VIDEO: Australia anger over Harris sentence

There has been anger in Australia over the sentence handed down to Rolf Harris, after he was found guilty of abusing young girls.

Several newspapers were critical of five years and nine months jail term given to the 84-year-old, with one paper warning “he’ll be out in three”.

Phil Mercer reports from Sydney.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Article source:

Australia in row over Tamil refugees

Australia says it is trying to deter asylum seekers from making dangerous sea voyages

Australia is refusing to comment on the fate of more than 200 Tamil asylum seekers reportedly intercepted at sea to the north-west of the country.

It is believed two boats carrying the asylum seekers were stopped by Australian authorities in the Indian Ocean and that some passengers were handed over to the Sri Lankan navy.

Refugee campaigners say it is a violation of international law.

They say at least 11 of those on board had been tortured in Sri Lanka.

Australia has been taking a tough approach on asylum seekers who try to reach the country by perilous sea journeys.

Hundreds of would-be migrants have died trying to make their way to Australia by boat in recent years.

The government has made no comment for what it says are “operational reasons” and will neither confirm nor deny the existence of the two boats carrying Tamils from Sri Lanka, says the BBC’s Phil Mercer in Sydney.

But Australian media say that some have already had their refugee claims rejected and have been transferred to the Sri Lankan navy, he adds.

Forcing asylum seekers back to their country of origin without properly investigating their claims is a flagrant breach of the Refugee Convention and international law, the Refugee Council of Australia said.

Chief executive Paul Power said: “For asylum seekers, this is a matter of life and death, particularly in Sri Lanka which has a long history of political violence on a scale unimaginable to Australians.”

Ministers say, however, that Australia is upholding its international obligations.

The plight of refugees is a contentious issue in Australia

Tamil Refugee Council spokesman Aran Mylvaganam said he had spoken to relatives of some of those on the boats and that at least 11 had been arrested by Sri Lanka’s intelligence forces “and had been tortured”.

The UN refugee council earlier this week expressed “profound concern” about Australia’s handling of the asylum seekers.

It has been six months since a vessel carrying refugees reached Australia after the military was called in to turn boats around.

Under current Australian policy, most asylum seekers who try to make their way to Australia by boat are sent to detention camps in Papua New Guinea or Nauru. If found to be refugees, they will be resettled there, not in Australia.

Australia says its asylum policy – which is also widely believed to involve towing back boats to Indonesian waters – is aimed at saving lives.

Our correspondent says stopping refugee boats from reaching the country was one of the main campaign pledges of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Sri Lanka has been under heavy international pressure over alleged human rights violations during the final phase of the war against Tamil separatists which ended in 2009.

Rights groups say Tamils still face violence at the hands of the military.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Article source:

Abbott’s Australia remark draws ire

Mr Abbott is no stranger to controversy, having sparked a furore in May over his behaviour on a radio show

Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been criticised for saying that Australia was “unsettled” before the British arrived.

He said on Thursday night that Australia owes its existence to the British, as it was previously “unsettled or scarcely settled”.

He was answering a question on foreign investment at a Melbourne conference.

An indigenous leader said the comments were offensive and his chief indigenous adviser called them “silly”.

Mr Abbott was talking about the importance of foreign investment to Australia when he said: “I guess our country owes its existence to a form of foreign investment by the British government in the then unsettled, or scarcely settled, Great South Land.”

Mr Warren Mundine, chairman of the prime minister’s indigenous advisory council, said it was “a silly thing to say.”

He told the Sydney Morning Herald: “I just thought it was a bizarre comment.”


Aboriginal opposition senator Nova Peris told local media that Mr Abbott’s comments were “highly offensive, dismissive of indigenous peoples and simply incorrect”.

She said British settlement was not foreign investment, but “occupation”.

However, Tony Wright, national affairs editor for The Age newspaper, argued that Mr Abbott’s comment was “factually correct in law”.

Mr Wright pointed out that the High Court had ruled in a 1992 case that the settlement of Australia refers to the arrival of Europeans, adding that Mr Abbott’s problem was that by using the word “unsettled”, he “made it possible for his critics to assume he meant uninhabitated.”

Mr Abbott is no stranger to controversy. He sparked a national furore in May when he winked and smiled during a radio chat with a caller who was upset about his budget proposals.

He has also been accused of making sexist remarks in the past. In 2012 former prime minister Julia Gillard called him a misogynist – a label he has strongly rejected.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Article source:

The racist video that’s shocked Australia

Police in Australia have charged a woman after a video was uploaded to YouTube showing her hurling racist abuse at passengers on a train near Sydney.

