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A salesman walks into the jungle . . .

Going native: Rob Henry with the Mentawai indigenous people.Rob Henry was born on April 25, 1981.
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But he stopped celebrating the day about 10 years ago, when he moved into the forest to live among the indigenous people on the Mentawai Islands, about 150 kilometres off the coast of West Sumatra, Indonesia.

A former magazine advertising salesman in Melbourne, he moved to the Mentawai Islands in search of a more meaningful life. At first, he took a job filming surfing guests at Pit Stop Hill, the closest thing to a resort for westerners in Mentawai.

Despite the sensational waves that have made the isolated region a drawcard for the international surfing community, Henry was not drawn to the sea. Rather, he was curious about the native culture, and soon left the resort to live among the locals.

“I’d go around and start living with the community, try to get an understanding of this sense of freedom, this happiness, this glow,” Henry says in a telephone interview from his caravan near Bendigo,Victoria, where he is currently living.

“It made me wonder, what do they know that we don’t know . . .”

Henry’s pursuit of an answer to that question led him to move deeper into the forest to live with traditional Mentawai tribes people for eight years. Ashe assimilated in just about every way –resisting their tradition to take brides when girls reached puberty – he eventually realised how much their culture was at risk.

He learned the language, adapted to the diet and the pace of life. He immersed himself in the Mentawai’s old tattoo culture (“I pretty well have a suit now,” he says.)

Henry had kept his camera equipment when he went native, and filmed hundreds of hours of the basic tribe life in his earliest days. As he became more native, he filmed less, feeling it was intrusive.

“I wasn’t filming at all near the end [of time spent there],” Henry says. “That was to do with me feeling such a part of the community and the life, it would be hard to disconnect from that moment, to have to snap out of that moment.”

The difference between the dependence the native people living in the village had on western society and the independence of the declining number of native people in the forest made an impact on Henry, and formed the seed of his documentary film, As Worlds Divide.

The film explores the Mentawai culture and what is at risk. It also provides a platform for discussion about preserving the nature culture.

When Henry returned to Australia, he found himself connecting to online conversations with young Mentawai people who had attended university and were keen to help protect the Mentawai culture.

Henry becamea key player in Indigenous Education Foundation, an organisation he helped create with Mentawai people to help them find solutions to saving their culture.

The goal is to raise $1million to kickstart an action plan for the Mentawai. The strategy includes building a cultural centre, publishing a Mentawai dictionary and developing an eco-tourism model.

“To be honest, we’re just scratching the surface, there’s a longway to go,” Henry says.

The project could help more indigenous populations than just the Mentawai, he says.

The world surfing community has embraced the project, with 39 showings across seven countries already, drawn by the tagline Watch afilm, save a culture(#wafsac).

As Worlds Divide screens at Merewether Surf Club on Friday, July 14 at 7pm. For more details: iefprograms.org.

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Pushing drama limits

Pushing boundaries: Amy Wilde, actor and member of Two Tall Theatre. Picture: Jonathan CarrollWhen Two Tall Theatre present Age of Consent at the Civic Playhouse on July 19, they will compose yet another chapter in the short but colourful life of this controversial production.
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The sixth play written by Peter Morris unravels the thoughts of a shrewd and tawdry stage mum blinded by the glitter of an imaginary but irresistible gold. Her monologues are interweaved with those of a young boy wrestling with guilt, notoriety and the dye cast by his criminal instincts.

Their stories continue to pose essential questions about themes previously considered too sensitive for a playwright to touch. Encircling these discussions has been a broader issue about media, the theatre and where best to draw the line between them.

It is a debate not lost on but rather welcomed by director and Two Tall Theatre co-founder Patrick Campbell. The sensationalist media culture that this play first examined in 2001 is more familiar to audiences today and, in an age of digitisation and social media, even more relevant.

“That is what really intrigued me about the play. The frenzy feeding industry of the tabloid newspaper,” Campbell says.

