Maitland Catholic schools Les Darcy memorial sports day

Les Darcy memorial sports day | PHOTOS, VIDEO FUN: Darcy Mullan, 11, and Isaac Castle, 12.


FUN: Veronica Parra-Mariaca, 10, and Christopher Robertson, 10 from Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School.

FUN: Stephanie Redcliffe, 12 and Jack Walch, 10 from Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School.

FUN: Charlotte Abdoo, 11, Izzy Procopis, 12 and Sahra Brown, 10, from St Aloysius Primary Catholic School at Chisholm.

FUN: Charlotte Fortune, 10, and Poppy McDonnell, 10, from St John the Baptist Primary School at Maitland.

FUN: Mason Puxty, 12, and Jaxson Stevenson, 10 in Les Darcy pose.

FUN: Sienna D’Angelo, 11 and Gabby Johnson, 11, from St Joseph’s Primary School at East Maitland.

FUN: Campbell Meyn, 12, and Timothy Kerkhof, 12 from St Joseph’s Primary School.

FUN: Bridget Carmody, 11, and Abbey Cant, 12 from St Joseph’s Primary School.

FUN: Harriet Greentree, 10, Caitlin Crawford, 10, and Georgia Simmons-Aspinall, 11.


facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappcommentCommentsLes Darcy: Maitland’s fighting spirit | photos, video, interactiveMaitland’s Fighting Spirit | YOUR PHOTOSHundreds of primary school students from across the region have marked the 100thanniversary ofboxing legend Les Darcy’s death with asporting gala day.

Four hundred year 5 and 6 students from Catholic primary schools met at Maitland Park on Wednesday for a series of sporting sessions run byrepresentatives from the NRL, soccer, Rugby Union and hockey.

Former Hockeyroo and dualCommonwealth Games Gold Medalist, Kate Jenner, NRL Development representativeMatt Sharmanand Development Officer of NSW Rugby UnionGeorge Gargoulakis were among the sport stars who helped the students refine their skills.

It is the first time a Darcy memorial sporting gala day has been held. It is one of a number of events being held in Maitland this week to celebrate the boxing star.

Jeremy Watt at the Catholic schools commemorative Les Darcy sports day in Maitland pic.twitter苏州美甲学校/KPCPYfouRX

— MaitlandMercury (@MaitlandMercury) May 24, 2017

Children dying in Myanmar because of malnutrition: UN

Rai Seng, 13, works for 4,000 kyat (US$3) per day building and repairing roads, along the Myitkyina-Bhamo, Kachin State, Myanmar, Friday 31 March 2017.In 2017, working with the Government of Myanmar, UNICEF will strive to meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable internally displaced children. Myanmar is experiencing three protracted humanitarian crises, each with its own set of complex underlying factors. In Rakhine State, inter-communal violence that erupted in 2012 continues to plague 120,000 internally displaced people spread across 40 camps or informal sites, as well as host communities. Eighty per cent of the displaced are women and children. In Kachin State, armed conflict that reignited in 2011 continues to impact communities caught in the crossfire between an ethnic armed group and the Myanmar army. Nearly 87,000 people remain displaced as a result, including 40 per cent who are in areas outside of government control. An additional 11,000 people remain displaced in northern Shan State, where a similar conflict broke out in 2011. Compounding the protracted crises are issues related to religious and/or ethnic discrimination, exploitation, chronic poverty, vulnerability to natural disasters, statelessness, trafficking and humanitarian access. In addition to the humanitarian crises in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states, Myanmar is impacted by humanitarian situations in other parts of the country, including natural disasters, health emergencies and small-scale displacements. unicefBangkok: The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF has revealed that as many as 150 children under five are dying each day in Myanmar, while 30 per cent suffer from moderate or severe malnutrition.


In a shock report the agency says war, poverty and under-development in remote parts of Myanmar are preventing children from reaping the benefits of reforms since the country began opening to the world in 2010 after half a century of military rule.

“For an estimated 2.2 million children the promise of peace remains unfulfilled, leaving their hopes for a better future blighted by poverty, lack of opportunity and the ever-present fear of violence,” UNICEF says in the just-released report.

The agency says optimism following the signing of a national ceasefire by ethnic armies in 2015 and the election of Aung San Suu Kyi’s government in 2016 have been tempered by slower-than-expected progress on economic reforms.