Racially offensive gestures, mocking of accents, referring to a woman as a “gook”. The three-and-a-half minute video is packed with racist abuse. It was uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday by one of the passengers who filmed it on the train. The video begins with the woman expressing her anger that some children have not given up their seats to let her sit down.

She then starts abusing a woman she calls an “Asian”, and a man she assumes is the woman’s boyfriend. “Look at this bogan here,” she says, using an Australian slang term similar to “white trash”. “He can only get a gook, he can’t even get a regular girlfriend. It’s so sad.” “Gook” is a derogatory term which came to prominence when used by American soldiers in the Vietnam war.

The video has been watched more than 280,000 times and prompted more than 1,000 comments on YouTube – as well as discussion on Twitter and Facebook. “Good on those train passengers for filming that incident,” tweeted Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane. “It’s one way we can hold people accountable for racist abuse.” In the video, several of the passengers are seen to challenge the woman directly for her behaviour.

Most commenting on Twitter were strong in their condemnation. “Wow, just wow #OnlyinAustralia #Disgracetothehumanrace,” was one tweet for example. “I love it when technology brings transparency and accountability. This racist will rightly be shamed publically,” was another.

Under Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act, it is against the law to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” someone because of their ethnicity or race. But the government is currently debating whether to repeal this section of the act. The plan is controversial, and some made reference to the proposal while discussing the video.

On YouTube, some defended the woman. “Can’t blame her… migrants come here and think they own the place,” was one comment. But many Australians apologised for her actions. “This woman does not represent the views of MOST Australians,” wrote one. “Sorry for anyone offended, she is an entire nation’s shame.”

The Australian website ninemsns says it has tracked down the woman in the video. In an interview with them, she said she’d had a “really, really rotten day”. She apologised for her actions and said she was “disgusted” at her behaviour. “No-one deserves to be spoken to like that,” she said.

This is not the first time that racism in Australia has come to public attention. In June 2013 a woman was captured on video racially abusing an Asian schoolboy on a Sydney bus. Earlier that year, Malaysian-Australian newsreader Jeremy Fernandez tweeted about “15 minutes of racial abuse” he was subjected to on a bus.

You can follow BBC Trending on Twitter @BBCtrending

All our stories are at

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Article source:

New Zealand seeks Malaysia diplomat

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said he expects the Malaysian diplomat to be “held to account”.

New Zealand is seeking a Malaysian diplomat charged with sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman in Wellington last month.

Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail, 38, has since returned to Malaysia with his family, claiming diplomatic immunity.

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Anifah Aman told reporters that the accused would be sent to New Zealand “if it is absolutely necessary”.

He added that a defence ministry panel would investigate the matter.

Prime Minister John Key told reporters that New Zealand preferred that diplomatic immunity was waived so that the diplomat could face trial in New Zealand and, if not, called for him to be prosecuted in Malaysia.

In remarks reported by the New Zealand Herald newspaper, he said: “We made it quite clear that we were under no illusion about how seriously New Zealand took the issue, and we expect the person to be held to account.”

The diplomat had been working at Malaysian High Commission in Wellington as the staff assistant for defence for the past year.

Mr Anifah told reporters that the accused would be sent to New Zealand “if it is absolutely necessary”.

He has been charged by Wellington police with burglary and assault with intent to rape. Each charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

He is accused of following a 21-year-old woman to her home in the suburb of Brooklyn on 9 May and attacking her there.

New Zealand and Malaysia have conflicting accounts on how the diplomat left for home.

New Zealand released documents on Tuesday to local media showing that the Malaysian High Commission refused to waive diplomatic immunity for the accused, reported news website Stuff.

However Anifah Aman, the Malaysian foreign minister, told a press conference that initially Malaysia was willing to waive diplomatic immunity, but during discussions New Zealand had offered “an alternative” for the accused to be brought to Malaysia.

He added that the defence ministry had established a board of inquiry to investigate the case thoroughly, and had given an assurance that “it will not compromise or conceal any facts on the case”.

Asked whether extradition was a possibility, he said he would consider it if New Zealand felt the Malaysian investigation was not being conducted properly and requested it.

He also told local newspaper The Star that the government was not protecting the diplomat.

“Just because he is a diplomat does not mean he gets off scot-free. Diplomatic immunity is not about having the licence to commit crime,” he was quoted as saying.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Article source:

Australia bishop charged with abuse

The allegations come as a nationwide inquiry into child sex abuse continues

One of the most senior members of the Catholic Church in Australia has stepped aside after being charged with child sex abuse, the Church says.

