Shooter in driveway attack to serve sentence in Canberra community

Posted September 11, 2017 17:43:03

A shooter who was chased from a Wanniassa driveway by his victim has been sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court to serve an intensive corrections order outside of jail.

The victim suffered a serious leg injury which was so deep it exposed muscle and the shin bone on his right leg.

Court documents revealed Ernest Bruce Jacky, 34, was hiding in the garden of a house, waiting for his victim, before the incident two years ago.

It is thought a dispute was sparked by allegations of burglaries at the homes of Jacky’s friends.

Jacky told police someone who looked like the victim was seen in footage of one of the break-ins, but initially denied doing the man any harm.

In response, police said Jacky’s friends took the victim’s car and drove it away.

Days later, after discussions about retrieving his car, the victim was met at a home where Jacky and another man were hiding.

He said Jacky pulled an item, about two foot long, from the back of his pants, pointed it at the victim’s body and demanded he get on the ground.

The man said he told Jacky to “get f*****”, before Jacky cocked the gun and shot him in the leg.

The victim said he was knocked down but got up and tried to run after Jacky.

He told police he knew it was Jacky “110 per cent”.

Jacky was released after his initial arrest, but was later charged with the crime after new evidence from telephone intercepts.

He pleaded guilty to the shooting and to threatening to shoot a witness if she talked to police.

“The conduct was planned,” Justice David Mossop said, adding the threats were also made in circumstances where they represented a real threat.

Jacky will serve two years and nine months on the intensive corrections order, under strict supervision.

But he will remain behind bars for the moment, as he is still to get bail from the ACT Magistrates Court for another crime.

That application will be heard tomorrow.

Topics: law-crime-and-justice, courts-and-trials, crime, canberra-2600, act, australia

Painting by murder-accused will not be removed from National Portrait Gallery

Posted September 11, 2017 16:04:01

The National Portrait Gallery will not remove a portrait on permanent display by an artist now accused of murder, its director has said.

Angus Trumble told ABC Radio Canberra that nothing would be done while the matter was before the courts, but said that it was rare for public controversy to affect the gallery’s decision-making.

Archibald prize finalist and Canberra-based artist Melissa Beowulf was one of three people charged with the murder of her mother-in-law in August.

Her 2001 portrait of war heroine Nancy Wake is part of the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection.

But Mr Trumble said even if an artist was convicted of a crime, the gallery may not remove their works from display.

“The problem for us is one of placing the line between current passions and issues of the day, and the more measured verdict of history,” Mr Trumble said.

“It is simply about what makes a series of stories illustrative of the national life.”

The director said in his four-year tenure, he had only ever taken down a picture due to public controversy once.

That work was a photographic portrait of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, which was temporarily taken down the morning after the execution of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

“I took the view and I made a judgement that public sentiment was so strong, and we had actually received a threat against the work of art, and in the interest of the safety of my staff and of our visitors, I took the view that it was necessary to take it down,” Mr Trumble said.

‘No decision necessary’ on Rolf Harris paintings

The National Portrait Gallery also has in its collection a number of portraits of and by convicted sex offender Rolf Harris.

But Mr Trumble said the gallery never had to make a decision about those, because those works were already out of display when Harris was charged.

“In that case … it seems to us appropriate for his works and his image to remain off display for the time being,” he said.

“There will be a time I think when Rolf Harris has something to say about the character of fame and of celebrity in the second half of the 20th century, but that time is not now.”

Mr Trumble said the crucial issue was finding the line “that separates the detached verdict of history from current passion”.

“It would have been inconceivable for a portrait of Ned Kelly to enter an Australian public art museum even 30 years after his execution,” he said.

“Today … he’s the same man, but he now forms part of the extremely important and contested, still contested story of the Irish in Australia.”

Melissa Beowulf, Bjorn Beowulf and Thorsten Beowulf plan to fight the charges over the alleged murder of 81-year-old Katherine Panin.

They are expected to appear again in December.

Topics: library-museum-and-gallery, courts-and-trials, canberra-2600, act

Mystery over shots fired at Canberra townhouse

Updated September 11, 2017 13:44:54

ACT police are investigating the latest in a spate of shootings in Canberra, this time at a Tuggeranong townhouse in broad daylight.

Neighbours on Burgoyne Street heard at least four shots fired into the home about 11:00am on Sunday.

Bullets struck the rear of the property, with holes and markings visible on the back fence, a water heater, doorframe, and wall.