That the imprisoned teenager Timmy is in one scene prevented by his social worker from reading a tabloid, is symbolic of a society that should see itself reflected in the news that they consume.

“Social media and reality television are now just extensions of that newspaper” Campbell says. The only difference today, he observes, “is that we carry the news around in our pocket. We open our phones up and there it is – the Kardashians over and over again.”

When single mother Stephanie appears on stage in The Age of Consent, it is easy to imagine her inhabiting the celluloid and celebrity-obsessed world of today.

“She would sell anything to get on reality television” Campbell says of the character. The reality for her character throughout the play is that the line between promotion and exploitation is invisible even when, for the audience, it is often painfully apparent.

For actor Amy Wilde, who plays Stephanie, the efforts the character makes to balance herself on this moral tightrope can be as enjoyable to watch as they are uncomfortable to observe.

“The beauty of Age of Consent is that you will be entertained, but also be left with some serious questions” Wilde says. “As a mother, Stephanie is the product of her own upbringing. Although most people may not agree, I think she does what she thinks is best.”

Two Tall Theatre isan impressive artistic collective. Established in 2015 by Wilde, Campbelland actor and director Pearl Nunn, the companyhas quickly distinguished itself in the Newcastle theatre scene by anuncompromising commitment to material that swims defiantly against the mainstream. From a darkly comical apocalypse to love and subordination in a Cambodian prison house, their productions boldly examine adversities and celebrate those who strive to overcome them.

Amy Wilde Age of Consent, it was an obvious nod to the talent and professionalism of the company and their refreshingly inventive approach to production.

Even more impressive is Two Tall’swillingness to dive a second time into waters that most other Newcastle theatre companies would run a mile from.

“We know we are pushing boundaries” Nunn says, “but the amazing thing is that the dangerous and darkest stories can still be the most powerful. We want to tell people the tales that never get told.”

For Wilde, the challenge ahead lies not so much in pushing boundaries, but removing the boundaries altogether.

“If Newcastle can show that this is the kind of theatre they appreciate, then hopefully other smaller companies will be supported like we have been,” she says.

Age of Consent, July 19-22, Civic Playhouse

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Ten good things to do in Corner Country

1.Visit Cameron’s Corner What it’s all about … the writer at the meeting point of three states.
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This, of course, is what Corner Country is all about — the marker where three states, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, meet. There’s not much there but its lure is almost magnetic, and the pub serves the essential cold beer.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service office in Tibooburra has an interesting enough display that includes the original marker placed at the Corner in 1880 by John Cameron, a surveyor with the NSW Lands Department.

2.Walk a bit along the dingo fence Australia’s dingo fence … longest fence in the world.

At more than 5600 kilometres, the dingo fence is the world’s longest, stretching from Queensland’s Darling Downs to the Great Australian Bight.

It comes very close to Cameron’s Corner and runs virtually along the NSW-Queensland and NSW-South Australia borders for some 650 kilometres.

3. Take in the view of the Jump Ups The Jump Ups … stunning remains of an ancient mountain range.

This is flat, very flat, country so it’s a surprise to come across an escarpment, known as the Jump Ups, in the eastern part of the Sturt National Park. The view of the remains of this ancient mountain range is stunning.

4. Have a cleansing ale at the Family Hotel, Tibooburra Tibooburra’s Family Hotel … an arty place.

The walls of this otherwise completely normal outback pub are lined with paintings by the likes of Clifton Pugh, Russell Drysdale and Howard William Steer. The hotel was usedas a base while the artists painted the surrounding countryside and, indeed, Pugh was an absentee landlord from 1988 to 1994.

The hotel owns the cabins that are across the road which provide very comfortable accommodation.

5.Watch for wildlife as you’re travelling Plenty of wildlife … kangaroos on the road to Cameron’s Corner.

