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Mandurah woman continues to fight for justice after murderer’s appeal

Crime victim demands justice Debbie Tippett outside court in 2015.
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TweetFacebookLindsay’s not here anymore.But I am.And I want answers.

Debbie Tippett

Following Collard’s guilty plea – after appeal – to the lesser charge of manslaughter, Ms Tippett said she felt forgotten by the Director of Public Prosecutions, and planned to agitate for the original charge of kidnapping to be upgraded to attempted murder.

“If it can go one way for him, why can’t it go that way for me?” she said.

“He tried to kill me.If he can appeal, I should be able to, too.

“This is just a kick in the guts.”

Disgust: Ms Tippett says she still struggles to sleep since the day Collard threatened to kill her. Photo: Kate Hedley.

Ms Tippett, who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following her ordeal at the hands of Collard, said she still struggled to sleep since the day he threatened to kill her.

She has never received criminal compensation, and claims she has been offered no help in dealing with the mountain of paperwork stemming from the court case.

“Why isn’t this over?” she said.“Why aren’t I able now to just get on with my life?

“More effort goes into protecting the criminal.When I ask for help I can’t get it.”

Ms Tippett said she had requested a meeting with the Attorney General to discuss her concerns.

“I am just hoping for victims to be treated with far more respect than criminals,” she said.

“I don’t know why that’s not happening now.I feel like screaming.

“I want answers.”

This article first appeared on Mandurah Mail

Claire DunnLively lesson with Principal Marsden

NEW SCHOOL: Writer John Marsden is now a full-time teacher.A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of interviewing John Marsden – one of Australia’s national treasures and a quiet campaigner for the rights of education, imagination and nature.
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For most of us, Marsden is best known as the author of Tomorrow, When The War Began and the Ellie Chronicles, his provocative and often dark novels gathering a cult following here and overseas.

In what is almost the ultimate sacrifice for a prolific writer, in recent years Marsden has put down his pen and taken upfull-time teaching at Candlebark, one of two independent schools he founded on properties outside Melbourne.

While Marsden once said that he dreamt of fame and fortune before his writing career took off, the time constraints put on our interview make it clear how priorities have shifted.

“Before becoming a principal I wrote about three books every two years. Since then, it’s been three booksin 11 years. My days are filled with school management issues. I work on school stuff 10 to 12 hours a day, six to seven days a week,” he says.

As a kid, John read voraciously, one of his favourites The Children of Cherry Tree Farmby Enid Blyton. Some have likened John to Tammylan, the main character in Blyton’s fiction, who lived rough and had a great affinity with nature.

“Certainly, like Tammylan, I pick up other people’s rubbish wherever I go – in the bush, at school, along the street, at the kids’ soccer matches. And I hate to see wild animals killed, or wild places desecrated,” John says.

Time spent in the bush is still one of the things that he relies on to nourish his soul.

“I’ve always loved the bush and bushwalking. I bought this property, the Tye Estate, near Romsey, supposedly the biggest privately owned block of native vegetation in Victoria, to preserve it from developers. Spending time in the bush, watching kangaroos, wombats, echidnas, cockatoos and wedge-tailed eagles, is the most profound spiritual experience I know.”

Described by some as a cross between Steiner and The Simpsons, Candlebark is based on a philosophy of creative ‘lively’ learning, including how to use log splitters and chainsaws, microwaves and blenders; lighting fires and playing ‘rambunctious roughhousing games’ like British Bulldog.The school quickly filled to capacity, and in 2016 Marsden opened Alice Miller, the arts-focused secondary school, also in the Macedon Ranges. He considers the schools viable alternatives to the “inherently unworkable” model of mainstream education.

“The basic idea, that you take the biggest possible number of kids, squash them into the smallest possible space, and provide the fewest possible number of adults to look after them, is not viable. We should have brilliant, knowledgeable adults working with small groups of kids – and we should provide heaps of room for the children to run, play and explore.”

When asked how he maintains hope while remaining aware of the dangers of climate change and ecological crisis, Marsden is characteristically both philosophical and practical.

