for a healthy eight hours each night might be wrong. There is now ‘mounting’ evidence to suggest humans are much more accustomed to having two (smaller) sleeps a day, rather than one block of longer sleep. That’s been the norm since the dawn of human civilisation according to Roger Ekirch, a professor in the Department of History at Virginia Tech and author of At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past.
“By segmented sleep, I am referring to a pattern whereby individuals typically slept in two phases of perhaps three to three-and-a-half hours each in length bridged by an intervening period of wakefulness. The transformation to our much younger, modern mode of slumber took place gradually and erratically over the course of the 19th century in Western societies.”
“People who awaken in the middle of the night for no explicable reason should not torment themselves about the source of their wakefulness or think themselves abnormal,” said Ekirch. “Both physicians and patients have told me that this knowledge alleviates anxiety, which in itself contributes to wakefulness upon stirring in the middle of the night. Judged by thousands of years of human history, these so-called insomniacs are arguably more normal than the rest of us.”
A recruiter for a major AFL club has privately admitted a belief that Aboriginal players would be better in the team if ‘at least one parent was white’.
The recruiter is one of several recently approached by the AFL in response to rumours of unease at some clubs about recruiting indigenous players, and a drop in their numbers on club lists.
There are 80 Aborigines on AFL lists this year, down from 85 in each of the past two years.
Some clubs have told the AFL they are more reluctant than before about recruiting Aboriginal players because they are thought to provide a difficult management issue. Other clubs, however, remain firmly committed to recruiting Aborigines.
The issue was brought into focus by the arrest in the Northern Territory last week of Melbourne player Liam Jurrah for an alleged assault with a machete.