Investigators said they were yet to determine the motive of the attack.

While Canberra has experienced a spate of bikie shootings in recent months, police said the latest incident did not appear to be related to outlaw motorcycle gangs.

No-one was hurt in the shooting but emergency services swarmed on the scene after the first triple-0 call was made.

“AFP Forensics and the Firearms Identification and Armory Team attended and conducted an examination of the scene,” police said.

The home is part of a complex of about 15 townhouses, some of which house children.

Police said the occupants of the house were cooperating with their investigation.

Topics: crime, law-crime-and-justice, bonython-2905, canberra-2600, act, australia

First posted September 11, 2017 13:17:24

Has Braydn Dillon’s murder changed the way kids in care are protected?

Posted September 11, 2017 06:58:24

The death of Canberra boy Bradyn Dillon sparked an examination into how children in care have been treated in the ACT, and while some things have changed, there are still calls for more to be done.

The nine-year-old died in hospital in February 2016.

It was recently revealed months of abuse at the hands of his father led to his death.

In an ABC documentary last year, Bradyn’s heartbroken mother Rachel Jones slammed ACT authorities for ignoring her desperate calls for help.

“I spoke with the police, with child … protection. Every card that was offered to me, I rang them on a daily basis, on a weekly basis. I was going into the police station,” Ms Jones said.

She pleaded for things to change.

“It’s in the news one day but then the next day everyone forgets about it. I pray that something happens about this,” she said.

So is the system that cares for our most vulnerable children any better off today?

More money has been given to the sector

A major review was launched soon after Bradyn’s death into the ACT Government’s response to family violence.

The Glanfield Inquiry called for decision-making and improved oversight to catch kids like Bradyn before they fall through the cracks.

It laid out 31 recommendations which were all accepted by the Government, and the 2017/18 budget earmarked more money for the sector, including $10 million to provide two extra case work teams.

Rachel Stephen-Smith, the Minister for Children and Youth, said the Government pledged $44 million for the child protection system in the ACT Budget, on top of measures previously announced.

“As part of the safer families package it included $2.5 million to do two quite specific things. To establish a case analysis team that provides independent oversight of individual cases at key decision points,” she said.

“And also a higher level child and youth protection quality assurance and improvement committee.”

‘If numbers are still going up, I don’t think we have got it right’

The Government also provided money for an extra person to handle complaints about the system — something Children and Young People Commissioner Jodie Griffiths-Cook said doubled the existing workforce.

While she welcomed the move, she said more help was needed.

“In the previous two years the difference between our figures was a 40 per cent increase in children and young people that were brought to the attention of my office and we have seen that as a steady increase over time,” she said.

“If the numbers are still going up then I don’t think we have got it right.

“If we were to do everything we are legislatively responsible for I would suggest that would take more than that one position.”

Jacqui Reed from the Create Foundation, which advocates for children in care, said some programs, including the Government’s new care model, A Step Up For Our Kids, remained under-resourced.

“I don’t think it is worse off but I don’t think we are seeing the dividends we would have liked to have seen for such a massive investment of time and energy,” she said.

“I think there is a general consensus across the whole community that the resources are not matching the expectations.”

Is a formal review body the answer?

In response to continuing concerns, the ACT Opposition is pushing for an external body to review decisions made about children.

Opposition spokeswoman Elizabeth Kikkert said for many decisions made about individual cases there was no formal review or appeal avenue.

She said an external body needed to have that access to case files to analyse child protection decisions.

“My greatest fear is that we’re going to have another case like Braydn Dillon,” she said.

The Government insists there were plenty of places for concerned families to go, but was reviewing whether more decisions about children should be examined externally.

Topics: community-and-society, child-abuse, government-and-politics, canberra-2600, act, australia

Where are Canberra’s flags kept and who looks after them?

There are hundreds of flag poles in the nation’s capital, and thousands of flags. Meet the Canberrans who look after them.

Faye Powell sent in a question about the city’s flags, which often change overnight, signalling the arrival of a foreign dignitary.

“I’ve driven down Commonwealth Avenue many, many times, and noticed all the different flags that come up and go down,” she said.

Faye imagined a “huge storage area”, located somewhere in Canberra, and was hoping for a sticky beak.

When Curious Canberra wrangled an invitation to the ACT Government’s flag store, in the industrial suburb of Fyshwick, she jumped at the chance to come along.

Flying the flags

Three Canberrans manage most of the flags that are flown in the city.