“When I was a kid, I read a quotable quote in, of all things, Readers Digest, which said: ‘Loving the world is easy; it’s loving the guy next door that’s difficult.’ I think this applies to many situations. We can all talk glibly and beautifully about the need for global action, but do we stoop to pick up the plastic bag in the gutter that otherwise may end up in the ocean? I think we should campaign globally, but at the same time make sure we do all we can on a micro level.”

Thinking globally but acting locally is exactly what Marsden has achieved, although the ripples of his actions have extended far beyond the pond in which they began.

Pauline Hanson pledges to pursue Bender inquiry

Helen Bender with One Nation leader Pauline Hanson on her tour of Chinchilla last week to hear concerns about unconventional gas mining on landholders. Picture from Ms Hanson’s Facebook page.ONE Nation leader Pauline Hanson has told Chinchilla locals she will follow-up “personally” with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the whereabouts of a Senate inquiry into unconventional gas mining.
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The inquiry was instigated in the previous parliament by former Queensland Palmer United Party member, turned independent Senator, Glenn Lazarus.

That inquiry was due to hand down its report on June 30 this year but the process was interrupted by the calling of the July 2 double-dissolution election where Senator Lazarus failed to be re-elected.

It was subsequently called the “Bender inquiry” after Chinchilla cotton farmer George Bender who took his own life late last year, after a decade-long battle against Coal Seam Gas mining in his home area, in seeking to give farmers the right to prevent mining companies entering their land.

That cause has since been taken up by his daughter Helen Bender who spoke at a community meeting held last week in the Queensland farming district and was one of the landholders that Senator Hanson spent time with during her tour of the region.

Ms Bender told the forum – that was also broadcast on social media – the situation with her father was, “much harder to talk about now than ever before”.

“I’m pretty proud of my father, he said ‘no’,” she said.

“Basically games are played by the industry and basically through those games, it led to the death, of George, taking his life, that’s just over a year now.”

Ms Bender said Senator Lazarus had established the Senate inquiry in honour of her father but Mr Turnbull’s decision to call a double dissolution election had provided a “very convenient” method for him to “just basically push it out the back door, and under the carpet and let’s not deal with the real issue”.

“Hopefully Pauline, and for all the voices in the gas fields, we can have our voice back again, because we do need that,” she said.

Senator Hanson said she only learned about the Bender inquiry on the day of her tour of the area but pledged to follow through and see where it was now at and “speak to the Prime Minister himself personally”.

Senator Pauline HansonThis article first appeared on FarmOnline

Holiday fun with prawn run

FISH OF THE WEEK: Five-year-old Hamish Dunne wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for the monster 87cm flathead caught on poddy mullet in Swan Bay.
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HOLIDAY fun with the prawn run, and everything that chases the Aussie Christmas treat, will be on the wishlist ofmany anglers over the festive break.

With the sun expected to break through the clouds over the weekend, Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse Marks Point, said there was no better time to scoop up your own Christmas lunch.

“The highlight has got to be the prawn run,” Jason said.“That will be the thing on everyone’s mind when they see how much prawns are, they’ll want to catch their own.”

He said the prawn run started on Wednesday night but will be in full swing over the weekend on Lake Macquarie.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to get out there with their family and experience it, whether they are walking around in the shallows or getting out in the channel and anchoring up with a light,” he said. “I always like to get out in the boat but the key is you’ve got to get out on the beginning of the run-out tide.”

Brent “Hammer” Hancock, from Tackleworld Port Stephens, said the Myall River “up around Tamboy” has been a hot spot for prawns in his region.

PRAWN CHASERSThe prawns on offer should make for great fishing for whiting, bream, jew and flatheadover the Christmas weekend.

Whiting and bream have been mainstay catches in recent weeks, while flathead have also been in solid supply, as can be seen by our fish of the week winner, Hamish Dunne.

Proud grandmother Lorraine Davies took the photo of five-year-old Hamish and his grandfather Warren Davies with the whoppingflathead caught on December 10.

“He came over to our place for a fish off the jetty in Swan Bay, Marks Point,” Lorraine wrote.

