Before gun control Australian mass shootings weren’t at all uncommon.

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The Wahroonga house (left) where four members of the family were found dead . A note left next to the bodies led police to a block of flats (right) where the bodies of a man woman from the same family were found — Images: Sydney Morning Herald

In April 1984, Rosemary Brandon, 35, was in the middle of planning a 6th birthday party for her youngest daughter. The party, scheduled to take place on the first Sunday in May, was to be a lavish affair, with a large group of family and friends all invited to the Brandon family home in Boundary Road, Wahroonga, on Sydney’s leafy north shore.

Organising the party was a task Rosemary relished. As a housewife and mother of three, she lived for her family. Her husband, John, 42, did what he could to help out but as much of his time was…


The 1981 shooting is one of the reasons why gun control was introduced in Australia.

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A house similar to that lived in by the Daoud Family in 1981 — Photo: domain.com.au

Ask any police officer, and they’ll tell you that domestic violence incidents are among the most common and potentially dangerous jobs that they’re called to attend. Often volatile, and almost always emotionally charged, they’re unpredictable and at times involve extreme violence.

In Australia during the early-1980s, domestic violence (also known as family violence) was a mostly hidden issue. A crime that occurred behind closed doors and one seen by many as a private matter and not something that should be of concern to others. …


In a year known for disaster, what else could possibly go wrong?

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Elf Fudge & Elf Loki are back for 2020 — Image: Facebook

For the third year in a row, two of Santa’s naughtiest scout elves have returned to cause havoc for one Sydney family — and the best part is, we all get to sit back and watch as the mayhem unfolds.

Each Christmas, Elf Fudge and Elf Loki have been making the trek from the North Pole to the Spyridis family home in the beachside Sydney suburb of Cronulla to report on the behaviour of the family’s children for Santa. …


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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Here’s a new way to enjoy the world’s largest social media platform and have a laugh at Facebook’s expense

A short while ago I was chatting to an English ex-pat mate on Facebook Messenger. He’s currently living and working in Qatar and as is often the case our text messages soon turned to the booze that we’ve each been drinking of late.

(Yes, we’re both writers — drinking is an occupational hazard. And yes, you can buy alcohol in Qatar, you need a licence to do so, and it can only be bought and consumed by non-Muslims.)

A few minutes later, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and what should pop up? Yep, you guessed it, an advertisement…


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Gum trees blowing in the breeze — Image: Liam Saville

I took this shot yesterday afternoon while playing around with slow shutter speeds in my front yard, and the resulting image got me thinking about the current pandemic that is impacting our world.

In a crisis, our society is a little like a giant tree blowing in the wind. Individual people panic and flap about like leaves at the first sign of a slight breeze. Yet they remain held together by the structure of the trunk and branches.

As the wind intensifies, individual leaves panic more and the most exposed smaller branches will fail, snap off and crash to the…


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Blackheath, NSW. Australia — Phot: Liam Saville

After the devastating wildfires, the Australian bush is…


Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make you stop, smile and be thankful for all the good things that you have in life.

I was reminded of this the other day when I walked outside and saw that the pair of rainbow lorikeets that have been nesting in the hollow of a large gum tree in our yard had returned for another year. I’m not sure where these birds go during the colder months, but the fact that they repeatedly return to the sanctuary of that tree got me thinking.

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(Photo: Liam Saville)

When faced with the unrelenting and harsh realities of life…


Fire fighting mission saves the last of these prehistoric trees

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Specialist remote access fire fighters were winched in to save the pines (Images: NSW DPIE)

The Wollemi Pine is one of the world’s oldest and rarest plant species. Dating back to the days of the dinosaurs, there are less than 200 trees left in existence, and until today they were feared lost in the devastating Australian wildfires.


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Image: Deposit Photos

There has been a lot of confusing, and at times conflicting, information posted on the internet over the past few days about the recent Iranian missile strikes on US forces in Iraq and the subsequent crash of Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) Flight PS752 in Iran.

Here’s all the background information you need to know about these incidents in 800 words:

The Iranian missile attacks

During the early morning hours of January 8, 2020, the Iranian government launched between 16 and 22 ballistic missiles at two US airbases in Iraq; Al Assad Airbase to the west of Baghdad and another in Irbil in the north of the country.

Iran conducted these attacks in retaliation for a US drone strike that…


LEADERSHIP IN PRACTICE

The importance of emotional intelligence

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Over the past decade, emotional intelligence has become one of the most frequently spoken about topics in the field of leadership. But what exactly is it, and is having a high level of emotional intelligence necessary to be successful as a leader?

Defined by John D. Mayer, a professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire, emotional intelligence is “the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships, and to manage your own and others’ emotions.” …

Liam Saville

A writer of words and a teller of tales — Liam Saville is a novelist, writer and blogger. www.liamsaville.com

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