Michael Arioli has been raising and lowering flags for 15 years, as an ACT Government employee.

I joined him one morning at a set of flag poles on the Commonwealth Avenue bridge, ahead of a visit from the President of Croatia.

“You’ve just got to make sure you put them up the right way for starters, and they obviously go in order,” Michael explained.

“Australian’s always first, then the next country, then it’s an Australian [flag] … whichever direction the traffic’s going, you must always have the Australian [flag] first.”

It’s common for Michael and his colleagues Marc Hirzel and Rhys Husselbee to start work before sunrise, owing to strict Australian flag protocols.

It states that flags can be raised at first light, at the earliest, and should not be lowered later than dusk.

There are other rules too, which keep the team busy when a foreign official is in town.

“You’re not allowed to fly any flag really in the dark, so we take the ones that aren’t lit down, and then redo it again in the morning, and redo it again in the afternoon, until that certain day when the dignitaries leave.”

The work doesn’t end once the flags come down.

“They end up with a lot of poo on them, so we wash them straight away just to get those marks off them.”

Inside the flag store

To help with that job, there’s an industrial washing machine inside the flag store, and rows of washing line too.

But that’s not what Faye had come to see.

During our visit, Michael took her through the most impressive feature of the store – the shelves and shelves of boxed up flags.

“We … store indoor flags, outdoor flags, ceremonial flags … not just for dignitaries, we hold a lot of events in the ACT as well, like Floriade, the World Cup rugby.”

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet owns the international flags in the store.

They’re frequently audited and organised by country, then fabric type, and stored in plastic boxes.

When an official foreign visit is scheduled, the department contacts the team, via administrative officer Carol Miller.

Michael and Marc then ready the flags, ahead of their installation along Canberra’s main arterial roads.

As to how many countries are represented in the store, Michael said it’s “pretty well every single one, other than just a couple.”

On leaving the flag store, Faye confirmed that her question was well and truly answered.

“It was … great to meet the guys because they had some interesting stories to tell, and the work they do, the hours they work – it’s something you don’t realise when you see the flags,” she said.

And next time she notices new flags as she drives through the city…

“I’ll be thinking of those two guys out there putting flags up at 3.30 in the morning!”

Who asked the question?

Faye Powell came to Canberra for work 22 years ago, and recently retired.

Having worked in IT, she’s often thought about the enduring power of flags.

“They haven’t been replaced by tech, even now at the Olympics, you see real flags, you don’t see banks of screens with flags on them,” she said.

“They evoke such emotions, whether they’re national flags … ISIS flags, or rainbow flags … they really bring people together.”

Deputy PM slaps down burka ban, saying it could ‘insult’ Islamic countries

Updated September 09, 2017 17:47:17

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says banning the burka could damage Australia’s trade relations with Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

Key points:

  • George Christensen calling for burka to be banned in Parliament buildings, Government offices
  • He wants to debate the matter at the Nationals conference in Canberra
  • Barnaby Joyce warns it could have unintended consequences, insult trading partners

His comments cast doubt on Nationals MP George Christensen’s bid to ban the Islamic garb in Parliament buildings and in Government offices or departments.

Mr Christensen wants the matter to be debated at the party’s national conference in Canberra on Sunday, but has to convince his colleagues to vote against his party leader, Mr Joyce.

“I love the democracy of my party,” Mr Joyce said.

“George is a good mate but we don’t necessarily agree on every issue. I do a lot of business into Indonesia, I do a lot of business into Saudi Arabia, and I want to make sure we continue to do that.

“When I go to Saudi Arabia and Indonesia — and I have a good close working relationship — they have never asked me once to become a Muslim and I have never asked them once to become a Christian.

“They don’t insult me and I’m going to make sure that I don’t insult them.”

The Federal Government has made it clear it will not be banning the burka.

Attorney-General George Brandis received bipartisan applause in Parliament last month when he rebuked One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s call for a similar ban.

Senator Hanson’s decision to wear a burka into the Senate chamber has prompted a rethink about dress standards in Federal Parliament.

Mr Christensen said he was confident he can get enough support to bring on a debate on Sunday.

“I think there will be enough support to have a vote but obviously it’s going to be a hotly debated item, so we will see what happens tomorrow,” Mr Christensen said.

But Mr Joyce urged caution from his colleagues warning of unintended consequences.

“It could stir the possum out of the tree that you didn’t want to toss out,” he said.