It’s not quite the Serengeti Plain during the Great Migration, but the proliferation of kangaroos and emus makes for spectacular viewing as you drive the Outback roads around Tibooburra and Cameron’s Corner … and also provides plentiful reason to take great care, especially around dawn and dusk but at just about any time of day, particularly when it’s not overly hot.

But there’s plenty else to see, too — eagles, lizards, feral goats, horses, bustards and a proliferation of many other birds such as the Major Mitchell’s cockatoo.

6.Drive to the lookout at Tibooburra Easy to see where Tibooburra gets its name … an Aboriginal word for ‘heap of boulders’.

Tibooburra is the closest town of any size to Cameron’s Corner and it is speculated that its name comes from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘heap of boulders’. There’s certainly plenty of evidence for that assertion if you take a drive to the nearby lookout which provides spectacular views of the town and surrounding desert country.

7.Take a break at the Packsaddle Roadhouse The Packsaddle Roadhouse … a handy watering and lunch stop.

The Packsaddle Roadhouse is a handy watering and lunch stop on the Silver City Highway between Broken Hill and Tibooburra. It features an interesting range of historic — and sometimes not so historic — artefacts. I was particularly taken with the collection of well worn cockies’ hats.

8.Scratch you head at the Tool Tree Why oh why … spanners hang from a clothes line.

You’ll inevitably ask “Why, oh why, did they bother to do that?” but the ‘Tool Tree’ — essentially a discarded collection of spanners welded to a clothes line — and its smaller offspring, the ‘Baby Tool Tree’, do provide a talking point and a definite reason for stopping near the corner of the Silver City Highway and the White cliffs Road.

9.Grieve a little at Poole’s grave No Inland Sea here … James Poole’s gravesite.

Explorer Captain Charles Sturt was so convinced that he’d find the fabled Inland Sea that his expeditionary force contained a couple of sailors, but all he found was desert and futility. In 1854 he and his party were forced to camp for several months at waterhole they named Depot Glen.

Sturt’s second-in-command, James Poole, died shortly after the party finally left Depot Glen. He is buried nearby.

10. Spend an hour wandering around the Golden Gully Mining Site The Golden Gully Mining Site … classy reconstruction of an 1800s mining site.

There are plenty of historic relics on display at this quite classy reconstruction of an 1800s mining site. The explanatory plaques are well done. Best visited early morning or just before sunset, when it isn’t too hot.

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Banks close as protesters step up fight

Banks close as protesters step up fight SHUT: Protesters gather outside the Commonwealth Bank’s Hamilton branch. Picture: Brodie Owen
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SHUT: Protesters gather outside the Commonwealth Bank’s Hamilton branch. Picture: Brodie Owen

SHUT: Protesters gather outside the Commonwealth Bank’s Hamilton branch. Picture: Brodie Owen

SHUT: Protesters gather outside the Commonwealth Bank’s Hamilton branch. Picture: Brodie Owen

SHUT: Protesters gather outside the Commonwealth Bank’s Hamilton branch. Picture: Brodie Owen

TweetFacebook#knittingnannas & others tell @CommBank#nonewcoal! #StopAdani#nocsg#coalbank. Bank CLOSED, #4thewin!! 😂 pic.twitter南京夜网/iseRqsdc81

— KnittingNannasNewie (@KNAG_HunterLoop) July 5, 2017Newcastle Heraldsome had travelled to the city from Interstate to join the protests.

“The Commonwealth Bank hasn’t pulled out of supporting Adani, and that’s very problematic,” she said.

“There is a great risk to the Great Barrier Reef.”

The public order and riot squad was sent to Newcastle for the protests, but maintained only a visible presence as specialist police remained inside the car when observed by the Heraldshortly after 11am.

Words of truth outside Commbank, ‘Stand for our reef, stand for our land, stand for our people. For our common wealth’ #StopAdani#CoalBankpic.twitter南京夜网/weV26vheAo

— Zianna Fuad (@zifuad) July 5, 2017

The Commonwealth Bank said it decided to close the branches for customer and staff safety.