“Even more worrisome is the escalation of several key conflicts in the country’s more remote border areas,” it says.

The report points to opportunities to save children from conflict through a peace conference involving ethnic groups, scheduled for late May, and a burgeoning economy and improving infrastructure.

UNICEF praises Ms Suu Kyi’s government for increased public funding for immunisation programs and education and a draft child law that indicates a stronger commitment to children’s rights.

But it says “there is a risk that many children and their families are excluded. This is especially the case for poorer children living in remote areas or trapped in situations of tension and conflict.”

The agency warns that Rohingya Muslim children in western Rakhine State require urgent assistance, including access to health and education services, and the lifting of religious and other restrictions.

A separate UN report in February accused Myanmar’s security forces of mass murder, rapes and torture against Rohingya in what it said could amount to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

UNICEF says while international focus has been on the treatment of Rohingya, less-reported conflicts in Kachin, Shan and Kayin states are driving families from their homes.

It says in Kachin State, near the border with China, an estimated 67,000 woman and children are living in 142 camps and sites as an ethnic conflict rages. “The situation for children in neighbouring Shan State is equally fragile,” it adds.

The report calls for lifting restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian assistance and an end to the recruitment of children to work in the troubled remote regions.

The report reveals that half of Myanmar’s children reach adulthood with an incomplete education and two out of three children with disabilities do not attend school.

It says nine out of 14 states and regions are contaminated by mines and explosive remnants of war, with a new victim of landmines on average every three days. One out of three of those victims is a child.

Coinciding with the report’s release, UNICEF Australia called on the Turnbull government to increase its humanitarian assistance to Myanmar and help settle asylum seeker and refugee children.

The government has pledged $66 million in aid for Myanmar in 2017-18.

‘Normally you’d save for a deposit’: Gen Y fixed on lifestyle spending

Many parents fear their children will never move out of homeNever buying property will mean saving more for retirementWhy young people are starting businesses rather than buying homes


As the financial battle lines between millennials and baby boomers continue to be drawn over brunch, a national survey has shown that when it comes to discretionary spending, the two generations have more in common than they might think.

Young people and middle aged consumers share very similar attitudes about lifestyle spending, the NAB quarterly consumer behaviour survey released on Wednesday found.

Young people are no more willing to cut back lifestyle spending than middle-aged consumers and their spending behaviours typically mirrored those of middle-aged consumers.

“We were not expecting that result,” NAB chief economist Alan Oster said. “Normally in economics, in your 20s and 30s you’re saving up for deposit and as you get older, you change your spending spending patterns. But that doesn’t seem to be happening at present.

“Maybe they’ve given up, but we don’t know that,” he said.

The median house price in Sydney has increased to a record $1,151,565, according to Domain Group data, while Melbourne house prices are sitting at a record $843,674

Australians consumers were asked to rate the extent to which they would cut back lifestyle spending to have more money for savings, housing and retirement. Interestingly, the survey showed millennials and baby boomers mirrored each others’ habits.

When asked whether what they were prepared to spend much less on, most Australians were likely to cut back on taxis and Uber (47 per cent), takeaway food (42 per cent), fitness (41 per cent) and alcohol (41 per cent). They were least inclined to cut back on the internet (14 per cent) and mobile phones (19 per cent).

But about four in 10 Australians also said they did not want to cut lifestyle spending because “life was too short” (14 per cent) or they “couldn’t see the point as they’d never be able to afford a home” (5 per cent).

“It was very interesting that these attitudes were quite consistent across all age groups – and that young people in particular shared very similar attitudes to lifestyle spending to middle aged consumers,” the survey said.

It comes after a national obsession about the corelation between house prices and young people’s spending habits, including comments made by BRW Rich List-er Tim Gurner about cutting back on smashed avocado and coffee. Interestingly, nearly a third (32 per cent) of all respondents said they would make no change to their spending habits on coffee. Combing two of Melbourne’s obsessions – lattes and avo

A post shared by Truman Cafe (@trumancafealbertpark) on May 11, 2017 at 2:02pm PDT

Lindt cafe siege inquest: police waited too long: coroner

Lindt Chocolat Cafe Siege timeline: 02.18.20 am Police Rescue officers carry injured hostage Marcia Mikhael in Martin Place Tuesday 16 December 2014. Photo: Andrew MearesCoroner walks fine line in delivering findings


Police waited too long to enter the Lindt cafe stronghold in their attempt to rescue hostages from the gunman Man Haron Monis, NSW Coroner Michael Barnes said in a finding endorsed by Police Commissioner Mick Fuller.