Bishop Max Davis, who serves as the top Catholic official for the military, is accused of abusing a student in 1969.

In a statement, the Church said he “emphatically denies” the allegations and would defend the charge.

It relates to a period before Max Davis was ordained, when he was a teacher at a Catholic school in Western Australia.

“It is alleged in 1969 the man, who was a teacher at St Benedict’s College in New Norcia, indecently assaulted a boy who was 13 years old at the time,” Western Australia police said in a statement.

He had been charged with “three counts of Indecent Treatment of Children Under 14″, it said.

The bishop is due to appear in court in Perth on 25 July. In its statement, the Church said he had decided to stand aside while the courts dealt with the case.

Max Davis has served as bishop of the Australian Defence Force since 2003.

The case comes as a national inquiry into child sexual abuse continues.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is examining religious groups, NGOs and state-care providers.

The commission was established by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and launched in April 2013. The move followed pressure from lawmakers amid police claims the Catholic Church had concealed evidence of paedophile priests.

It has been holding both private and public hearings, and is due to report back in late 2015.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Article source:

Weekendish: Australian camels and a ‘boring’ beekeeper

A collection of some of the best reads from the BBC News website this week, with an injection of your comments.

In a quiet suburb of Alice Springs, a town of 26,000 people in the heart of central Australia, there stands an unlikely building – the Afghan Mosque. Its minaret rises against the backdrop of the craggy rock and red dirt of the MacDonnell Ranges. Between 1860 and 1930 up to 4,000 cameleers came to Australia, bringing their camels with them. Long before them, and even before the Christian colonisers, other foreign Muslims had arrived in Australia, making regular contact with the country’s Aboriginal peoples. The Makassans are one example – they apparently made annual trips to gather the sea cucumbers, writes Janak Rogers in When Islam came to Australia. @Alfakhiri tweets: “This is the kind of history which never really gets told.” Hyder Abbasi ‏adds: “Fascinating, a story that’s nothing to do with jihad or terrorism.”

A Victorian coal mine might be the last place one would expect to find disabled workers, yet there are accounts of miners with physical impairments working underground. The thing is, Victorians differentiated between “total” disability that prevented a person from working – and thus made them liable for state support under the Poor Law – and “occupational” disability that prevented a person returning to their old job, but who was still able to work. Disability historian David Turner looks at whether disabled workers enjoyed greater rights in centuries past in The good old days?. Andy Weltch ‏tweets: “Has modern age made it harder for disabled to find work?”

If it wasn’t for Jacqueline Rosadoni, the English-language library founded in Liguria on the Italian Riviera 136 years ago would have closed long ago. The English honorary librarian (she doesn’t get paid) has been stamping books for some 27 years. The town once used to be the toast of British society. Nowadays, the permanent British community numbers about 15. According to the town’s mayor, the library was part of Alassio life – it’s not easy to find the money to preserve it but no one could bear to see it close. Vincent Dowd browses the rows and rows of faded spines the provide a curious snapshot of what appealed to the Alassio English of the 1920s and 30s in The Italian town with an English secret. Earl Moorhouse ‏tweets: “Poignant true story about a woman who runs an English library in Italy!” Hannah Cox was inspired to take a visit: “This is beautiful and on my list to visit when I go to Italy.”

Christopher Nevinson was an avant-garde British painter. He was sent to the Western Front as an official war artist commissioned by the war propaganda department. Government censors judged his painting Paths of Glory – a naturalistic image of two anonymous dead boys in the mud – bad for morale and refused to pay him for it. In The faceless men, veteran BBC war reporter Allan Little reflects on what the artwork tells us about the lure of conflict for young men. Mike Skuse leaves this message on Facebook: “The truth quite often hurts! Only now do we appreciate the honesty of such work. Pity he didn’t get paid but I suppose if this was today he would be a ‘whistleblower’ and be accepted more.” Marc Reygaert adds: “This should hang in every general’s war office in the world and see what REALLY happens to human being in the war zone.”

