Monthly Archives: February 2019

RSL Anzac Flame on final leg of journey

RSL Anzac Flame on final leg of journey Picture: Supplied

Picture: Supplied

Picture: Supplied

Picture: Supplied

TweetFacebookState Presidents, Sub Branch Presidents and representatives from RSLs across Australia, including Newcastle RSL Sub Branch President Mr Ken Fayle, joined the Camp Gallipoli Foundation on Saturday to celebrate the final leg of the RSL ANZAC Flame’s journey ahead of the historical ANZAC Centenary.

The Flame’s journey began in Albany, Western Australia, and will now travel from the Australian War Memorial to city and regional townships, who are representing Camp Gallipoli across the nation.

Victoria Cross recipients Ben Roberts-Smith VC and Daniel Keighran VC along with Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, attended this significant ceremony that was emceed by Ray Martin.

During the ceremony the Australian Federation Guard presented the RSL ANZAC Flame to state and regional RSL representatives who have become the custodians of the flame, ahead of Camp Gallipoli events on 24th to 25th April this year.

Victoria Cross recipient Daniel Keighran conducted the symbolic flame lighting ceremony at Albany, Western Australia in September 2014: “The flame has journeyed from Albany, the departure point of our 11,410 brave ANZACs 100 years ago.

As a soldier, this flame doesn’t just represent the sacrifice of our ANZACs, it reflects the journey of the ANZAC Spirit that was forged at Gallipoli, and is still alive today.

It will be a very special and emotional moment when the flame arrives at Camp Gallipoli events, to light the memorial cauldrons, honouring the spiritual return of our fallen soldiers.” Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, said he was honoured to host Camp Gallipoli on the grounds of Australia’s central place of wartime commemoration.

“One hundred years after these events that convulsed our young nation we have an opportunity and responsibility to honour them, their courage, service and sacrifice. Every nation has its story. This is ours. Camp Gallipoli is one powerful way to express our pride and gratitude.

It is fitting to host it at the Australian War Memorial.” Rear Admiral Ken Doolan, the National President of the Returned and Services League (RSL), is honoured to be involved with Camp Gallipoli:

“This bold initiative has the potential to do a great deal to educate young Australians and New Zealanders about the sacrifices our forebears made during the First World War. Those who paid the supreme sacrifice, those who fought at sea, on land and in the air and the families who supported them, have left a wondrous legacy – the freedoms and great strengths of our vibrant and enviable democracies.”

Camp Gallipoli is a once in a lifetime opportunity for all Australians and New Zealanders to come together on the 100th Anniversary of Gallipoli to sleep out under the same stars as the original ANZAC heroes did 100 years ago.

In a series of major locations around Australia and New Zealand families, schools and community groups are invited to join in a special night of remembrance, entertainment, mateship and the birth of the ANZAC Spirit.

Emirates airline pilot answers the questions you always wanted to ask

Think you could land a plane? Photo: iStock Think you could land a plane? Photo: iStock

Think you could land a plane? Photo: iStock

Think you could land a plane? Photo: iStock

Could I land an A380 in an emergency? Why does no one ever ask if there’s a doctor on board? What’s the worst airport in the world to land at?

As a total plane nerd, there are plenty of things I’ve always wondered about the people with the hats and epaulettes sitting up the front of the plane. What are their lives like? How the heck did they get that job?

So when I had the chance to chat to Ian Haines, a pilot and trainer on the Emirates A380s, I jumped at it. (And yes, I could totally land a plane.)

How do you go from never having flown a plane to piloting A380s for Emirates?

The way I did it was by taking what they call a “trial introductory flight”, which you can do at most little airports in Australia. That’s a half-hour flight with an instructor in a little Cessna, and you go up and just have a play really, flying the aircraft around the sky. The instructor lands the aircraft for you. After that I was hooked. I thought, I like this. I then worked for Australian Airlines for five years, then Swiss Air for 13 years, and then I came to Emirates in 2002.

Do you ever get nervous while you’re flying?

No, not at all! As a pilot you understand what’s going on, and that’s your job. Why would I be scared? I understand flying, I know what’s happening, and it’s my job to make sure it’s a safe operation.

Last year there were a few highly publicised air crashes. How much control do you as a pilot have over where your plane flies?