Commanders relied on “flawed advice” from negotiators and a police psychiatrist that underplayed the risk Monis posed and overestimated their chances of a peaceful resolution, the coroner found.

Storming the cafe in a surprise assault to end the terrorist attack would have been safer. But having hung back, preparing for an emergency, police should have then pounced when Monis first fired his shotgun at escaping hostages.

These were among the findings in a 600-page report into the handling of the siege, handed down on Wednesday morning.

But Mr Barnes said he could not “stress too heavily” that the deaths of hostages Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson were not the fault of police.

“All of the blame for those rests on the shoulders of Man Monis. He created the intensely dangerous situation. He maliciously executed Tori Johnson. He barricaded himself into a corner of the cafe and his actions forced police to enter the cafe in circumstances where the risk of hostages being wounded or killed was very high.”

The coroner commended the “inspiring” bravery of the officers who entered the cafe, believing Monis could have detonated an improvised explosive device. He emphasised it was not his role to assign blame but to make findings of fact and recommendations.

Among his key recommendations were: an overhaul of police negotiator trainingthe creation of a specialist cadre of counter-terrorism negotiatorsa reconsideration of the entrenched philosophy of “contain and negotiate”a clarification of snipers’ legal power to shoota review of the the threshold for calling out the Australian Defence Force in domestic terrorism situationsthe sharing of criminal bail histories among all Australian jurisdictionsmore collaboration between NSW Health and NSW Police to identify “fixated” offendersan overhaul of the ASIO triage system for tip-offs

Mr Barnes found police commanders were wrong not to have approved or considered an earlier intervention in a so-called “deliberate action” plan.

A decision “to enter the stronghold at a time of their choosing would have increased the chance of surprising the hostage taker and thus reducing the risk to the hostages”.

This view has been echoed by Mr Fuller in an interview released by the ABC’s Four Corners, in which he blamed “poor advice”.

“In hindsight, as with everything, we know we should have gone in earlier,” he said. “Clearly a deliberate action is a much more professional action and a lower risk.”

Monis, an Iranian refugee who assumed “wildly different guises” in Australia, was not psychotic but may have suffered from a personality disorder when he took the eight cafe staff members and 10 customers hostage on December 15, 2014, the coroner found.

“The terror they endured could fairly be described as torture. Monis oscillated between feigning regard for their welfare and threatening to blow them apart with shotgun blasts or a bomb.

“They had entered a familiar environment only to find it transformed into a prison run by a vicious maniac. Public recognition of their suffering and the extraordinary courage some demonstrated is warranted.”

Throughout the day, senior police said negotiators were working with Monis. But the coroner found negotiators made no progress and did not undertake a “structural assessment” of their prospects. A consultant police psychiatrist overstepped his role, providing “erroneous” advice that went beyond his expertise.

“Police commanders underestimated the threat Monis posed,” the coroner found.

The negotiators and the consultant psychiatrist had told them “negotiations were progressing, that the stronghold was calm, that Monis’ behaviour was not consistent with Islamic State methodology – he was merely “grandstanding”, and, towards the end of the night, [Monis] was beginning to “settle”.

The coroner made no adverse findings against Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn and former commissioner Andrew Scipione, although he found Mr Scipione at one point strayed beyond his remit into operational matters. The two police shooters on the night, Officers A and B, did not fire excessively nor indiscriminately.

But Mr Barnes concluded that emergency action ought to have been initiated when Monis first fired his shotgun at a group of escaping hostages at 2.03am.

“The 10 minutes that elapsed without decisive action by police was too long.”

Mr Johnson was executed at 2.13am while police were still deciding whether to enter.

Ms Dawson’s parents, Alexander and Jane, and her brothers, Angus and Sandy, were in court for the findings. So, too, was Mr Johnson’s partner, Thomas Zinn, and his parents, Ken Johnson and Rosie Connellan.

Lindt hostages Louisa Hope, her mother Robin, and Paolo Vassallo were also present.

Submissions from the families will be made available on Monday but the families have publicly condemned police for not entering the cafe earlier.

Mr Zinn said during the inquest “one shocking discovery followed the next”.

“Soon it became apparent that we were not simply fighting for the truth of the circumstances of Tori and Katrina’s deaths,” he said.