“Commonwealth Bank believes people have the right to express their views as long as they do so in a peaceful manner in compliance with the law and common standards of courtesy,” the bank said in a statement.

“We are disappointed that the protest activity in Newcastle had been planned to fall below these common standards.”

The bank denied it had been approached by Adani to finance the new mine.

Ms Smith said of the bank’s decision to close the branches: “We’re disappointed CBA didn’t front the criticism.”

The protests come after a man and a woman were recently arrested at the Kooragang Island coal loaders after allegedly trespassing.

The protesters unfurled abanner on the coal pits with a message for the Commonwealth Bank.

There were no arrests in Wednesday’s protests.

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Tom Holland reveals what’s under his Spider-Man suit

Tom Holland has revealed he could only wear a G-string underneath his Spiderman costume. Photo: Chuck ZlotnickBeing an actor can be downright humiliating.
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Hollywood up-and-comer Tom Holland has dished the dirt on what he had to endure while shooting some ofSpider-Man Homecoming’smost pivotal scenes.

The British actor toldShortListall he was allowed to wear underneath his Spiderman costume was a G-string. After all, the iconic red and blue outfit doesn’t leave much to the imagination.

“They brought them in on my first day, like, ‘Here are your thongs,” he said. “I had serious misgivings – would my arseholeever be the same again? But I had to get used to it. Even though I was thinking, no way, no way!”

But what Holland had to wear underneath the costume wasn’t the most uncomfortable part about the costume – far from it.

For starters, there was the question of how to stay hydrated on set. As fans of the Marvel comics and movies will know, Spiderman’s mask completely covers his mouth.

Despite the discomfort caused by wearing the suit, Holland said it was an honour to wear it. Photo: Sony

A clever crew member eventually figured out how to feed a plastic tube through the mask’s eye socket so an assistant could squeeze water in Holland’s mouth when the studio lights were starting to get too hot.

But, staying hydrated presented a new problem: How to go to the toilet when you’re dressed head to toe in an “unbelievably uncomfortable” piece of art without any visible zips.

Tom Holland in a scene from ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. Photo: Chuck Zlotnick

“You have to completely disrobe and then put a dressing gown on … you can’t walk around in just a thong, can you imagine?” Holland said. “And then you race across the lot to the toilet then come back, get into it – it’s such a mission.”

However, the news isn’t all grim, with the 21-year-old pointing out the awkward bathroom adventures were all worth it in the end.

“Any discomfort is immediately outweighed by the privilege of wearing it,” he said.

The pay cheque, and big boost to his career, also wouldn’t have gone astray. To date, theSpidermanfranchise has webbed more than $4 billion at the global Box Office.

Spider-Man Homecominghits cinemas on July 6.

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Jobson raffle on the road

GENEROSITY: Damian Jobson, his wife Brooke and their sons Zayb and Kynan, with Ron Warden, whose business has donated a motorhome and set up a charity raffle to help the family. Picture: Simone De Peak WHEN Bennetts Green businessman Ron Warden heard about the rugby league accident that leftDamian Jobson a quadriplegic, itfelt close to home.
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“My son, Cal [Callan], played with him,” Mr Warden said.

Mr Jobson fractured vertebrae in his neck while playing for the Windale Eagles in May 2016. Soon afterthe accident, Mr Warden, the ownerof Australian Motor Homes and Caravans, decided to get a major fundraiser moving. His business donated a motorhome worth about $152,000. Harvey Norman and Cruise Travel Centrealso donatedprizes.

RonWardenfigured the motorhome, as first prize, could be quickly raffled to raise some much needed money fortheJobsonfamily.Almost twelve months sincethatdonation, tickets for the charity lotterywerefinally available, asMr Warden hadbeen on a long journey through delays and bureaucracy.

“It’s been a steep learning curve,” said Mr Warden.

The business owner said first he had to set up a charity, Rise for Damian.Then he applied for an art union permit, with a string of phone calls and emails to Liquor and Gaming NSW.