“My goal is not for bee-keeping to be seen as hip. I would like to be considered as slightly more boring the the model railroading club and slightly less boring than the orchid people.” This is a member of Washington’s DC Beekeepers Alliance who catches and “re-homes” wild swarming bees, using little more than a cardboard box. They are then moved to a community garden or rooftop hive. “Nice article on swarm collection,” says @Scottworld. Watch the video, in which catching the bees is described as working with pastry: DC’s swarm squad keeps bees at bay – without killing them

The role of added sugar in contributing to the obesity crisis is the subject of fierce debate – but calculating how much we eat is not as simple as it sounds. “It’s nigh on impossible for people to work out how much added sugars they consume,” nutritionist Katharine Jenner, of campaign group Action on Sugar, tells Christine Jeavans in How much sugar do we eat? “Some very interesting facts and figures, ” says @PaulG_WPA. “Not good news if you have a sweet tooth,” tweets @AHS_hotcats.

Here are some things we’ve enjoyed this week from elsewhere around the web:

Mislead Memories – Mashable

Nowhere Land – Foreign Policy

Heil Hipster: The Young Neo-Nazis Trying to Put a Stylish Face on Hate – Rolling Stone

The Jihad Next Door – Politico

The Absolutist – The New Yorker

Subscribe to the BBC News Magazine’s email newsletter to get articles sent to your inbox.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Article source:

When Islam came to Australia

Few Australians are aware that the country’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had regular contact with foreign Muslims long before the arrival of Christian colonisers. And Islam continues to exercise an appeal for some Aboriginal peoples today, writes Janak Rogers.

The white lines are faint but unmistakable. Small sailing boats, picked out in white and yellow pigment on the red rocks of the Wellington Range in Arnhem Land, northern Australia, tell a different story from the one most Australians accept as the history of their nation.

They are traditional Indonesian boats known as praus and they brought Muslim fishermen from the flourishing trading city of Makassar in search of trepang, or sea cucumbers.

Exactly when the Makassans first arrived is uncertain.

Some historians say it was in the 1750s, but radiocarbon dating of beeswax figures superimposed on the cave paintings suggests that it was much earlier – one of the figures appears to have been made before 1664, perhaps as early as the 1500s.

A cave painting of an Indonesian prau, found in Arnhem Land

They apparently made annual trips to gather the sea cucumbers, which fetched a high price because of their important role in Chinese medicine and cuisine.

The Makasssans represent Australia’s first attempt at international relations, according to anthropologist John Bradley from Melbourne’s Monash University – and it was a success. “They traded together. It was fair – there was no racial judgement, no race policy,” he says.

Quite a contrast to the British. Britain designated the country terra nullius – land belonging to no-one – and therefore colonised the country without a treaty or any recognition of the rights of indigenous people to their land.

Some Makassan cucumber traders stayed, married Aboriginal women and left a lasting religious and cultural legacy in Australia. Alongside the cave paintings and other Aboriginal art, Islamic beliefs influenced Aboriginal mythology.

“If you go to north-east Arnhem Land there is [a trace of Islam] in song, it is there in painting, it is there in dance, it is there in funeral rituals,” says Bradley. “It is patently obvious that there are borrowed items. With linguistic analysis as well, you’re hearing hymns to Allah, or at least certain prayers to Allah.”

One example of this is a figure called Walitha’walitha, which is worshipped by a clan of the Yolngu people on Elcho Island, off the northern coast of Arnhem Land. The name derives from the Arabic phrase “Allah ta’ala“, meaning “God, the exalted”. Walitha’walitha is closely associated with funeral rituals, which can include other Islamic elements like facing west during prayers – roughly the direction of Mecca – and ritual prostration reminiscent of the Muslim sujood.

“I think it would be hugely oversimplifying to suggest that this figure is Allah as the ‘one true God’,” says Howard Morphy, an anthropologist at Australian National University. It’s more the case of the Yolngu people adopting an Allah-like figure into their cosmology, he suggests.

One elder has said that Aboriginal “morning star” poles were made to look like the masts of Indonesian praus, and that a pole would be presented to Makassan traders as a gift at the end of a farewell dance ritual each year

The Makassan sea cucumber trade with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ended in 1906, killed off by heavy taxation and a government policy that restricted non-white commerce. More than a century later, the shared history between Aboriginal peoples and Makassans is still celebrated by Aboriginal communities in northern Australia as period of mutual trust and respect – in spite of some historical evidence that this wasn’t always the case.

A fisherman shows off two varieties of sea cucumber on the island of of Barang Lompo off the coast of Makassar in Sulawesi, Indonesia

Continue reading the main story

The last Makassan fisherman

Using Daeng Rangka was the first Makassan captain to buy a licence from the British to catch sea cucumbers, and the last to visit Australia.

In 1895, after his boat was wrecked, he made a 400 mile (644 km) trip in a canoe.