“Rather, we were confronted with systematic failures of various authorities who, at times, were confused, ill-informed, unprepared and under resourced to deal with Monis.”

Business feature: Key hole surgery has significantly changed the prospect of going under the knife

Dr Mitch Hansen is an Australian trained paediatric and adult neurosurgeon and is a consultant neurosurgeon at several private hospitals across the Hunter region.


Anyone who has suffered ongoing back pain and sciatica will know how debilitating it can be,with even the simplest of day to day functions often posing a degree of challenge.

For triathleteDavid Robins, 75, enduring 15 months of back and associated nerve pain became too much.

Having been unable to compete ina season of triathlons due to his condition, David’s specialist referred him to Neurosurgeon and spine surgeon Dr Mitch Hansen in Newcastle.

With 2 worn discs and a pinched nerve, Dr Hansen recommended that David undergo key hole surgery in his spine.

“I was unable to stand for any period of time and really couldn’t walk much more than 300 meters without having to stop. At that point I was ready, I’d had enough and so thought right let’s go, let’s do it,” saidDavid.

David was admitted to Newcastle Private Hospital a few months later and within the space of one week had undergone 2 key hole operations.

The procedures involved the first operation to fuse two discs and the second to effectively pin his spine back together with a series of screws and bolts.

While back surgery has traditionally triggered much hesitation among patients, withnoise around recovery rates and levels of success, revolutionary key hole surgery has essentially given patients a positive and less invasive route to better back health.

It is about causing less damage to the tissues to get to the problem to fix it – not just small holes. This helps get people moving much quicker and obviously back to work faster or their normal activities.

Dr Hansen explains that this minimal access surgery can be done in all parts of the spine,neck and back, whether it isfor trauma, tumour ordegenerative conditions.

“The ability to do disc surgery means thatpeople are usually home within 24 hours and in some cases back to sport within a couple of weeks,” began Hansen.

“It is about causing less damage to the tissues to get to the problem to fix it – not just small holes. This helps get people moving much quicker and obviously get back to work or their normal activities faster,” he added.

Just 4 days after his surgeries, David was back on a bike again and has since completed 5 triathlons in the 12 months since, notching up his 257thtriathlon completed since he began in 1984.

“I’ve had no problems at all, the healing has been very quick, with such small incisions there really wasn’t too much discomfort at all. I’ve come full circle and I’m back enjoying competitions again which is great” said David.

While DrHansen says that there is stilla time and place for major open surgery, there are options of minimal access surgery that people can discuss with their surgeon.

Newcastle rugby: Doug McKillop follows path to Two Blues

CRUNCH: Wanderers lock Doug McKillop stops a Lake Macquarie forward in his tracks. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.WANDERERS coach Viv Paasi is thankful for the persuasive powers of breakawayBen Ham.


With Marcus Christensen opting to try his luck in Sydney at Parramatta, the Two Blues were left with a big hole in the second row.

Enter Doug McKillop. The 24-year-old, atalented schoolboy, who was a part of the the Southport School first XV which won the Brisbane GPS title in 2010, was entrenched in his home town of Scone.

He had a solid job as a fitter with a fabrication company and captained the Brumbies in the Central North competition.Ham had been in a similar position, living and working in Scone, before joining Wanderersin 2014.He won the Anderson Medal in his debut season and helped lead the Two Blues to a premiership.

“Doug is good mates with Hammy,” Paasi explained.

“Hammy had been in his ear about moving down here to have a crack at footy.

“Eventually Doug agreed to come down for a couple of training sessions.

“He had a good job and was comfortable in Scone, but hedecided tosacrifice that and start afresh here. He has been fantastic.”

McKillop has shed 10 kilograms from his imposing frame to sit at 125kg and has cemented a place in the Two Blues pack.

“Hammy gave me a ring last year,” McKillop said.“I thought about it for a while and decided it would be a good option.I am loving it.It hasbeen good to step the rugby up. In Scone it is typical country rugby. You just slog it out. Here there is more competition, the games are harder and faster, and you need to be fitter and stronger. You are playingwith 15 rugby players rather than throwing a team together on a Friday arvo.”

​Like Christensen, McKillop canalso play in the back-row but,standing195cm, he has size over his predecessor.