“First throw out I thought he had snagged the bottom and I watched from a distance as he was fighting to reel the fish in. He was excited with his efforts on catching this beauty flathead measuring 87cm. Now he said he is going to teach Pop how to fish.”

Jason said the catch was a sign of things to come.

“That’s a big fish,and what you will start to see is these fish gather up, because they are not far off going in for that spawning period,” he said.“These big females will now be carrying lots of eggs and we’ll see through January and February them coming in to mate.

“There’s been some really good catches of flatties in the channel and I’ve had some really encouraging reports of bream. Salts Bay has been fishing quite well but also in the Marks Point, Belmont Bay area.”

He said the mix of prawns, spawns and warmer weather should make for plenty of bites.

“Whether it’s the seaward side of Salts Bay or up towards the dropover, and of course on the fringe of the lake, fish will cometo take advantage of the situation,” he added.

He said lake jew around the 90cm mark were getting caught on high tide usingsoft plastics, while there had beengreat reports of bream around the Wangi area, some around 45cm.

It’s been a similar story at Port Stephens.Brent said bream were biting at the back of the Nelson Bay, around the racks at Soldiers Points.

“One of our customers got one that was about 1.6 kilos on a surface lure during the week,” he said.

There were also solid reports of flathead up Tilligerry Creek, near Lemon Tree Passage, whilejew had been on the chew in the bay.

”Adam Hodges got one over 20 kilos there early in the weekup around Soldiers Point,” he said.

Matt, from Duff’s Salamander Bait and Tackle, said “crazy Steve the painterwas down into the bream the other day off Marsh Road.He got four bream and two weighed over a kilo and a half.”

LIVELY OFFSHORETruckloads of trag and some striped marlin are the talk of offshore fishing, which has improved with warmerwaters.

“Everyone is catching trag, from Broughton Island toNorah Head,” Jason said. “They are everywhere and I heard of a five kilo fish getting caught the other day. There has been snapper and nice catches of jew, but the guys who are catching the jew offshore are going out of an evening and live-baiting.”

Brent said “there’s a few striped marlin starting to turn up on the shelf, a few boats have been out there getting one or two a day.”

Dolphin fish up to 10kg have also been caught on the FADs. Matt said one customer brought in four.

DARTING INWhiting continue to dominate beach fishing but dart have also made an appearance.

“Usually the larger dart are around the Coffs Harbour area, but there’s a lot around mixed in with the whiting, and some flatties,” Jason said.

Brent saidheaps of whiting had come in off Shoal Bay beach with live tube worms the No.1 bait.

Mattsaid Dave “Schoey” Schofield was into the whiting again on Wednesday morning.

“He had 15 whiting, two bream and a very large skipjack, which looked like a queen fish, all on live worms, down on Stockton Beach at about three and a half ks,” he said.

Planning a bright 2017

LOOKING AHEAD: Use the holiday period to really look at where you spend money and where your business is going. Use this time to create a roadmap for the way forward in the next 12-months.*Sponsored by Small Business First
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A new year is a fantastic time to refresh and re-energise your business.

As 2017 rolls around, it’s a chance for you and your business to assess where you are at, what issues may have been mounting that can be fixed, and where you want to take the business over the next 12-months.

But you know as well as I do that unless you really sit down to plan, identify some goals, and make sure it happens, nothing will change.

So, time to make some new year’s resolutions for your business. Here are a couple that I’ve found are a great starting point.

Get planning

They say that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If your business is going to achieve anything this year, it’s going to need a roadmap and some real, tangible goals and objectives.

Big businesses do this religiously every year – they plan out their marketing objectives for the year, outline revenue targets and then detail the exact steps to achieving those targets. This is something every small business needs to be doing too.

Plug the leaks

I hate the feeling of knowing your business is leaking money but not knowing where or how to stop it.

But over the course of a year, as we get busier and busier and processes fall by the wayside, this can become incredibly harmful for your business.

Over the new year period get your reports out, go through with a fine-toothed comb, and look at where you could be saving money. Then spend some time shopping around for ways to cut costs.