As well as a large family in Makassar, Using had three children with an Aboriginal woman.

Using, sometimes called Husein, is still remembered in songs and dances in Arnhem Land.

In 1988, a descendent of his recreated the trip from Indonesia to Australia in a traditional prau as part of the latter country’s bicentennial celebrations.

“I’m a historian and I know that the Makassans, when they came to Arnhem Land, they had cannons, they were armed, there were violent incidents,” says Regina Ganter at Griffith University in Brisbane. But many in the Yolngu community are wedded to a view of the sea cucumber trade as an alternative to colonialism, she says, and even consider the Makassans long-lost relatives. When she mentioned the Makassans’ cannons to one elder in the tribe, he dismissed it. “He really wanted to tell this story as a story of successful cultural contact, which is so different to people coming and taking your land and taking your women and establishing themselves as superior.”

This wasn’t the only contact between Muslims and Aboriginal peoples. In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, the pearl-shelling industry brought so-called “Malays” from south-east Asia to work as indentured labourers in Broome on the north-west coast of Australia. Much like the Makassans, Malays intermarried with local Aboriginal people and brought with them Islamic religious and cultural practices. Today, plenty of families in Northern Australia have names that bear the mark of these interactions, like Doolah, Hassan and Khan.

Meanwhile, the forbidding deserts of central Australia gave rise to a separate Muslim influx.

An 1898 drawing of travellers in the Australian Bush being given directions by Aborigines

In a quiet suburb of Alice Springs, a town of 26,000 people in the heart of central Australia, there sits an unlikely building: a mosque. Its minaret rises against the backdrop of the craggy rock and red dirt of the MacDonnell Ranges.

It is called the “Afghan Mosque”, and for a reason. Between 1860 and 1930 up to 4,000 cameleers came to Australia, bringing their camels with them. Many were indeed from Afghanistan, but they also came from India and present-day Pakistan.

The Ghan railway line runs from Darwin to Adelaide

They played a key role in opening up the deserts, providing supplies to remote mission stations, and helping to lay crucial national infrastructure like the Overland Telegraph Line and the Ghan Railway line, which still runs today, crossing the Australian desert from north to south. “Ghan” derives from “Afghan”, as the train’s logo of a cameleer makes plain.

“My grandfather’s father, he was a camel driver,” says 62-year-old Raymond Satour. “They had their own camels, over 40 camels,” he says. “On the camel train itself, that’s when they met the Aboriginal people that were camping out in the bush, and they got connected then – that’s how we are connected to Aboriginals.”

Far from their homes on the sub-continent, Afghan cameleers built makeshift mosques throughout central Australia, and many intermarried with Aboriginal peoples.

Raymond Satour

Raymond Satour’s great-grandparents

The work of the Afghan cameleers dried up in the 1930s, when motorised vehicles began to remove the need for the animals. Today, the Afghan Mosque in Alice is mostly filled with first-generation immigrants from India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. But worshippers from the mosque regularly visit the homes of some of the Afghan-Aboriginal descendants, including that of Raymond Satour. “The brothers come and hold prayer ceremonies and teachings,” he says. “We’re learning, and it’s helping us keep alive our connection to Islam and the old Afghans.”

These historical contacts have an echo in the present day, as a steadily growing number of Aboriginal people convert to Islam. According to Australia’s 2011 census, 1,140 people identify as Aboriginal Muslims. That’s still less than 1% of the country’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population – and it should be said that Aboriginals are also becoming born-again Christians – but it’s still almost double the number of Aboriginal Muslims recorded in the 2001 census.

Anthony Mundine, a former two-time WBA super middleweight champion and an IBO middleweight champion boxer, is perhaps the most high-profile Aboriginal Muslim convert. He takes inspiration from the American Black Power movement, especially from civil rights activist Malcolm X, a former leader of the Nation of Islam.

The Muslim graveyard in Alice Springs

“Malcolm’s journey was unbelievable,” agrees Justin Agale, who is of mixed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent and converted to Islam 15 years ago. “Here was a man who was interested in social justice and in furthering the cause of his people but he was also interested in his own spiritual journey to truth.”

Agale is one of a number of Aboriginal people who, fairly or unfairly, have come to associate Christianity with the racism of colonial Australia.

“One of the things that the colonialists were very successful in Australia in doing was teaching the indigenous people that God hated us, and that we were unwanted children, that we were being punished for being savages,” he says.