“I can understand why they need to do it, but it becomes frustrating,” Mr Warden said.

A spokesman for Liquor & Gaming NSW said it received an application for the art union permit on March 13.Notall the required information was provided,and staff liaisedwith the applicant for about 11 weeks.When the information was received, the permit was issued on the next business day, May 29.

“As art unions involve large prizes …Liquor & Gaming NSW needs to undertake detailed assessments to ensure the integrity of the competition for all stakeholders including entrants and the relevant charity,” he said.

Mr Warden was pleased to receive the permit, because, “at the end of the day, I just want to sell some tickets”.

To Damian and BrookeJobson and their two young sons, the charity raffle could be “a life-changing thing”.

“It’s going to set the family up,” Mr Jobson said.

“Bills don’t stop, they keep rolling in.”

“We’ve got money for now, but it’s into the future,” said Brooke Jobson, explaining just about everything in their lives had to be modified or replaced, and facilities to help her husband wouldneed to be updated. All the while, “we want to let the kids have a normal lifestyle”.

Mr Warden said the tickets were$50 each –“but it’s a bloody good prize!” –and the raffle wasto be drawn during The Footy Show on September 21.

Mr Jobson said the community support “means the world to me”, with his wife adding that without it, “he would have given up long ago.”

Ticketsinformation:www.risefordamian南京夜网.au

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Two Australian citizens wrongly sent to immigration detention

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton with his department secretary Michael Pezzullo in Parliament House last month. Photo: Alex EllinghausenImmigration Minister Peter Dutton wrongly sent two Australian citizens to immigration detention, including one who was taken to Christmas Island,his department has confirmed.
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The two Australians, one of whom was originally a New Zealander, were taken to immigration detention following their release from prison after committing serious crimes.

One was taken to Christmas Island, while the other was detained onshore, the Immigration Department confirmed. It would not provide further information about the date, length or circumstances of their detention, or the second individual’s other nationality.

“Two individuals were detained after their visas were cancelled mandatorily under section 501 of the Migration Act 1958,” a department spokesman told Fairfax Media on Tuesday night.

“After it was identified that each individual held dual Australian citizenship, arrangements were immediately made for their release from immigration detention.

“The circumstances surrounding their detention have been reviewed and appropriate safeguards have been implemented.”

Under section 501 of the Migration Act, Mr Dutton must cancel a non-citizen’s visa if they are serving a full-time jail term of more than 12 months for an offence committed in Australia, or if they have been found guilty of a sexually-based crime involving a child.

It is understood the two cases were not related. It is possible they did not know, or did not recall, that they were Australiancitizens at the time of their imprisonment in immigration detention, and internal systems failed to detect their citizenship status.

The case hastinges of the wrongful imprisonment of Cornelia Rau and Vivian Solon. Ms Solon, also an Australian citizen, was wrongly deported to the Philippines in 2001 because immigration officials believed she was an illegal immigrant. She was later compensated to the tune of $4.5 million.

George Newhouse, the principal lawyer in both those cases, told Fairfax Media this latest error was “the natural consequence of a power grab by a minister who does not want to be held accountable to anyone, and in particular the judges and tribunals”.

“This is what happens when you remove all judicial oversight from the executive government,” Mr Newhouse said.

“It appears that the minister is up to his neck in this debacle and he needs to take personal responsibility for his decision to falsely imprison two Australian citizens.”

“The minister had stated quite publicly he does not want to be constrained by judicial interference and false imprisonment is a direct result.”

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Spitting chips: potato giant accused of ‘wage theft’

‘Things could get a lot harder for people like me and my workmates’: Kay Rault outside the Fair Work Commission in Sydney Photo: Christopher PearceAustralia’s biggest potato grower is leadinga national push to pay employees like Kay Raultwhoworkin packing and storage shedslocated off farm sitesthe same rates as lower-paid farm workers.
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In Sydney to give evidence to theFair Work Commission hearing of MitoloGroup’s applicationto have the Horticulture Awardextendedto store workers who handle fresh produce, Ms Raultwho grades potatoes and onions at Mitolo’sSouth Australian facility said it was hard to make ends meet onher wages.