Sites like Small Business First can really help. For example, there’s currently an offer from Uber for business which could take a bucket load off your travel costs.

Get paid on time

It’s so important to your business to get paid on time. If late-paying customers have been an issue, it’s time to address it. Identify your worst paying customers and question whether they are worth hanging onto.

Change your payment terms to include upfront deposits, incentives for early payment, or even late fees. And automate your reminders so that you don’t need to be chasing up paymentson the due date.

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Readers should shop around for the best deal to suit their needs. Pinstripe Media, David Koch’s family business, is a founder of Small Business First.

Australian Bloodstock change course in hunt for Magic Millions starts

HUNTER syndicators Australian Bloodstock will saveDeneeky for an easier assignment at Scone on Saturday but test Rhymes at the Wyong Magic Millions meeting on Thursday.
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Luke Murrell. Picture: Getty Images

The Kris Lees-trainedfillieswere nominated for the main Wyong events, which serve as qualifiers for races at the rich Gold Coast Magic Millions carnival next month.

Deneeky, a winner on debut at Muswellbrook, was down to race in the $200,000 two-year-old race(1100 metres), while Rhymes is in the $100,000 three- and four-year-old feature (1200m).

However, Australian Bloodstock director Luke Murrell saidDeneeky would be scratched given the strength of the Wyong race, which features black-type winner Madeenaty.

“The aim has always been to try to get her into theMagic Millions race and that one tomorrow is probably the best edition of that race there’s ever been,” Murrell said.“We think it’s probably a little too hard for her at this stage, so we’re going to go to Scone on Saturday. If shewins we could probably just sneak into the field.”

Rhymes is one of three Hunter-trained outsiders in the other feature, where Bjorn Baker’s Egyptian Symbol isthe early favourite. Newcastle trainer Paul Perry will start Last Witness, while Scone’s Rodney Northam has Touch Sensitive.

Murrell said Rhymes, which was second at Port Macquarie and Muswellbrookin her two starts,was being aimed at the$250,000maiden Magic Millions race.

”Kris has wanted to try her in a better class and ride her quiet, so we’re going to try that and see how far off the better ones she is,” he said.

Search for the CEO: Newcastle conservatives welcome review despite vote confusion

Cr Brad Luke, right, and lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes exchange words after an aborted council meeting last week. A TRIO of conservative Newcastle councillors say they have nothing to hideafter being referred to the Office of Local Government overthe search for a new interim chief executive.
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In a now-contested vote on Tuesday night, the council supported a motion by Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes which included referring councillors Brad Luke (Liberal), Andrea Rufo (Independent) and Allan Robinson (Independent) to the council watchdog.

However, it was only the next day when Cr Luke learned he was named as part of the investigation approved by council.

“She [Cr Nelmes]handed out a piece of paper with something written on it … then she said another thing, moved it and voted on it,” Cr Luke said.

The council requested theOffice of Local Government investigate “reported conversations” between Cr Luke, Cr Rufo and Cr Robinson prior to the start of interviewsin the appointment of the next interim CEO.

Cr Robinson claims he was told, by a member of the public, who had been appointed to the top job two days before interviews began. Cr Rufo – who was one of three councillors on the interviewing panel – later resigned in protest due to what he believed was a tainted process.

Tuesday’s motioncalled for Cr Rufo’s actions to be investigated, “and the fact none of these ‘concerns’ were raised by Cr Rufo during the process”.

Asked the next daywhether he agreed with the lord mayor’s motion, Cr Rufo replied: “I was still reading the document when she was calling for votes. I’m named in there and I wasn’t given time to vote”.

The Independent councillor abstained from voting because he was still reading what was being moved.

However, Cr Nelmes was adamant everyone had enough time to read the 147-word document.

“I clearly said, ‘It’s a motion, as distributed’,” she said. “I said, ‘Has everyone read the motion?’.

“Everyone said yes.”

Asked why the motion wasn’t read out in full, Cr Nelmes said: “You don’t get to hear every motion, otherwise we’d be there all night.”