“He is a tough, no-nonsense, old-school style footy player,” Paasi said.“He is starting to adjust to our style and is getting better and better every week. He has a real presence and gives us a good, hard edge.His ball carries are very good.He always gets over the advantageline and defensively no-one gets past him orthrough him.”

The addition of McKillop, who is sharing a house with Ham, and Welsh hooker Ryan Jackson have added bulk to the Two Bluesscrum which was destroyed by Hamilton in the grand final last year.

“There is a little bit more weight in the pack this year,” Paasi said.

“Come scrum time that helps, but you still have to be technically sound, which we are working hard at.”

McKillop played for Central North at the Country Championships in Port Macquarie last month and has aspirations of representing Newcastle.

“I’d like to have a crack at the rep team next year,” he said. “If I can make it down here it would make the move worthwhile.”

Don’t Tell director Tori Garrett to adapt Peggy Frew’s acclaimed novel Hope Farm

Her first film, the impressive drama Don’t Tell, deserved better than the low-key opening it had in Australian cinemas on the weekend.


But director Tori Garrett, who had a cast headed by Jack Thompson, Rachel Griffiths, Aden Young and Sara West for her dramatisation of a landmark sexual abuse case, is already looking ahead to her next film.

The first-time film director, whose background includes such TV series as Wentworth, Wonderland and Hiding, has bought the film rights to what she calls a “beautiful novel” – Peggy Frew’s Stella Prize-winning Hope Farm, about a 13-year-old who moves to a rundown commune in rural Victoria.

“Female protagonists, David versus Goliath against all odds,” Garret says.”They’re the stories I love to tell.”

Australian film classics for streaming service

Good news for fans of Australian cinema history. The Australian movie streaming service Ozflix has added a collection of films from the National Film and Sound Archive that go back to the early days of the country’s film making.

One is The Hero of the Dardanelles, a reconstructed version of a 1915 film once thought to have been lost, that features a re-creation of the Gallipoli landing shot on Sydney’s Tamarama Beach.

Scene from The Hero of the Dardanelles, a 1915 re-creation of the Gallipoli landing. Photo: Ruth Hartmann.

While only two-thirds survives, Raymond Longford and Lottie Lyell’s The Woman Suffers (1918), considered Australia’s first feminist film, will also be available. So will one of the great comedies of the silent era, The Kid Stakes (1927), the story of Fatty Finn and his gang that features a famous goat race finale; and Ken G. Hall’s Smithy (1946), a biopic of aviator Charles Kingsford Smith that was Bud Tingwell’s first film.

Teplitzky is back with new film and plans for a Gettin’ Square sequel

Having shot the war dramas The Railway Man and the upcoming Churchill, director Jonathan Teplitzky??? is preparing to shoot a real change of pace on the Gold Coast.

He is teaming up with two former collaborators, Gettin’ Square writer Chris Nyst??? and The Railway Man producer Chris Brown, for the crime comedy Mr Cranky.

David Wenham as “Spit” in the 2003 crime caper Gettin’ Square.

It centres on an underworld debt collector who, with his stripper ex-girlfriend’s precocious seven-year-old daughter, has to stave off bikies, Lebanese hit men, a drug-addicted circus clown and his New Age Laughing Circle therapist to become a better man.

Teplitzky tells Short Cuts he is also looking at a sequel to Gettin’ Square, the 2003 crime caper that memorably starred David Wenham as drug-addled Johnny ‘Spit’ Spiteri.

Churchill, starring Brian Cox as the British PM, opens on June 8.

Twitter @gmaddox

Martial law declared after Islamic State overruns city

Bangkok: Islamic State-linked militants who rampaged through a southern Philippines town have threatened to kill a priest and other Christian hostages.


The threat came as thousands of civilians fled Marawi, 830 kilometres south of Manila, on Wednesday as troops fought running battles with militants who took over a large part of the city on Tuesday, flying black Islamic State flags and torching key government buildings and a church.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared that martial law he imposed across Mindanao, home to 20 million people, in response to the attacks would be “harsh” to quell the rising threat of Islamic State-inspired violence.

After cutting short a trip to Moscow, Mr Duterte also told reporters in Manila he is considering expanding martial law to other parts of the country.

“I have always said do not force my hand into it because if I start to declare martial law I will solve all the problems connected with law and order,” he said.

The Catholic Church said Marawi’s local priest Father Chito Suganob from the city’s Cathedral of Our Lady Help of Christians and an unspecified number of church-goers were taken hostage by Maute group militants.