By contrast, he sees Islam as a “continuation” of his Aboriginal cultural beliefs. Agale’s ancestors in the Torres Strait, the Meriam people, observed something they called Malo’s Law, which he says was “in favour of oneness and harmony”, and he sees parallels in Islam. “Islam – especially the Sufi tradition – has clear ideas of fitra and of tawhid, that each individual’s nature is part of a greater whole, and that we should live in a balanced way within nature.”

Anthony Mundine pictured in his gym in 2000

This sense of the compatibility of Aboriginal and Islamic beliefs is not uncommon, says Peta Stephenson, a sociologist at Victoria University. Shared practices include male circumcision, arranged or promised marriages and polygamy, and similar cultural attitudes like respect for land and resources, and respecting one’s elders.

Continue reading the main story

Find out more

Listen to Janak Rogers’ report on Islam in Australia in Heart and Soul on the BBC World Service

“Many Aboriginal people I spoke with explained these cultural synergies often by quoting the well-known phrase from the Koran that 124,000 prophets had been sent to the Earth,” says Stephenson. “They argued that some of these prophets must have visited Aboriginal communities and shared their knowledge.”

For some Aboriginal converts, however, the appeal of Islam is not one of continuity, but a fresh start. Mohammed – not his real name – was once homeless and an alcoholic, but he found the Islamic doctrines of regular prayer, self-respect, avoidance of alcohol, drugs and gambling all helped him battle his addictions. He has now been sober for six years and holds down a steady, professional job.

“When I found Islam it was the first time in my life that I felt like a human,” he says. “Prior to that I had divided up into ‘half this, quarter that’. You’re never a complete, whole thing.”

Mohammed rejects the criticism that has been levelled at him by some Aboriginal people that he turned his back on his traditional way of life. He believes Aboriginal culture was destroyed by colonialism.

“Where is my culture?” he asks. “That was cut off from me two generations ago. One of the attractive things about Islam for me was that I found something that was unbroken.

“Do you go for something that is going to take you out of the gutter and become a better husband and father and neighbour? Or do you search for something that you probably never had any hope of ever finding?”

Listen again to Islam and Australian Aborigines on iPlayer or get the Heart and Soul podcast.

Follow @BBCNewsMagazine on Twitter and on Facebook

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Article source:

Australia 0-3 Spain


Fernando Torres (Spain) wins a free kick in the attacking half.


Foul by Alex Wilkinson (Australia).


Corner, Spain. Conceded by Ryan McGowan.


Corner, Spain. Conceded by Matthew Spiranovic.


Offside, Spain. Juanfran tries a through ball, but Francesc Fábregas is caught offside.


Attempt missed. James Troisi (Australia) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Mark Bresciano.

71:21 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Australia. Mark Bresciano replaces Oliver Bozanic.


Corner, Spain. Conceded by Jason Davidson.

68:41 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Australia 0, Spain 2. Fernando Torres (Spain) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta with a through ball.


Foul by Francesc Fábregas (Spain).


Matt McKay (Australia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Spain. Francesc Fábregas replaces Santiago Cazorla.

61:35 Booking

Booking Sergio Ramos (Spain) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.


Foul by Sergio Ramos (Spain).


Ben Halloran (Australia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

60:47 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Australia. James Troisi replaces Tommy Oar because of an injury.


Juanfran (Spain) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


Foul by Jason Davidson (Australia).


Foul by Juan Mata (Spain).


Ben Halloran (Australia) wins a free kick on the right wing.


Attempt missed. Matt McKay (Australia) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.


Corner, Australia. Conceded by Sergio Ramos.

56:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Spain. Juan Mata replaces David Villa.


Offside, Spain. David Villa tries a through ball, but Fernando Torres is caught offside.


Offside, Spain. David Villa tries a through ball, but Andrés Iniesta is caught offside.


Jordi Alba (Spain) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


Foul by Ben Halloran (Australia).


Second Half begins Australia 0, Spain 1.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Australia. Ben Halloran replaces Adam Taggart.

45:00 +1:21 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Australia 0, Spain 1.

45:00 +0:36

Foul by Juanfran (Spain).

45:00 +0:36

Tommy Oar (Australia) wins a free kick on the left wing.


Corner, Spain. Conceded by Alex Wilkinson.


Foul by David Villa (Spain).


Ryan McGowan (Australia) wins a free kick on the right wing.


Corner, Spain. Conceded by Matthew Ryan.


Attempt blocked. Koke (Spain) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergio Ramos.


Santiago Cazorla (Spain) wins a free kick in the attacking half.