Topics: joyce-barnaby, islam, government-and-politics, federal-government, nationals, australia, canberra-2600, indonesia, saudi-arabia

First posted September 09, 2017 16:04:59

Defence tells foreign bidders no need to work with Australian shipbuilders

By James Carmody

Updated September 09, 2017 17:11:33

Foreign ship builders are being told they do not need to partner with local companies to bid for projects under the Australian Government’s $90 billion naval shipbuilding plan.

A Senate Inquiry has heard a Defence Force employee contacted international shipbuilding companies to assure them they would not be mandated to work with Australian Companies.

West Australian shipbuilder Austal and its South Australian partner ASC are lobbying to have a slice of the Navy’s Future Frigates program, which will be based on a yet-to-be-selected international design.

The inquiry heard that Defence department chief Kym Gillis phoned the three international bidders vying for the $35 billion contract to build frigates and told them they need not work with local companies.

Austal chief executive David Singleton told the hearing that after the foreign ship builders — Britain’s BAE Systems, Italy’s Fincatieri and Spanish company Navantia — were told they did not need to work with local companies, communication immediately ceased.

The three international companies have been shortlisted to design, build and sustain nine new anti-submarine warfare frigates to replace Australia’s existing Anzac frigate fleet.

Victorian Labor Senator Kim Carr, who yesterday grilled defence bosses in the inquiry, said it did not make sense that local shipbuilders were overlooked.

“We already have a shipbuilding capacity in this country. In Western Australia, Austal has been able to build ships for navies around the world,” he said.

“If we can build ships for the American navy, why can’t we build ships for our own navy?”

Senator Carr said the Australian Government has an outdated attitude when it came to Australian shipbuilding capacity.

“Thirty-five billion dollars being committed to the frigate program, surely should provide an opportunity for Australians to get right in the middle of this major defence contract,” he said.

“We know that this Government, because of the tender documents that have been released, has a deep-seated prejudice against those companies [Austal and ASC].

“We now know that officials have spoken to the preferred tenders advising them to essentially stay away from those companies.”

WA disappointed with system

Austal chief executive David Singleton said they had told the Government there were “different ways” to run the tender process.

“I don’t know why we’re kind of at the position that we’re at at the moment. I do feel that it’s unsatisfactory for us and I think it’s unsatisfactory … for where the Government wanted to get to,” Mr Singelton said.

“In my heart, I feel that Minister Pyne will make the moves necessary to ensure that our local industry is developed and supported through this program.”

He said he believed there was no need to scrap the existing tender process, but added there could be a concurrent process to encourage the overseas bidders to submit proposals using local shipbuilders.

“I think it’s possible to find a solution to this if people want to find that solution.”

“What we can do, however, is look in parallel, I think, at alternative options for the build program that would include our industry more emphatically in this country.

“Maybe they would say, give us an option for a build that includes the local shipbuilders Austal and ASC, and that seems to me like a very sensible thing to do.”

The WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt said it was disappointing the Federal Government is not putting local jobs first.

“It is somewhat dispiriting when you see the Federal Government not willing to go the extra mile to ensure that Australian and Western Australian jobs in particular are prioritised,” Mr Wyatt said.

“We have proven capability of shipbuilding, a proven capability of maintenance for a Federal Government not to do the heavy lifting to ensure that people in Western Australia, and fair enough more broadly Australia, get these opportunities is just infuriating.

“This is the madness that we’ve got out of the Federal Government at the moment.

“If we’re just going to denigrate our capability and not invest in it, then we’ll simply go down the path of unskilling our own population.”

The parliamentary inquiry into the future of Australia’s naval shipbuilding industry is due to issue its report by the beginning of December.

Topics: navy, government-and-politics, perth-6000, adelaide-5000, canberra-2600

First posted September 09, 2017 13:16:07

‘Thanks, Connie Cottonsocks’: Tributes flow for cancer campaigner

Updated September 09, 2017 23:43:20

Thousands of tributes for cancer charity founder Connie Johnson have been posted online, after the mother of two died of cancer on Friday.

Social media has been flooded with tributes, memories and messages of support for the woman who vowed to help the search for a cure, and so stop families being torn apart by the disease.

Supporters who had never met Connie left touching tributes on the Love Your Sister Facebook page, which has received more than 50,000 comments and tens of thousands of shares.

The current total raised by the charity sits at $5,605,000.

Laura Boland posted: “Vale, Connie. You were such a shining light. Our world is better for having you in it. Thank you for your gift of honesty, courage and truth to this village.”