“They have threatened to kill the hostages if the government forces unleashed against them are not recalled,” said a statement released by the head of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines, Archbishop Socrates Villegas.

“We beg every Filipino to pray for Father Chito and for the other hostages,” it said.

A military spokesman said information was being sought on the reported kidnappings.

Authorities estimated around 100 extremists had occupied the city of 200,000, while more than 1,000 troops started arriving in the area to bolster local forces at first light on Wednesday.

The military has released few details about the clashes but insisted the situation was under control.

But fleeing civilians said the parts of the city remained under control of the militants.

“They are all over the main roads and two bridges leading to Marawi,” student Rabani Mautum told Reuters from a town 16 kilometres from Marawi.

“I was in school when I heard gunfire … when we came out there were bloodstains in the building but we did not see nay dead or wounded,” he said.

Mr Duterte, a firebrand native of Mindanao, has often threatened to impose martial law to crush extremists and stop radical Islamist ideology spreading since taking office in June last year, prompting concerns by human rights groups that he plans to create a dictatorship in the island nation of 100 million people.

The late dictator Ferdinand Marcos used martial law to remain in power during his two-decade reign, which ended in 1986 with a “People Power” revolution.

The 60-day martial law declaration for Mindanao will allow government forces to carry out searches and arrests and detain suspects without warrants.

The Maute group, which has hideouts near Marawi, and the brutal Abu Sayyaf group which operates across the southern Philippines, have engaged in deadly clashes with government forces over several months.

The government blamed the Maute group for a bombing in a marketplace in Mr Duterte’s hometown of Davaoin September 2016 which killed 14 people and wounded dozens.

Last November, the government claimed it had killed 61 Maute fighters in five days of military air and ground assaults.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in March that Australia is readying itself for the possibility of Islamic State declaring a “caliphate” in the southern Philippines as extremists are forced out of the Middle East.

“This brings the threat right to our doorstep,” she said.

An estimated 600 fighters from South-east Asian nations are fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the clashes in Marawi erupted when security forces raided a house where they believed Isnilon Hapilon, an Abu Sayyaf commander and the claimed head of Islamic State in the Philippines, was believed to be holed up.

The US State Department has a $US5million bounty for the capture of Hapilon, an Arabic-speaking preacher known for his expertise in commando assaults, who pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014.

He is believed to be recovering from wounds sustained in a military strike in January.

Six weeks ago the military foiled a mass kidnapping attempt by the Abu Sayyaf on the central island of Bohol, which is popular with foreign tourists.

Earlier in May the United States warned of possible kidnappings in other parts of the country, including Cebu.

Muslim militants have been waging a rebellion since the 1970s for an autonomous homeland in Mindanao, with the conflict claiming more than 130,000 lives.

Some Muslim rebel groups are engaged in peace talks with the government.

with agencies

Coroner hands down findings into Sydney Lindt Cafe siege

Hostages flee the siege in the early hours of the morning. Photo: Andrew MearesNSW CoronerMichael Barnesis handing down his report into the 2014 Sydney Lindtcafe siege, which left cafe manager Tori Johnson and Sydney barrister Katrina Dawson dead.After an hour and fifteen minutes State CoronerMichael Barneshas concluded the summary of his findings.


He has made 45 recommendations in his 600 page report which has now been madepublicly available.

“I am acutely conscious that systemicimprovements will do nothing toalleviate the grieving for Katrinaand Tori that their loved ones willcontinue to suffer,” he said in conclusion.

“I am powerlessin that regard.”

He found thatTori Johnsondied immediately after he was shot in the back of the head byMan Haron Monis. Monis died when police stormed the cafe and the officers who shot him did so because they reasonably believed it was necessary to protect themselves and others in the cafe.

Katrina Dawsondied from gunshot wounds from a bullet, or bullets, fired at Monis by police that ricochetedand accidentally struck Ms Dawson as she lay on the floor.

“Those are my findings. I authorise the publication of the report that I have prepared,” Mr Barnes said.

“I close this inquest.”

A sea of flowers at Martin Place formed a makeshift memorial in the days after the siege. Photo: Getty Images

Police Commissioner concedes they were wrongNewly-appointedCommissionerMick Fullerhas made a stunning about face, saying that they should have stormed the cafe earlier.