Foul by Oliver Bozanic (Australia).


Santiago Cazorla (Spain) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


Foul by Jason Davidson (Australia).

35:31 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Australia 0, Spain 1. David Villa (Spain) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Juanfran.


Juanfran (Spain) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


Foul by Oliver Bozanic (Australia).


Foul by Sergio Ramos (Spain).


Mile Jedinak (Australia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


Corner, Spain. Conceded by Alex Wilkinson.


Fernando Torres (Spain) wins a free kick in the attacking half.


Foul by Alex Wilkinson (Australia).


Offside, Spain. Sergio Ramos tries a through ball, but David Villa is caught offside.


Attempt blocked. Fernando Torres (Spain) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.


Attempt saved. Jordi Alba (Spain) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by David Villa with a through ball.


Offside, Spain. Andrés Iniesta tries a through ball, but David Villa is caught offside.


Koke (Spain) wins a free kick in the attacking half.


Foul by Matt McKay (Australia).


Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Spain) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Villa.


Offside, Spain. Santiago Cazorla tries a through ball, but David Villa is caught offside.


Foul by David Villa (Spain).


Mile Jedinak (Australia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


Foul by Mile Jedinak (Australia).


David Villa (Spain) wins a free kick in the attacking half.


Foul by Ryan McGowan (Australia).


Koke (Spain) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


Tommy Oar (Australia) wins a free kick on the left wing.


Foul by Xabi Alonso (Spain).


Attempt missed. Mathew Leckie (Australia) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Matthew Spiranovic.


Foul by Ryan McGowan (Australia).


David Villa (Spain) wins a free kick on the left wing.


Offside, Australia. Matthew Spiranovic tries a through ball, but Adam Taggart is caught offside.


First Half begins.


Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Article source:

Australian slang: Your favourite examples

A recent Magazine article about the decline of Australian slang prompted readers to share some of their favourite expressions.

The piece, by Sydney correspondent Jon Donnison, looked at the huge contribution to “strine” made by Barry Humphries and terms originating in the country’s legendary laddish drinking culture. Here’s a selection of other slang phrases you sent in.

As crook as Rookwood – seriously ill. “Crook” being really sick, at death’s door, and Rookwood being the biggest cemetery in Australia. Louise Whitby, Sydney, Australia

Bogan - chav. Best said in a strong accent! Kate, Essex

Cark it - die. Louise Whitby, Sydney, Australia

Drongo – no-hoper or fool. Someone whose “lift doesn’t go to the top floor” or whose “lights are on but no-one’s home”. Derives from a racehorse of that name in the 1920s, which never won a race out of 37 starts. Jack, Brisbane, Australia

Face like a dropped pie – ugly. Just so descriptive and used a lot by Australians working here in East Timor. Usually about me. Wayne Lovell, Dili, East Timor

Firies - firefighters. Doug, Sydney

Origins of “chunder”

In our original article we wrote that the word “chunder” originated with the first immigrants to Australia, who suffered from seasickness during the voyage. They’d shout “Watch out under!” before heaving over the sides on to the decks below.

Stuart from Orpington suggests an alternative theory, quoting the Oxford Dictionaries: “1950s, probably from rhyming slang Chunder Loo ‘spew’, from the name of a cartoon character Chunder Loo of Akim Foo, who appeared in advertisements for Cobra boot polish in the Sydney Bulletin in the early 20th Century.”

Fit as a Mallee bull – very fit and strong, in good physical condition. The Mallee is a region in Victoria, South Australia – a dry area where an animal would need to be tough and fit to survive. Monica Meren, Bossay-sur-Claise, France

Full as a centipede’s sock drawer – very full. I heard a guy say this after a particularly big meal while on a visit to Melbourne. Brian Murdoch, Glasgow

Garbos – refuse workers. Doug, Sydney

Go off like a frog in a sock – go berserk. Barton Mills, Suffolk

Go troppo – go crazy. I think it was first applied to people thought to have become a bit strange from the tropical heat in places like Darwin. I have one experience of going troppo, albeit briefly, and in Devon! H Arshi, Exeter, Devon

Have a root – have sex. A bit awkward when at a jumble sale, someone asked if they could help and you said “it’s ok, I’m just rooting around!” Sarah Merriman, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire

He needs that like a third armpit – he doesn’t need it at all. Brian Austin, Alfreton, UK

He played a Barry – he did shockingly badly. Barry is short for Barry Crocker and rhymes with shocker. Crocker sang the theme tune for the Australian soap Neighbours. Alla, Quakers Hill, New south Wales, Australia