“I have tears for a lady I’ve never met, but who inspired and touched so many lives. Thank you Connie for sharing your amazing self and journey with the world.” shared Tammy Hanson

Ms Johnson and her Logie award winning brother, Samuel, set up the Love Your Sister charity soon after Connie was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

Together, they worked tirelessly after Ms Johnson’s diagnosis to raise money for a cancer cure and prompt women to be breast aware.

Mr Johnson shared the news of her death on social media, posting: “We lost Connie today. Or, as she asked me to say, she died of cancer today… Trust me, she was genuinely cushioned by your love, till the end.”

“See you on Connie’s tribute wall we built.”

He directed supporters to leave tributes and memories on a “Wall of Love”, and hundreds did so.

“Following Connie’s journey has been inspirational — she has been incredibly real, beautiful and honest. Her work will never be forgotten. What a brave soul, the world was lucky to have her x ” Courtney shared.

“All anyone can hope is to make a difference in this world and Connie, you have done that in spades… both in raising your boys and in creating this village. You are so very, very loved. Rest well dear one” Barb Watson wrote.

For her work Connie was presented with a Medal of the Order of Australia the day before her death, an honour her brother said she was “chuffed” to receive.

Topics: death, community-and-society, breast-cancer, diseases-and-disorders, health, canberra-2600, act, australia

First posted September 09, 2017 12:35:18

Alternative to work-for-the-dole scheme launched in NT

Posted September 08, 2017 19:49:27

Aboriginal organisations from across the Northern Territory have launched their own remote employment scheme, which they say should replace the Federal Government’s “racially discriminatory” work-for-the-dole program.

The current Community Development Programme (CDP) covers about 35,000 people across Australia and most participants are Indigenous.

Under the scheme, people must spend 25 hours over five days a week on “work-like” activities to get their unemployment benefits and are fined for being late or failing to show up.

Speaking outside Parliament House in Canberra, the alliance said the scheme was impractical in remote communities, where the job market was poor.

It said the “community-driven” plan would end the harsh penalty regime under CDP.

“We call on the current government to scrap it, get rid of it and work with the Aboriginal leadership,” Aboriginal Peak Organisations NT (APONT) chief executive John Paterson said.

“Not next week, not next month, not next year but right now because Aboriginal people, Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal families are hurting, and I mean seriously hurting.”

The APONT alliance includes the Northern and Central Land Councils, Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency and Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT.

The group’s proposed Remote Development Employment Scheme includes a jobs fund, which would allow local Indigenous organisations to employ people in part-time work on community projects.

According to APONT, the new scheme would create 10,500 part-time jobs — 30 per cent of CDP’s current caseload — as a “starting point”.

The jobs would go to people who are currently receiving social security payments below the minimum wage.

A spokesperson for the Indigenous Affairs Minister said Nigel Scullion “has already stated his intention to move to a wages-based scheme” and consultations about new model have begun.

Senate committee also considering effectiveness of programme

APONT’s launch coincided with a Senate committee hearing looking at the appropriateness and effectiveness of the CDP in remote communities.

Yuendumu’s Centrelink acting Site Manager and Community and Public Sector Union representative, Brook Holloway, told the inquiry police had reported increasing crime rates because of the penalty regime.

“I remember one police officer telling me, thank God you’re here, can you turn the money back on?” Mr Holloway said.

“He was sick of the DV call-outs and the break and enters. If you take away someone’s basic right, their food their money, someone’s going to find a way to get it.

“It doesn’t matter if you live in St Kilda or you live in Warlpiri country, you take someone’s money away from them, they’ll find a way to survive.”

Mr Holloway also said many CDP providers have not used interpreters.

“You could ask anyone that’s been to one of the CDP providers and ask them what’s in their job plan and they’ll tell you that they don’t know.”

“And that’s purely because they’ve had no access to interpreters while negotiating these contracts.”

Earlier this year during Senate estimates, the Prime Minister’s department confirmed 54,997 penalty notices had been issued from July 1 to September 30 last year.

More than 200,000 breach notices had been handed out since CDP began in July 2015.

Topics: indigenous-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander, community-and-society, aboriginal, work, welfare, nt, canberra-2600

Connie Johnson’s long fight to cure cancer

Updated September 09, 2017 09:03:23

Connie Johnson inspired the nation through her experience with cancer.

Since receiving her terminal diagnosis seven years ago, the mother-of-two dedicated herself to raising money for cancer research, alongside her brother, Logie award-winning actor Samuel Johnson.