Despite the confusion, Cr Rufo said he welcomed the Office of Local Government review. “I’m excited to be given the opportunity to raise my concerns,” he said.

Cr Robinson said the review was the “greatest thing ever”, while Cr Luke said it needed to be an “in-depth investigation that interviewed everyone”.

Tinkler fails to get out of bankruptcy

NATHAN Tinkler’s audacious bid to escape bankruptcy has fallen at the first hurdle after he failed to post the $1 million he proposed to settle debts of more than $550 million before a creditors’ meeting on Wednesday.
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Mr Tinkler’s bankruptcy trustee, John Melluish of Ferrier Hodgson, said “part of the proposal was that the funds had to be sitting there before the meeting started”.

“This had not occurred before the time of the meeting and therefore it could not be put to creditors, so it was a bit of a non-event, in the end,” Mr Melluish said.

Nathan Tinkler at a recent meeting in favour of Drayton coalmine.

He said “three or four” creditors had attended the Grosvenor Place meeting in person and another “four or five” took part by telephone.

He said Mr Tinkler spoke to the meeting by telephone.

Asked if Mr Tinkler had said why he did not post the funds as promised, Mr Melluish said he could not go into detail beyond noting it appeared Mr Tinkler’s relationship had deteriorated with the other partners in Australian Pacific Coal –a business attempting to reopen the Dartbrook coalmine near Muswellbrook.

But Mr Melluish said Mr Tinkler had indicated “he could try again in the New Year” to put an offer to creditors.

Mr Tinkler was forced into personal bankruptcy in March this year after finance company GE Commercial moved against him over about $2.7 million owed on the lease of a private jet.

Documents prepared for his bankruptcy indicate he owes $553.8 million to more than a dozen creditors, although some of these, including US investment bank Jeffries, have no dollar figures next to their debts, indicating the total could be much higher.

The tax office is claiming $106 million in taxes and penalties.

Under bankruptcy law, a proposal such as this has to be accepted by 75 per cent of the creditors by value, and 50 per cent by number.

Mr Melluish said that if Mr Tinkler’s proposal was eventually accepted, even those creditors who voted against it would be bound by its conditions.

Under the terms of his bankruptcy, Mr Tinkler is obliged to make regular“income contributions”, which Mr Melluish said he had not been making.

“Given that the bankrupt has not paid any contributions, consideration is being given to extending his bankruptcy by a further five years,” Mr Melluish said in his December 13 report to creditors.

Although Mr Tinkler is no longer formally associated withAustralian Pacific Coal, Tinkler family entities still own shares in the company, which a year ago announced plans to buyDartbrook fromAnglo American.

German mining identity Hans Mendes agreed to tip in $10 million in September butthis deal was“not completed” and“still on foot” earlier this month.

Fairfax Media left text messages for Mr Tinkler, but they were not returned.

Ho-Ho-Ho House of the weekMayfield WestPhotos

House of the week | Mayfield West | Photos TweetFacebook House of the week | Mayfield WestThe tradition of putting up the Christmas decorations in December takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to Vicki and Brian Frankham’s Mayfield West home.
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With only the bedrooms and bathroom off-limits, the house’s interior is annually converted to an Aladdin’s Cave of Christmas treasures.

The everyday decor is packed away and almost every surface between the front door and the back deck is adorned with delicately intricate and elaborately colourful Christmas items.

They range from from animated scenes to tiny ornaments and large statues.

Then there are the trees: there are five this year including a traditional green adorned with glittering lights and glass baubles, a white snowman-shaped tree and a black one topped with a Mad Hatter’s headpiece.

“If you’re going to ask me why I do this, I’m a nutter,” Vicki laughs.

“And my husband’s a nutter for letting me do this.”

Vicki and daughter Casey started the tradition about 15 years ago, with the collection growing annually.

Vicki has lost count of the number of items acquired (she owns about 80 elves alone) but has a shed full of decorations to mark her appreciation of the festive season.

“I love Christmas because it includes everyone,” Vicki says.“It’s not just like your birthday when it’s just about you.”