“If this change gets through, things could get a lot harder for people like me and my workmates,” she said.

“Why should big companies be able to change the law just because it suits them?”

MsRault’s employer, MitoloGroup, a major supermarket supplier, is amongcompanies backed by the Australian Industry Group which is putting their case to the Fair Work Commission.

As a member of the National Union of Workers which opposesthe industry push to extend the Horticulture Award to include workersin packing and storage sheds located away fromfarms,MsRaultsaid:”Just becauseMitoloowns farms, doesn’t mean thatMitoloonly employs farm workers”.

Potatoes. Photo: Wolter Peeters

The NUWsays theStorage Services Award, which pays higher rates than the Horticulture Award, should applyto workers in storage facilities locatedoutside the farm gate.

The Australian Industry Group says imposition of the Storage Services Award for off-site packing and storage workers”would impose crippling cost increases” on businesses in the horticulture industry.

“The fact that the NUW may be able to identify a couple of businesses that have decided to apply the award in response to NUW claims, does not alter the fact that the Horticulture Award is the one that is applied very widely throughout the Horticulture Industry,” the AIG says.

The AIGarguesthat activities outside the “farm gate” do not literally refer to a physical location or “gate”. It saysthe termrelatesto workcarried out by the producer up to the first point of sale from the producer to its customers.

“The concept has no relevance to the location of work,” it says.

NUWsecretary Tim Kennedy said the Mitolo application to extend the Horticulture Award to workers outside the farm gate could see up to 8 per cent cut frompay packets andthe loss of other entitlements.

“Store workers handling fresh produce would continue to do the same work, every day of the week, except they would be paid less. It’s just wage theft. A worker on level 1 could lose more than $60 a week,” he said.

“Under the Horticulture Award, employers currently do not pay casual workers anything extra for overtime or weekend work. So while the union movement is campaigning hard to protect penalty rates for workers across Australia, these big employers are quietly trying to take away penalty rates from potentially thousands of casual store workers.

“Under the Horticulture Award, employers regularly require workers to work for piece rates. This means people being paid for each piece of fruit they pick. Often piece rate workers cannot even earn the legal minimum wage in this country. This problem needs to be fixed, not expanded.”

Mitolo declined to comment until the Fair Work Commission has decided the matter.

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Wedgetail upgrade next step in JSF project

Advanced equipment: A E-7A Wedgetail airborne command and control aircraft lands at RAAF Base Williamtown during Exercise Dawn Strike. Picture: CPL Nicci FreemanAn upgrade to the E-7A Wedgetail announced at Williamtown RAAF-base on Wednesdaywill enable the tactical control aircraft to ‘speak’ to the F-35A Joint Striker Fighter when it arrives in 2018.
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Boeing Australia vice president and managing director Darren Edwards said the 5A upgrade it will be responsible forwould enhance the Wedgetail’s already impressive capabilities.

The upgrade worth up to$240 million will create 120 jobs in Brisbane and a further 45 jobs between RAAF bases Amberly and Williamtown.

“The aircraft behind me is a missions critical piece of kit and it has proven itself time and time again, as the most advanced air battle management system in the world today,” he said.

“The first major upgrade that has been announced today provides critical ‘inter-operable’ capabilities with the allies on operations and with fifth generation aircraft including the JSF.”

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne was able to see first hand the Wedgetail’s capabilities, aboard the converted Boeing 737-700,before he touched down to make the announcement.

“Today is another really important milestone in the government’s commitment to the largest buildup of our military capabilityin our peace time history,” he said.

“The Wedgetail is one of the most important platforms in the Airforce and,therefore, our Defence Forces,” he said.