Together they formed the ‘Love Your Sister’ charity, which has since raised more than $4 million.

At 11 she was diagnosed with a bone tumour in her leg and a decade later cancer was found in her womb.

Delivering a Ted Talk in 2014, Connie told the crowd how she beat both, thanks to early treatment.

“Me and cancer, well, we have a love hate relationship, I absolutely hate cancer, but unfortunately cancer loves me,” she said.

But this time, at 33, the cancer had spread to her spine, pelvis, lungs and liver.

“There is no cure, this time I would not be a survivor and my children will lose their mother,” she said.

But instead of retreating Connie embarked on the fight of her life.

At the last fundraiser she would attend — the Big Heart Project in Canberra this year — Connie spoke about what motivated her to keep going.

“I think about my children growing up and them experiencing in their lifetime cures, better treatments and a world where cancer doesn’t tear families apart the way it does now,” she said.

“That gives me hope and it also gives me peace that as I leave this world I feel like I have done everything that I could to build a more hopeful future.”

Love Your Sister was built on one wheel

Connie and her brother Sam hatched their first fundraising plan soon after her breast cancer diagnosis.

Sam had a profile through his career as an actor, so Connie issued her larrikin brother a dare — would he ride around the country on a unicycle?

“Together my brother, actor Samuel Johnson, and I cooked up a way to give me a long-lasting legacy, something that would be around long after I was gone. Something my kids could read about and say ‘Wow! That’s my mum!’,” Connie said in 2014.

So Sam hit the road, with the goal of raising $1 million and spreading breast cancer awareness.

“He built Love Your Sister with one wheel,” Connie said at a fundraising event this year.

She was at the finish line when he completed his marathon effort, with a cheque worth $1.5 million for the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

“I’m thrilled to be here, before I didn’t know if I would make it or not so to be here is overwhelming,” she said in an interview.

“He is my brother and my hero.”

It was the beginning of the successful Love Your Sister charity.

Connie’s last hurrah

This year Sam and Connie planned their biggest event yet — to collect five-cent coins and make a giant silver heart.

Sadly, the Big Heart Project would end up being Connie’s last public project.

“This is the last hurrah. It wasn’t going to be but during the planning for the event I got worse news, and my health declined quite rapidly and I am no longer receiving active cancer treatment,” Connie said.

They put the call out for Australians to donate their smallest currency during a family fun day.

“Those pesky five cent pieces, none of us like them and we can turn that into serious coin for cancer research,” Sam said on the day.

“It’s sinking in today [that] this is the end of my fundraising life with Connie.

“We have spent years doing this together now, the adrenaline from this event has kept her going.”

The response surpassed what Sam or Connie could have ever imagined.

With more than $2 million raised Connie stepped back to spend time with her family.

“I am hoping that without the chemo in my system that I might have a bit of a boost for a little while, feel a little better before the cancer takes over and in that time I just want to be a mum,” she said.

A village and brother’s love carry on Connie’s legacy

Sam vowed to carry on his sister’s legacy.

At this year’s Logie Awards he announced he would not take another acting job until $10 million had been raised for Love Your Sister.

” I am going to kick cancer in the face-hole,” he said.

“I’ve committed to raising $10 million with the Love Your Sister community for a cure for cancer so that’s what we will do and until we hit that $10 million I won’t be acting.”

Just days before she died Connie was awarded a Medal for the Order of Australia and Sam said he could not be prouder of his sister.

“She didn’t want to make it about her but I haven’t seen her like that since she was a kid,” he said.

“She was like a kid in a lolly store with all the lollies in it, not just a few.

“It was a perfect rainbow in a dark storm.”

The Love Your Sister “villagers”, as Sam and Connie called them, watched Connie share her most challenging fight on social media.

She moved into a hospice in Canberra in July, posting personal updates as the cancer took over.

But always the fighter, Connie was still finding positives.

In one update in August she wrote:

“But today I realised that I still have my mind, there’s no cancer there. I still have my hands and my arms for hugging my children, I still have eyesight for seeing my friends, I still have my hearing for lovely conversations and music. I just feel so wonderfully happy! XX Connie”

Connie leaves behind a husband, two sons and a village determined to fight cancer in the Love Your Sister community.

Topics: death, community-and-society, breast-cancer, cancer, diseases-and-disorders, health, australia, act, canberra-2600

First posted September 08, 2017 19:22:49