As the captain, you’re responsible for the operation of the flight. We have a flight dispatch team, who have state of the art equipment, and they provide us with a routing for the flight. So Sydney to Dubai, they would optimise the route for the best winds, and avoiding the worst of the weather – for example up over the Bay of Bengal, we would be routed around that. At the time prior to the flight I would look at the weather situation and decide if I’m happy with the routing, and if I have no concerns I accept the flight plan. If that’s not the case I contact the flight dispatch people and we come up with a solution.

It happens all the time on movies, but in all the flights I’ve ever taken, no one has ever asked if there’s a doctor on board. Have you had to do that?

You’d be surprised, it’s a more common event now – especially with the A380, we’ve got 550 people on board the aircraft, so you can imagine the chances of having a sick passenger on board are much higher than on an A320 or something like that. And if we have an option of speaking to a doctor on board then that makes our job a lot easier.

Say there’s an emergency, and I, a complete novice with no flying experience, end up in the cockpit. Could I land an A380?

If an instructor could talk to you, then yes, you’d be able to do it. The aircraft is capable of autoland – all you need is an airport, and we could talk you down very easily to land the aircraft. It wouldn’t be a big drama. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be safe.

What do you guys actually do in the cockpit for, say, the 14 hours it takes to get from Sydney to Dubai?

We’re not at the cockpit for 14 hours. We have two crews, so two captains and two first officers. The crew that takes off also does the landing. So say I’m the commander of the flight, the captain on board. We’d have a briefing before the flight, which is about an hour and 15 before take-off. We then go to the cockpit and set up the cockpit. The other crew will do the walk around the aircraft and check that for me. We then take off, climb up to top of climb, at which point the other crew will go back and rest. They will have about five hours’ rest. We will then fly for about five, five-and-a-half hours, then we change control teams. We’ll go back and have a sleep for about six hours, and then come back to the cockpit about an hour before descent and prepare the aircraft for arrival.

Is it hard sleeping in the air?

No, I have no problem sleeping. It’s a nice bunk, comfortable, the right temperature and everything. You have to manage your sleep, which is part of your job.

How do you deal with jetlag?

You just learn to live with it. It’s part of the job. You learn to sleep when you need to. That’s one of the downsides of international flying. It never gets easier, you just get used to it.

How long do you get for a stopover?

Generally most stopovers are 24 hours. So some of that time you have to look at managing your sleep, and other times, sure, you get the opportunity to go and see the sights of the city. By the 15th or 20th time you visit a city though, you might be less interested than you were the first time.

Are any airports particularly hard to land at?

Not so much difficult to land at, but it’s challenging if you have a lot of air traffic, a lot of other aircraft around. I would say coming into the United States can be very challenging, in terms of traffic, and also the weather, if you get a bad snowstorm. O’Hare, JFK, San Francisco… But it’s part of the job.

Have you ever flown a plane? Have you ever heard a call for a doctor on board? Is this a dream job for travellers?

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Driver charged over death of Illawong man Fred Dib

A driver has been charged over the death of Sydney man Fred Dib, who was found lying critically injured in the middle of a busy road on Tuesday morning.

The 30-year-old Indian national was arrested at Sutherland police station early on Wednesday and charged with negligent driving causing death and failing to stop and assist after a crash.

Police say they are continuing to investigate exactly how Dib, 45, came to be lying in the middle of the south-bound lanes of Alfords Point Road in Illawong with critical head, stomach and leg injuries just before 6am on Tuesday.

Police believe Dib, who lived a short distance from where he was found, was struck by two cars, but only the second vehicle stopped to help him and waited for emergency services to arrive.

Sutherland Police Superintendent Julian Griffiths said on Tuesday that Dib was believed to have suffered serious injuries to the right side of his head before he was run over the second time.

Dib was taken to St George Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery and died on Tuesday morning.

Detectives will allege that the Indian national, from Engadine, crashed into Dib in his white Toyota Camry before driving away.

Police are also investigating possible bikie gang links to Dib.

Dib was killed a few weeks before he was to be sentenced for an aggravated break and enter and a stalking and intimidation charge.

Court documents reveal he was also due to be sentenced on March 26 for resisting an officer in the execution of his duty at the Sydney Downing Centre.

The 30-year-old driver charged overnight was refused police bail and is due to appear in Sutherland Local Court on Wednesday.

Police are also appealing for the male driver of a white Pantech truck, which stopped briefly at the crash scene before emergency services arrived, to contact them.

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Man on murder charge, who blamed boy’s death on fall from pogo stick, denied bail

A man accused of murdering his girlfriend’s seven-year-old son and later blaming it on an accidental fall from a pogo stick has been denied bail.

