A famed Australian TV personality known for her beauty and bright personality was found dead recently hanging in her apartment. While international mainstream media blames Charlotte Dawson’s death on her depression caused by social media bullying, the woman admits in her autobiography that it was in fact her abortion 15 years ago that introduced her to what she called the “depression bogeyman.” “When I got home from the abortion, I felt that something had changed. I felt a shift. Maybe it was hormonal, but I felt the early tinges of what I can now identify as my first experience with depression,” wrote Dawson in her 2012 autobiography Air Kiss & Tell.

Australians were shocked to learn of Dawson’s suicide. Only hours before her body was discovered by a real estate agent, Dawson had appeared on a show looking calm, composed, and on top of the world. No foul play is suspected. Dawson’s is a story of tragic loss, betrayal, and depression. She married Olympic swimmer Scott Miller in 1999, one year before the Summer Olympics in Sydney. The newlyweds were considered to be one of the most glamorous celebrity couples in Sydney at that time. Dawson soon became pregnant with her first, and as it turns out, only child.

“I knew I was pregnant. I could just feel it. It was the most brilliant but terrifying feeling and a test confirmed it,” she wrote in her autobiography. “We were going to have a baby. I was actually going to be a mother. But Dawson’s husband Miller was not supportive of the pregnancy because the upcoming Summer Olympics would conflict with the due date. “I could sense some hesitation in Scott. My due date would clash with the 2000 Olympic Games and this was very concerning. Everything Scott had done was leading up to this moment and nothing could stand in his way, so it was decided that we would terminate the child and try again later.”

“Who needed a developing foetus when a gold medal was on offer, eh?” Dawson wrote. But Dawson could not reconcile the decision to abort with her inner self. She knew that somehow she was not being true to herself as a woman and mother who was carrying a new life within. “Inside I was in total turmoil. I wanted the baby. How long would we have to wait? Were there even any guarantees that I would fall pregnant again?  Of course, I accepted without question that the Olympics was Scott’s number-one priority—I had been told that by him and a number of other interested and invested parties.”

Things went from bad to worse for her when Miller refused to stay with her in the abortion clinic. “Scott accompanied me to the clinic, but he couldn’t cope with the atmosphere so he left me there alone. I was struggling with the decision but tried not to appear emotional or distressed  so that Scott could maintain his focus. I was trying to train myself to think of my baby as an inconvenience. It was difficult.” In the abortion clinic, Dawson began to experience a difficult mix of emotions. “I tried to reconcile myself to the personal responsibility of having a termination. Should I feel guilty? I was challenging my idea that motherhood was an uncomplicated and blissful time, especially for newlyweds,” she wrote.

“I considered the possibility that I might end up being a childless woman, which was a frustrating and demoralizing prospect for me, as I very much wanted to be a mother. What if I couldn’t have another child? What if I’d blown my only chance of motherhood by sacrificing this one?” Abortion for Dawson was not the liberating self-fulfilling experience that abortion advocates said it would be. Having lost her baby to abortion, she tried to focus on what she still had. “It was a horrible, sad time for me, but I had to keep reminding myself of what I had. I had a husband, and we were building a life and a home together.”

“I wanted our baby, but I felt greedy, like I already had too much, that the termination was a compromise I should make,” she wrote. “As brave as I was trying to be, and as much as I tried to reassure myself that we were doing the right thing, it was still a gut-wrenching time.” It was not until Dawson returned home from the abortion clinic that the gravity of what she had done came crashing down on her.  “I should have bought a couch especially for the depression bogeyman right then and there. If I had known he was going to visit so often, I would have at least have had somewhere for him to sit…” she wrote. Dawson’s sacrifice of her only child for the sake of her husband’s Olympic career did not pay off.

Sex tapes emerged around this time of Miller being filmed committing adultery with a female swimmer. He was also caught on tape doping to enhance his performance. He did not even make the team for the Sydney Olympics. The news of her husband’s betrayal added even more devastation to the already shattered Dawson. “If I’d started to feel pangs of depression after the termination, the shock of receiving this news barely six months into my marriage was too much to bear. Something inside me completely broke, something that is beyond repair and has never come back,” she wrote. “I was a broken mess. I had to pretend that nothing was wrong while people were whispering behind my back.”