ABC has just played an excerpt from an upcomingFour Cornersinterview with Mr Fuller in which he says the police were “getting poor advice from people” and it led to them taking the wrong strategy.

Q: Are you saying that was a mistake?

A:In hindsight, as with everything, we know we should have gone in earlier. The challenge with that is it does not guarantee there will not be a loss of life. But clearly a deliberate action is a much more professional action and a lower risk, I guess, interms of emergency action.

Q:Tori Johnsonwas placed on his knees in a position of execution. Why did not police go in at that time?

A: At that time I can only assume they felt they were in a cycle of contained negotiation and were hoping that was their best outcome… They were getting poor advice from people that lead them to commit to something which turned out to be the wrong strategy at the time. Again, a deliberate action at an earlier would have been safer, while not guaranteeing no loss of life.

Commissioner Mick Fuller, in an upcoming interview on the ABC, said the police were wrong not to storm the cafe earlier. Photo: ABC

Premier says thoughts are with hostages and the victims’s familiesPremierGladys Berejiklianhas released a statement following Coroner Michael Barnes handing down his findings.

Ms Berejiklian says the government will do “all we can to take the lessons learned from this tragedy”.

“We will thoroughly review the findings and respond as quickly as possible,” she said.

Ms Berejikliansays that her thoughts are with the Dawson and Johnson families and that no one will ever forget the ordeal suffered by the surviving hostages.

“I acknowledge the bravery of the police and first responders who put their lives on the line during this act of terror,” she said.

“The people of NSW were devastated by the events of 15 and 16 December 2014. The outpouring of grief that saw a sea of flowers grow in Martin Place is still palpable.

“The completion of the NSW Coroner’s Inquest into the deaths arising from the Lindtcafe siege today is an important step along the path to recovery.”

Ms Berejiklian has also thanked Mr Barnes for his “comprehensive and extensive inquest”.

Families of victims treated ‘insensitively’Another recommendation: NSW Police need to develop comprehensive policies and procedures for family liaison during major events.

Coroner Barnes said the families of Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson were “treated insensitively” during the siege.

They were kept in a family reception room that was badly situated and ill-equipped, they received infrequent briefings or updates and there was undue delay in being given the news of the deaths.


Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson died during the siege.

Charges laid over explosion at Australian Christian Lobby office

Lyle Shelton managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby in the office his executive assistant after a van with gas bottles exploded outside their office in Canberra on Thursday 22 December 2016. Photo: Andrew Meares A man will face court next month in relation to an explosion outside the Canberra offices of activist group the Australian Christian Lobby in December 2016.


Police said on Wednesday they had charged a 36-year-old Deakin man with arson and property damage over the explosion of a carload of gas cylinders outside the Eternity House building in Deakin.

The announcement is two months after the Australian Federal Police told Parliament the man involved in the incident had been trying to kill himself and not targeting the activist group.

The man is listed to face the ACT Magistrates Court on June 7.

Tenants had to vacate the building after the explosion involving four nine-kilogram gas cylinders in a van but there was a delay in investigating due to the man’s ongoing treatment for serious burns and a mental health condition.

“The incident was investigated by detectives from Criminal Investigations and ACT Policing now considers the investigation finalised,” a police spokesman said.

“A brief of evidence has been provided to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The man will face charges of one count of arson and one count of property damage.”

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin told Senate estimates hearings in March police had ruled out any political or ideological motivation for the explosion during an initial interview before the man’s condition deteriorated.

He said the man had been trying to kill himself and had not been motivated by ACL activities or political messages, including its high-profile opposition to same-sex marriage laws in Australia.

Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton has repeatedly questioned the conclusions reached by police over the incident.

The man was flown to Sydney for treatment a day after walking five kilometres to Canberra Hospital in the wake of the late night explosion.

On Wednesday, Mr Shelton said the charges were “a welcome step forward” but he remained concerned the process had taken five months.

“I am also concerned that the police continue to refer to the incident which blew out thick glass windows on the ground floor and first floor of our office as a ‘car fire’,” Mr Shelton said.

“The AFP have made a number of seemingly contradictory statements about this incident. Why did this incident occur at the ACL office? Why not some other venue?

“How exactly were the AFP able to conclusively rule out particular motives so quickly? And will these public statements made by police prove to be appropriate ahead of legal proceedings?

“ACL looks forward to seeing these issues ventilated in court,” he said.

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