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A selection of my best hard news pieces, which have been published by ABC News, Pakenham Gazette, Berwick Star News, Cranbourne Start News, Pakenham Officer Star News and RMIT's independent publication, The Swanston Gazette. 

Library access lags

Cardinia Shire is falling short when it comes to library access for its growing population of young people, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS data analysed by the ABC found growth areas with younger populations like Cardinia, Casey, Melton, Wyndham and Whittlesea had the smallest number of libraries per 100,000 people.

By contrast, smaller municipalities with older people, often closer to the CBD, had some of the best rates of library access.

Cardinia Shire

Matildas empower

When Officer City Soccer Club’s Under 14 Girls team huddled around the pitch at Cardinia Recreation Reserve on Sunday 15 August, their intention for the match ahead was simple.

The night before, the Tillies had successfully made it through to the semi-finals of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup after a gripping penalty victory over France, sending Australians’ national pride into overdrive.

It also sparked a new era of hope for young female sports fans around the country, whose opportunities in

The mateship of war

It has been over 50 years since Pakenham RSL member Frank Grant was conscripted to fight in the Vietnam War, but he still clearly remembers unsealing the determinative envelope bearing his name.

It was the late 1960s, war efforts in Vietnam were peaking, and a young Frank and 12 of his close friends would meet each night when their conscription letters began coming out.

Frank was the last of the group to receive his letter, and the only to be conscripted.

“They were all whooping when they got

Women lead change

Two ambitious Cardinia women are hoping their participation in a state-funded program could help change the face of diversity in local government.

Now in its second year, the Women Leading Locally fellowship was established in collaboration with the State Government, Women for Elections and the Institute for Community Directors, with the aim to achieve gender parity within Victorian councils by 2025.

The 12-month program works with 65 women from the 32 Victorian councils with the lowest female

Hospital death ’preventable’

Monash Health has made significant changes to suicide safeguarding practises, in the wake of a 2019 Casey Hospital death which was deemed by the Coroner’s Court to be preventable.

On 28 April 2019, a 50-year-old man, who was a compulsory inpatient in the Berwick hospital’s mental health ward at the time, was found deceased in his hospital room, a 16 March inquest hearing heard.

In the 20 April inquest findings, Coroner Catherine Fitzgerald concluded that the man’s death was preventable, due to

Akoonah Park pulls early voters

“I’d rather stick with the devil I know than the one that I don’t,” said Narre Warren resident Meredith Dale as she stood outside a pre-poll centre at Akoonah Park in Berwick.

A chilly November day didn’t stop Meredith, nor 2000 local pre-poll voters, from doing their due diligence for democracy on Thursday 17 November.

Liberal candidate and favourite to win the district, Brad Battin, has been at Akoonah Park morning and night handing out how-to-vote cards, along with other candidates and eage

“Frenzied and violent”: frightening details of Narre Warren North Attack

Police have described the haunting moment an elderly couple were attacked with a sharp-edged weapon in Narre Warren North on Sunday 2 October.

Casey Crime Investigations Unit Detective Senior Sergeant Glen Cruse revealed the attacker stalked the couple for several minutes as they walked along a track at Troups Creek Retarding Basin about 6:50am, before attacking them with what appears to be a sword.

It is believed the couple were aware of the offender in their vicinity earlier on in their walk

Hair-raising recovery

A passerby squatted next to Officer woman Gillian Gilbert in Dandenong’s David Street, grabbing her hand tightly as she wept on the nature strip.

It was 2013 and Gillian had just walked out of a specialist appointment at Dandenong Hospital.

The doctors had found two cancerous tumours in her breasts.

They told the then 43-year-old they would “try to get five years out of her”.

Tears rolled down her cheeks as she looked the passerby, a Muslim woman, in her eyes, which peeked through a slit in

One Nation’s ghost candidate controversy in South East

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party appears to be standing a Pakenham bus driver in a Townsville electorate and a car dealer from the New South Wales Central Coast for the local seat of La Trobe.

Other One Nation candidates are proving elusive and to add to the confusion election material on the party’s website has the same photo appearing on how to vote material for different candidates.

This comes amid allegations of One Nation fielding ‘ghost candidates’, where candidates with no traceable on

Late wife would be 'quietly proud' as OAM coincides with sad anniversary

Ballarat dementia advocate Anne Tudor has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to people living with dementia and their supporters.

She said she was "profoundly moved" by her recognition in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours List, which coincided with the first anniversary of her wife's death.

Edie Mayhew was diagnosed with younger onset dementia in 2010, when she was 59.