“As you would know it is in action right now in the Middle East, Syria and Iraq providing absolutely vital battleground information with radar and other information provided to our Hornets, and other countries of course with whom we are operable, so we can defeat the Daesh or ISIS or ISIL -what ever you like too call them.”

From the hangar, Mr Pyne traveled a short distance across the base to open the Off Board Information Systems Centre (OBISC) that will support the F35-A, two of which will arrive at the end of 2018.

The facility is designed to process the flight tapes from the F35-A before the are returned to the plan for the next mission.

“The centre is an Australian-unique capability that hosts ground-based, off-board, F35A Autonomic Logistics Information Systems (ALIS),” Mr Pyne said.

“The ALIS is the logistic nerve centre for the Joint Strike Fighter. It is used to support mission planning, manage air and ground crew training, manage day to day maintenance activities and to provide logistical support to the aircraft and associated systems.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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‘Someone knows what happened to my girl’

Tracey Valesini. Picture: NSW PoliceA PORT Stephens mother has joined police in pleading for information to help find her daughter on what would have been her 45thbirthday.
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The state government announced on Wednesday a $100,000 reward was on offer to help find Tracey Valesini.

The occasion led Ms Valesini’smother Sandra McSavaney to join Homicide Squad detectives in Sydney to appeal to the conscience of anyone with knowledge of her daughter’s fate.

“Someone knows what happened to my girl, and enough is enough – please tell the police what you know and help put my mind at ease,” Ms McSavaney said.

“No one should ever have to bury a child, but I haven’t even been given that opportunity.

“If anything, I want to be able to bring her home and say proper goodbyes – the least Tracey deserves is to rest in peace.

“We’ve had too many birthdays and too many Christmases without Tracey, and I am pleading for someone to come forward so that today – her 45th birthday – is our last without answers,” Ms McSavaney said.

Fairfax Media reported in 2015 that Ms McSavaney, who suffers from terminal lung cancer, had also lost another daughter after she was strangled to death in 2002.

Sandra McSavaney, with her only surviving daughter Sharon Robards (centre) in 2015. She has lost her other daughters Lisa Sara (left) and Tracey Valesini (right). Main photo: Marina Neil

The last confirmed sighting of Ms Valesini was a custody hearing at Campbelltown Courthouse in January 1993. She was 20 years old, and failed to appear for a further hearing on February 12.

Unsolved Homicide team co-ordinatorDetective Inspector Stewart Leggatsaid Tracey was a resilient, independent young woman.

“Unfortunately, these strengths have made investigating her disappearance difficult for police,” he said.

“By all accounts, Tracey was very much in charge of her own life, even at a young age, and by her late teens, she would often go for long periods without visiting her family.

“That said, it was out of character for her to no-show at court for the custody hearing as her daughters were her world.”

Her family have made numerous fruitless attempts to contact Ms Valesini in the intervening 24years but her housemates had left their Sadleir home without a forwarding address.

Detective Inspector Leggat said police had gleaned that Ms Valesini moved to Wentworth Falls with a new boyfriend, his sister and her partner until 1993.

Police have since been told Ms Valesini moved out of that property before the other three left in May that year when the relationship deteriorated.

But that is where the trail ends.

“She hadn’t accessed her bank accounts or government benefits since December 1992, with the exception of a single deposit and withdrawal more than 12 months later,”Detective Inspector Leggat said.

Strike Force Sonning was established in 2001 to reinvestigate the disappearance.

Police searched Tracy’s former home in Wentworth Falls that year, finding blood believed to be hers.

A coronial inquest was held in 2006, with a finding that she died some time in 1992 or 1993 “of injuries inflicted upon her by another person.”

NSW police ministerTroy Grant said the government’s $100,000 reward offer would assist investigators.

“No family should endure not knowing what happened to their loved one, and the NSW Government is committed to providing police with what they need to find answers for families like Tracey’s,” Mr Grant said.

Police are urging anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Sonning investigators to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page:https://nsw.crimestoppers南京夜网.au/

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