The man, 29, who cannot be identified, is charged with 28 offences, including murder, common assault, inciting an act of indecency, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The boy’s mother, 25, is also charged with murder.

The couple told police the boy died after he fell off a pogo stick at a home in Sydney’s south on May 21, 2013.

But it is alleged the couple abused the boy for months before he died.

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The man made an application to be released from jail on Monday, arguing the case against him was weak and he needed to be free to prepare for a complex murder trial.

He appeared in the NSW Supreme Court via audiovisual link to hear the decision on Wednesday, wearing prison greens and rosary beads, and waving at relatives sitting in the court.

Justice Lucy McCallum, in denying his application, noted the strength of the Crown case and the risk that he would not comply with bail conditions.

“The charges alleged in brief summary are a series of acts committed by the applicant towards a seven-year-old boy,” Justice McCallum said.

“He appears to have earned [his partner’s] trust and converted her to a style of parenting which many would find offensive.

“In short … the murder charge is based in a contention that the applicant forced the boy to stand for a lengthy period of time on a coffee tin.”

Autopsy results cast doubt on the man’s version that the injuries were caused by an accidental fall from a pogo stick, Justice McCallum said.

The court heard that an alternative approach to the murder charge would be that he showed “reckless indifference” to the boy’s life by not getting immediate help when it was obvious the boy was suffering serious head injuries.

“I do not accept the submission that there’s a weak Crown case so far as the charge of murder is concerned,” Justice McCallum said.

The man grinned and gestured wildly on screen upon hearing the decision, before the audiovisual link was cut off.

He and the co-accused are due to appear in court later this month.

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Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry at vigil for Bali nine duo

A Supreme Court judge who this month visited the Bali nine duo on death row says they have completely redeemed themselves in prison.

Justice Lex Lasry, who visited Australian men Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran while in Bali over the last three weeks, spoke at a vigil for the pair outside the County Court on Wednesday.

“When I have been there over the years, I have witnessed their courage. I have seen them with their families and their supporters. These are two remarkable young men and their lives are valuable,” Justice Lasry said.

“This morning you are here because you support these two men and because you recognise the tragedy that it would be for them to be executed after almost 10 years of complete redemption.”

About 500 of Melbourne’s legal fraternity observed a minute’s silence for the pair, including Chief Justice Marilyn Warren, County Court Chief Judge Michael Rozenes and a number of magistrates. Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, QC, was also at the vigil, which was hosted by the Law Institute of Victoria.

Justice Lasry previously represented Australian man Nguyen Tuong Van – who was convicted of drug trafficking and executed in Singapore in 2005 – before he joined the bench. He has also spoken in defence of Chan and Sukumaran on social media network Twitter.

The judge’s speech followed Indonesian Attorney-General HM Prasetyo’s announcement on Tuesday that Chan and Sukumaran’s transfer to the island of Nusakambangan would be postponed and would no longer take place this week. Justice Lasry said this provided a “glimmer of hope” their executions could be avoided “and they can be given the chance to live and to continue to serve Indonesia in Kerobokan Prison in the way that they have been doing for years”.

“Let’s hope that with more work and more reasoned argument and discussion the lives of these men can be spared.”

Justice Lasry said the pair would now have more time to pursue their scheduled hearing in the Administrative Court on Tuesday and the Australian government could continue to make their case to the Indonesian government on their behalf. “It gives Indonesia clear air to seek to rescue their citizens on death row internationally.”

Chan and Sukumaran’s families were very moved by support they had received from Australia, Justice Lasry said: “There is no question but that it helps them cope their most difficult and uncertain situation.”

Mr Dreyfus told Fairfax Media: “Along with every other Australian, I think we’re hoping that the Indonesian government will show mercy towards these two men.”

Anti-death penalty campaigner and former science minister in the Hawke government, Barry Jones, said he was deeply concerned about the “ambiguous role” of the Australian Federal Police in Chan and Sukumaran’s case.

The AFP, he said, needed to reconsider their guidelines so that police did not pass on information that led to Australians being arrested in other countries for offences that carried the death penalty.

“They could have been apprehended either leaving Australia or when they arrived in Australia,” Mr Jones said. “Because it’s our practice not to extradite people to a death penalty jurisdiction it seems inconceivable to me that … we pass the information on so that they can be arrested and tried in a death penalty jurisdiction. That’s very troubling as a matter of public policy.”

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