She and Ms Tudor created a foundation in Ballarat dedicated to inclusiveness for peopl

Local charity optimistic about fundraising during pandemic despite $40,000 drop in donations

A Victorian charity says it remains "optimistic" about its fundraising capabilities, despite the latest Victorian lockdown contributing to fears of a revenue decrease in the sector.

Craig Schepis is the founder of the On Track Foundation, a Ballarat-based not-for-profit that runs a soup bus for the homeless and also sponsors private education scholarships to a number of disadvantaged students each year.

He said COVID restrictions forced the organisation to cancel all of its major face-to-face

Surge in young Australians reaching out to eating disorder helplines during COVID-19 —

Following Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ recent announcement of a gruelling six week stage four lockdown period for Melbourne, many Victorians are struggling to cope with the demands of the newly proposed restrictions. And, according to new data released last month by leading Australian mental health institutions, a stark rise in the number of young people reaching out to helplines for body image and eating disorder-related issues could be another side effect of the strict COVID-19 lockdown c

Inquiry into the Job-ready Graduates Package: where does your university stand? —

A multitude of tertiary bodies have backpedalled on their fierce condemnation of the Coalition’s proposed Job-ready Graduates Package, announcing conditional support for the policy, in a number of submissions to the bill’s senate inquiry. Conglomerates representing all of Australia’s regional and metropolitan Universities supplied submissions to the package inquiry, demanding revisions such as grant indexation and legislation for the National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund (NPILF) be addre


A selection of fashion, culture and lifestyle feature articles which have been published across digital platforms such as Fashion Journal, Shop Monde and Global Hobo.  

Yakuza, Spoiled Carpets and Big Cash -- The World of a Gaijin Hostess in Tokyo

“I don’t want to do this job for that long. I don’t want to do it now if I’m honest. Who wants to sit around and talk to disgusting men? Nobody.”

Sophia sat across from me in the corner of a routine train station cafe in Japan’s capital. The icy January air mingled with my breath as she sunk into a worn leather chair, a short black tennis skirt floating mid-thigh. Admittedly, I felt insecure in her presence. She had a warm smile and a nose that stood fine and pointed, a patent mark of her gaiji

Why Oroton is a Familiar Face with a New Personality

After a year that has shown us the importance of supporting local, this brand spotlight sees us returning to our Aussie roots and celebrating the Australian bag icon that is Oroton.

If there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about bags, its Oroton. Australia’s oldest luxury fashion company, Oroton was founded over 80 years ago as an international textile importer. Since then, the Sydney-based brand has made a name for itself, revolutionising the fashion landscape in the 1960s with their signatu

Almond Oil is the Unassuming Autumn Colour Trend That Has Everyone Talking

After a summer characterised by bright prints and saturated pastel hues, we can’t blame you for feeling a little lost when attempting to transition your wardrobe to fit the bleaker winter months. Never fear, we have just the transitional shade to suit your whole wardrobe, no matter the season.

The colder months are fast approaching for those of us in the southern hemisphere, and, like every season, fashion devotees everywhere are wondering how to stay shade-savvy this autumn. Luckily for us, th

Nasty Gal x Endlessly Love Club

The highly anticipated second collaboration between Nasty Gal and Jen Ceballos, aka @endlesslyloveclub, is what all our sky-blue dreams are made of.

American trendsetting retailer Nasty Gal has again collaborated with Jen Ceballos, the influencer-icon behind the illustrious Instagram handle @endlesslyloveclub, for a dreamy collection that has our heads well and truly in the clouds.

Pairing up for their second collaborative edit, Nasty Gal and the Colombian style-muse yesterday released the 26-

How to Style the Vibrant Colour Trend of the Year

While neutrals are trending majorly this year, there’s still room in your wardrobe for a shade of a more electrifying calibre. Queue the bright colour trend of the season-striking pink.

Be it a hot-pink runway à la Jacquemus’ Spring 2020 show, or a bedazzled bubble-gum ensemble like Dua Lipa’s showstopping Grammy Music Awards look, you don’t have to be a style guru to realise pink is carving its name as the bold colour trend of the year.

Luxe To Less: Reinvigorating The Classic Shirt

Often synonymous with sophistication and minimalism, the business shirt is a staple for anyone on the 9-5 grind. But thanks to the latest wave of fashion trends, you’ll be donning your button down after office hours too. Worn throughout pop culture history from Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, to Angelina Jolie in Mr and Mrs Smith, the business shirt is a timeless staple. Put a modern twist on a classic piece, thank to our latest Luxe to Less installment.
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