Vicki loves shopping for gifts for the Christmas charity wishing tree and opening her home to friends for an annual December Christmas party to showcase the wonderland she and Casey create.

Planning begins at the end of the first week in November, with decorating complete for the party on the second Saturday in December.

“It’s never the same,” Vicki says of the interior design.

She sources everything from Forever Christmas in Mayfield.

“I get to wander around the shop I call my happy place,” Vicki says.“When Brian comes home and I’m not here he says ‘I know where she is’.”

Each year Vicki challenges store owner Sandy Diamante to find her new treasures – and she never fails.

“I say to Casey ‘I won’t have to buy anything at the Christmas shop next year; what could Sandy get in that I could possibly want?’,” Vicki says.

“She always amazes me.”

This year one of Vicki’s favourite pieces is a Patience Brewster limited edition Santa statue, a birthday gift from Diamante, that is displayed in the hallway.

New this year is a Mark Roberts limited edition Mrs Claus figurine.

“I’ve never had a Mrs Claus,” Vicki says.

“She’s fabulous.”

A returning favourite is a frog statue; he’s dressed in a green and red Santa suit, a pointy party hat, and stands on the kitchen bench.

“Well look at him, he’s just cute,” Vicki remarks on why she can’t resist putting the frog back on display.

Sparkling silver and glass pieces make the dining room centrepiece a standout too.

“I love the table this year,” Vicki says.

“I think the fact that it sparkles.

“If you have a little look around my house, you’re going to go ‘this lady likes sparkle and bling a little bit’.”

Even Vicki’s silver kitchen cupboard handles (from AJ Edden) are adorned with diamantes.

Among the largest of the Christmas decorations in the Frankham home is a Patience Brewster life-size nativity cow, which has a spot on the back deck.

The smallest pieces are Heart of Christmas miniature figurine owls and mice, displayed on shelves in the home’s central hallway.

Other highlights include Mark Roberts baubles encrusted with beads, crystals and other gems, that hang from the shelves.

“If I had heaps of money, I’d have a whole tree of these,” Vicki says.

Lemax animated village scenes include an eggnog factory and brewery.

“The eggnog is for me and the booze is for Brian,” Vicki laughs.

Taking pride of place on recessed shelves in the lounge room is a set of eight Patience Brewster ornamental reindeer.

The pieces are modelled on Clement C. Moore’sThe Night Before Christmasand each has it’s own identifying adornment: Blitzen is wrapped is a fluffy snowball-like coat; Comet is covered in little stars.

But Vicki’s biggest joy is opening her home and sharing it all with friends at the annual Christmas party.

“Everybody comes through and loves it,” she says.

“It’s just the pleasure, I guess, that my motley crew enjoy.”

Have a home that could feature in Weekender? We’d love to see it. Email:[email protected]南京夜网南京夜生活.

The Katering Show: How to shut-down annoying relatives at Christmas lunch

The Katering Show: Kate McCartney (left) and Kate McLennan. Photo: SuppliedGot your noodle in a knot over whether to parboil your potatoes or reheat your rigatoni? Stars ofThe Katering Show, intolerable foodie Kate McLennan and food intolerant friend Kate McCartney, tackle your vexing culinary questions. Our serving suggestion? Take their advice with a generous pinch of salt.
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1. I love your booze reviews. What trendy drinks should I buy to serve at a Christmas party?McC says:HOW FUN ARE CHRISTMAS PARTIES, BJORN?!!!

That’s a genuine question, Bjorn. Please be specific. These days I only see three people; my kid, my cat and McLennan, so I don’t get invited to parties. It’s fine though, because it means I’m never hungover so I can rise early in the morning and eat toast over the sink, like a sad collab between Cotton On and an Edward Hopper painting.

However, all is not lost. Let me cast my mind back to when I used to go to parties and I’ll try to remember some trendy drinks:

Sub Zeros. The heavy-water reactor je ne sais quoi of this alco-pop is enhanced by drinking it in a park in 1996 when you are a girl who is quietly listening to that conversation that all straight white teenage dudes have about The Doors. The conversation goes for two years, a lot of it is silence and head-nodding, and if an unthinking girl makes a noise, or a movement in their peripheral vision – thus distracting them from their holy purpose – then they have to start the conversation all over again.

Blue Curacao and lemonade. This is a really lovely blue-tasting drink that has the added benefit of making you urinate green like you’re Mighty Poseidon and you can play the seas like a keytar.

Midori Illusion Shaker. From memory this drink can only be accessed via a hose that’s coming out of a custom-built backpack that is in turn being carried by a 19-year-old promotional model who just wants to exit the club and go to bed, leaving you all to writhe around on the dance floor to the pounding base of C’est La Vie by BeWitched.

Cognac. I went on a date once in 2003 and it was to a cognac tasting at a bar. I have no excuse for being a party to that cocksnappery, except to say that it was a different time and I was confused and wearing kitten heels with very baggy jeans.

That night, as per the (assumedly) regular framework of a cognac tasting, I tried a variety of cognacs. And although this experience was 13 years ago, I feel like cognac is still trendy because cognac tastes like the Exxon oil spill, and Reg Tillerson is hot-hot-hot right now. In fact, he’s so hot here’s hoping he self-combusts, next to, say, Steve Bannon.

When it comes to cocktails, the more sugar and food colouring, the better. Photo: iStock

Anyway, I guess those are my suggestions. Whatever happens, please invite me to your Christmas party, Bjorn, because it’s grim round these parts. The closest we’ve come to a Christmas celebration is McLennan’s suggestion that we go and “look at a plant (she) wants to buy” during our 20-minute lunch break. So in summary, please save me immediately.

EXPLICIT LANGUAGE WARNING2. I love my family but we have totally different politics. How can I avoid the Trump card being played at holiday dinners, and putting everyone off their food?McC says:I say go hard, Kelly. Thunderdome your family holiday dinners. Sort the wheat from the chaff. Not to be too dramatic, but if the trajectory of 2016 was anything to go by, we’re maybe 4 months off aWater Worldsituation and along with learning how to ride the back of a tiger shark with a knife between your teeth, you’ve also got to pick a side.

Oh, you think reducing homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination in schools is going to tear the fabric of our super cool, super cruisy Australian existence apart, do you Uncle Greg? Time to put down that fork and GO STAND IN THE PANTRY TILL YOU’RE LESS OF AN ARSEHAT, UNCLE GREG.

Oh, you think the Irish were slaves too, do you Aunty Helen? You take your second helping of pudding and YOU GET OUT OF MY PARENTS’ HOUSE AND YOU CLOSE THE SCREEN DOOR AFTER YOU BECAUSE OF THE DOG.

Don’t think the date of Australia Day should be changed, do you Carol? HEAD TO THE HILLS, CAROL, BEFORE I PIFF THIS TURKEY LEG AT YOU AND MISS TERRIBLY BECAUSE I DID NOT PLAY SPORTS AT SCHOOL BECAUSE OF THE PATRIARCHY AND ALSO A TOTAL LACK OF INTEREST.

Can’t believe that the US is being so selectively outraged at Russia’s interference with the US election given their own history of meddling in other countries’ elections, eh Cousin Freya? WELL THAT’S ACTUALLY AN INTERESTING POINT I’LL NEED TO RESEARCH THAT MORE, THANKS COUSIN FREYA, DO YOU WANT SOME MORE BEANS?

McL says:Karen, your elitist attitude is exactly why we are in this mess in the first place. You’ve been too busy buying your smashed avocado and soy matchstick lattes and compostable diaphragms to realise that white people are suffering.

That’s why I suggest you sit down with your uncles and aunties on Christmas Day, perhaps after they’ve finished eating their seafood buffet lunch, and really listen to them and hear their thoughts on why they “don’t like the direction this country is heading.” Let them finally have a voice, Karen, because they’ve been silent and repressed for far too long. Then once they’ve finished their ranting and sucking back of Coffin Bay Oysters you need to start thinking about how you can make things better for them; because everybody knows that the only hope of achieving equality for all man-kind is to ensure that all the white people are happy and really rich first. As you can imagine, it’s very hard to open your hearts to the children of Syria when you’ve just had a nightmare run on the Peninsula Link.

Or you know, just do what I do and start clapping and chanting “Mmmmm! Best pav yet! Best pav yet! Best pav yet!” whenever anyone starts to tee off on a minority that they’ve literally never clapped eyes on.

Pavlova saves Christmas, yet again. Photo: iStock

3. My sister-in-law insists we only bring healthy food to Christmas lunch this year. I’m feeling very flat about it. Should I rebel?McC says:Hi Florina. I can understand your frustration. I know I get angry when people insist that I cook healthy food for an event, or cook for an event at all, or cook at home, or engage with food in anyway, or listen to jazz, because jazz is like listening to a clarinet trying to stabilise its moods.

But let’s look at each other in our good eye and speak plainly, Florina: that stodgy English Christmas food isn’t actually good, is it?

No one in Australia needs to carb load in December; we’re not shaking the kilojoules out of us in the bitter cold. I’m personally sick of eating a traditional English Christmas meal of dormouse dunked in suet and a side of hot gravy boots when we’re in the Antipodes, it’s 45 degrees Celsius outside and the polar Ice caps are melting like a Calippo under a bum.

Also, everyone stop making Christmas about food. Aside from a shared ice addiction, food is the worst way to bring a family together. Family meals are long and require too much cutlery, and you are normally stuck in a chair at a weird angle next to a homophobe who is also psychic, and often all the food – inclusive of dessert – has onion in it. And onion, we all know, is the main cause of farting in Kate McCartneys.

In summary, tell your sister-in-law to scrap the lunch aspect of Christmas lunch altogether. Just buy some quoits, some cool drinks – maybe even a Tesla home battery if you want to be a responsible consumer – and let your family be the revolution, Florina. And if muscle memory makes you feel like you need to eat, just eat some watermelon. Watermelon is temperature-appropriate and the seeds turned into a superfood this year. Plus a watermelon looks like a head so you can put a Santa hat on it and pretend to talk to it when the homophobe is wafting your way, looking to spread some Christmas hate.

McL says:Hi Florina, You know what? Your sister-in-law is doing her shitting best. Maybe she’s just really concerned for you guys, particularly with your family history of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and gout. Perhaps she’s wanting to avoid a situation like the last family gathering where you bought a deconstructed nacho plate and it made Nan spring a leak. Cut her some freaking slack Florina. And what kind of name is Florina anyway? It sounds like a feminine hygiene spray for cats. You leave those cats alone.

For the record, I think your sister-in-law is doing a remarkable job; she’s raising a child, working two jobs, writing this column, suffering from a nasty head cold and is dealing with the demands of being a woman in a patriarchal society that is hell bent on destroying her oneDaily Telegrapharticle at a time. Just take a toss salad, Florino, and shut the hell up. And for the love of shortbread, give her a hand with the dishes and leave when she starts yawning. She’s so tired her bones are crying.

4. I want to raise my table centrepiece game this Christmas. What’s the 2016 ‘turducken’?McC says:What you need to do is take the classic ingredients of a turducken; a chicken, a duck and a turkey. Then you need to not kill the birds. Then you just need to turn up the Bing Crosby and unleash these live birds on your Christmas table. Did you know that when turkeys become aggressive they will leap with large, sharp talons, and try to peck or grasp the head of their foe? Well, you will soon.

McL says:Hi Miranda. You better raise your table centrepiece game in 2016 because we heard about your 2015 efforts, and frankly, we’re disgusted. You should give back your Woman Membership because you failed us Miranda.

Having said that, I’m so glad that you’ve reached out to us – two women who know everything because they’ve been on the telly – because we can absolutely help you turn your miserable, shameful life around.

Hear me when I say that the Turducken of 2016 is WHO GIVES A CRAP MIRANDA – COME JANUARY 20TH THE WORLD WILL BE ON FIRE!!!

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