Source: Compiled by APN from reports from various sources

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Mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has handed the Abbott government an interim report warning drug use and dependency is rising and devastating indigenous communities and calling for the dole to be banned for indigenous teenagers who drop out of school.  Mr Forrest has also said he is seeking urgent talks with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten because he is concerned bipartisanship on closing the indigenous jobs gap is at risk. The Abbott government appointed Mr Forrest to head a  review of the nation’s indigenous jobs regime. His report is due by April. Mr Forrest said his interim report calls for an overhaul of the entire welfare system.

In a recent speech on “Closing the Gap” the Prime Minister revealed that while progress has been made on some objectives, “it is clear we are still failing in too many”. While there had been a small improvement in indigenous life expectancy, progress will need to accelerate considerably if the gap is to be closed by 2031. Progress towards the target to halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade has been disappointing. Only two out of eight areas have shown significant improvement since 2008. No progress has been made against the target to halve the employment gap within a decade.

He suggests a ban on early school-leavers accessing welfare unless they commit to training for a guaranteed job. Mr Forrest said unless the incentive for leaving school to go on welfare was completely removed, indigenous teenagers would continue to drop out. He said he had received countless reports that a major drugs crisis was gripping indigenous Australia. “There is a massively growing drug problem and a failure by many in the indigenous communities to be able to handle it. It’s overwhelming communities,” Mr Forrest said. He said the problem was mainly marijuana but harder drugs including methamphetamine were also spreading rapidly.

“The indigenous community is being targeted by the most immoral of our society to make a short-term buck.” He said his bold Australian Employment Covenant project, established under Kevin Rudd to create thousands of “real jobs” for indigenous people, had been hampered because the previous government had failed to reform the employment training system to match the demands of bosses. “We missed an opportunity to grow indigenous employment over the last 6 or 7 years he said. “My concern is that politics will be played and we won’t achieve bipartisan support. “I’m trying to brief Bill Shorten, as unless partisan politics is kept out of the issue, we will see an increase in the misery.”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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Kevin Donnelly, chosen by Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne to review the national school curriculum, says many parents believe the sexual practices of gays, lesbians and transgender individuals are ”decidedly unnatural” and has questioned whether students ought to learn about such relationships at school. In a book he wrote in 2004, Mr Donnelly also seems to suggest that only heterosexual teachers have a right to teach students about sex. The book, called Why Our Schools Are Failing, was commissioned by the Menzies Research Centre. Malcolm Turnbull, who was chairman of the centre at the time, wrote the foreword.

In the book Mr Donnelly criticises aspects of state curriculum he believes contribute to declining literacy and numeracy standards in schools. He claims ”political correctness” and ”left-wing academics and sympathetic governments” have conspired to infuse state curriculums with politically correct material. He is also critical of the Australian Education Union for promoting teaching about non-heterosexual relationships and safe-sex practices. Mr Donnelly wrote: ”The union argues that gays, lesbians and transgender individuals have a right to teach sex education and that curricula should ‘enhance understanding and acceptance of gay lesbian, bisexual and transgender people’.”

”Many parents would consider the sexual practices of gays, lesbians and transgender individuals unnatural and that such groups have a greater risk in terms of transmitting STDs and AIDS” Mr Donnelly continued. Mr Pyne said he was certain Mr Donnelly would bring a ”balanced approach” to the task, along with the other appointee, Queensland academic Ken Wiltshire. Opposition education spokeswoman Kate Ellis said Mr Donnelly’s views were ”extremely offensive, dangerous and extreme” and had ”absolutely no place in our schools”. A spokesman for Mr Pyne said Mr Donnelly and Mr Wiltshire had been ”specifically asked” to ensure the curriculum was balanced and diverse.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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A 75-year-old Australian missionary held in North Korea for distributing religious material has been released and deported to China. John Short was arrested after leaving “Bible tracts’’ in a Buddhist temple during a tour, and had faced a jail term. Released after allegedly confessing and apologising, Mr Short arrived in Beijing on a flight from the North Korea, breaking down and crying when questioned by journalists. “I’m really, really tired, and need to rest’’ he said before he was ushered off by an Australian official and driven away. North Korea’s state-run news agency said the “generous’’ decision to release and expel Mr Short had been taken in light of his advanced age and a signed “confession’’ and apology.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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