Kangaroos loose in the top paddock – eccentric or not very bright. I love this phrase because it evokes the achingly silent dry desert heat and open space of the great Australian outdoors. Adrian Fisher, Durweston, Dorset

Knock up – wake up. When I was staying with a host family in South Australia, the host father told me he would knock me up in the morning. His innocent Aussie English meant knock on my door to wake me up but as an American I was quite shocked since to me it appeared he planned to get me pregnant. Bethani Ann De Long Vehapi, Choex, Switzerland

Like a mad woman’s breakfast – all over the place or messy. John Millard-Hicks, France

Like a shag on a rock - lonely or exposed. My all-time favourite – so much so, I used it for the title of my book! Unfortunately, thanks to the Swinging ’60s and the likes of Austin Powers, people tend to think of the word “shag” as a verb, rather than a noun. As a New Zealander by birth and by nurture, I know it to be a type of bird and the idiom is by no means inappropriate or rude. It simply means that you are lonely or exposed, seeing as the regular behaviour of a shag is to stand on a rock with its wings outstretched to dry off after diving for fish. Vaughan Humphries, Thame, UK

Macca’s - McDonald’s. I spent ages, last September, looking for a store called Mackers. On the detailed driving directions I’d been given, Mackers signalled an important change in direction for my journey. You can’t miss it, I’d been told. Eventually it dawned on me that Mackers was McDonald’s. I had driven past McDonald’s several times before the penny dropped! Marilyn DiCara, London, UK

Mad as a meat-axe – crazy. My Australian business partner spoke in strine a lot – this is one of my favourites. John Millard-Hicks, France

May your chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny door down – a way of wishing someone bad luck. Doug, Sydney

Mouth like the bottom of a cocky’s cage - a dry mouth, often as a result of heavy drinking and or smoking. (A cocky is a cockatoo.) Monica Meren, Bossay-sur-Claise, France

Neck oil - beer. Chris Kenyon, Googong, Australia

Nurse the baby – look after a baby. While staying with a family with young children in South Australia, the mother handed me the baby and asked me to nurse the baby for her. Her Aussie English meant just to hold the baby, but my American ears heard the equivalent of “breast feed” which left me gasping that I simply couldn’t. Bethani Ann De Long Vehapi, Choex, Switzerland

Popular as a rattle snake in a lucky dip - unpopular person. One of the best Aussie sayings. David – Australian ex-pat, Rotherham, England

Siphon the python - go to the toilet (for males). Mike, Seattle, US

Spit the dummy - have a sudden tantrum. For a grown man or woman, this is one I still use. Reflects that characteristic Aussie disregard of pompous authority. John M, London, UK

Stoked – excited. The first time I heard “I’m stoked” I wasn’t sure what the person meant – presuming they were full up on something. When an Australian friend was talking about her mum being “double stoked” it was the first time I had heard that in seven years living in Oz. Jane Minton, Lincolnshire, UK

Stone the crows – expression of amazement. My Oz dad always used to say this – it was equivalent to the more modern “strike a light”. (Brits have borrowed both expressions.) Steve, Ottawa, Canada

Thongs – flip-flops. While holidaying in Nice, my mate and I got friendly with and Aussie and a Kiwi. While on the beach, the very pretty Aussie asked me to pass her a thong. I naturally hesitated, but then stated she should probably come and get her own underwear. She nearly fell over laughing, and in between gasps for air, managed to explain that thongs were flip-flops, and she only had one on. She was asking me to pass her the additional flip-flop, not some skimpy underwear. Stu Wilson, Harrogate, UK

Tucker - food. My stepfather who was an old bushie [bushman] always used this word. Monica Meren, Bossay-sur-Claise, France

Two-pot screamer - someone who can’t hold their drink. A pot is a half-pint glass. David Towell, Kyneton, Victoria, Australia

Up and down like a bride’s nightie / up and down like a dunny seat - changing your opinion, or overactive. Chris Kenyon, Googong, Australia

Woop woop – isolated place. For the first two years I lived in Australia I thought Woop Woop was an actual town and would quietly wonder how it was that so many people lived there. (“Jonno? He lives out in Woop Woop!”) When I shared this, my amused Aussie mates told me it was in fact just the invented name for any small town out in the sticks. Ruth Russell, Bristol, UK

Subscribe to the BBC News Magazine’s email newsletter to get articles sent to your inbox.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Article source:

 Page 3 of 73 « 1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »