From death’s door to being the eyes of a nation on Cup day

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It was a call that Matthew Hill sort of remembers from 2008, not of a race or a football game, but from his mother saying, “I love you and I hope to see you again”.

Hill was surrounded by n Olympic team doctors and concerned colleagues from radio station 2GB as he lay semi-conscious in a hospital bed in Beijing.

He was struck down by melioidosis, the survival rate was no better than 10 per cent – much worse if he stayed in China.

“I remember having the n team doctors there, Ray Hadley had got them in, and before they put me into a coma, they gave me the phone and said your mum wants to tell you she loves you,” Hill recalled. “She said ‘I love you and I hope to see you again’ before they put me out.

“I didn’t know that she had just been told if I survived the flight to Hong Kong, I might live.”

It’s that day in Beijing that defines Hill’s life. He made it to Hong Kong and within a month was back in having beaten the odds.

Calling the Melbourne Cup is, like everything else that has happened since, a bonus.

Hill, 36, will follow a grand tradition of race callers as he will be the eyes of the nation calling his first Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, a highlight of any career.

A dream result for a boy who wanted to be a race caller from his teens and a sports broadcaster.

But he admits he wouldn’t be at Flemington without finding answers about Beijing.

“It is something you dream of [the Melbourne Cup], but I dreamt of the Olympics as well and it took me a while to get over what happened in Beijing,” Hill said.

“Not health-wise, not that it wasn’t bad, but just not being able to call an Olympics.

“When I was back in Hong Kong, I had been intubated and couldn’t talk. I had to write notes and kept asking Dad about the Olympics and he just told me I was lucky to be here.

“I couldn’t understand it and I actually went to a sports psychiatrist for six months and got back to the Olympics in London [2012].

“Calling the Melbourne Cup is a dream but it is what I do and there are nerves but I’m coping with it pretty naturally.”

Hill has always looked forward to Melbourne Cup because it is an opportunity.

“When you are a kid it’s the day you get a chance in a box somewhere,” he said. “I have called Mildura, Kembla, Muswellbrook and Randwick on Cup day – I think I did a dog meeting one year – so you only see the Cup on television and I would think it would be great to be there.

“Not really for the calling of the race, that was for my dreams.

“I have done a couple of years at Flemington for the ABC but never called a Cup before.

“You look at the great race callers and sports broadcasters that have called the Melbourne Cup, it is definitely the pinnacle.

“It is an achievement.”

Hill is aware of the responsibility on his shoulders from about 3pm on Tuesday.

“You just have to look at who has done it before me – Ray Warren and Bruce McAvaney, both called Melbourne Cups, Greg Miles and Bill Collins have set the standard,” Hill said.

“There is a great history of callers who have done this before me. I know I’ll be nervous close to the race because of what it is.

“You can call 1000 races during the year but if you stuff up the last 15 seconds of the Melbourne Cup that’s all people will remember forever.”

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Queensland nurse went to work five times over the limit

A Queensland nurse who went to work five times over the legal alcohol limit has been fined $2000 for professional misconduct.
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Joanne Elizabeth Chambers scrubbed up to enter a Queensland hospital theatre room on the morning of March 2, 2015 when the anaesthetist commented Ms Chambers “appeared drunk”, according to Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal documents.

The registered nurse left the theatre and was found 20 minutes later by a hospital staff member who said her pupils were dilated and she was being “loud and abusive”.

The nurse pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of liquor and for assault or obstruct a police officer in a public place while adverselyaffected by an intoxicating substance. Photo: Louie Douvis

Police were called to the hospital and were told by Ms Chambers she had drunk alcohol the night before but had finished at 2am, according to court documents.

Ms Chambers was taken to the local police station where it was found she had a blood alcohol reading of 0.256.

She was arrested and on March 19 had a meeting with hospital representatives where she said she was sorry, felt humiliated and explained she was having issues at home, according to court documents.

The following day her employment was terminated and on April 10 she pleaded guilty to two charges – driving under influence and assault or obstruct a police officer in a public place while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance.

Her legal representative submitted she was diagnosed with postnatal depression after she took maternity leave in 2012, had received medication for anxiety, panic attacks, depression and stress-related alcohol abuse.

She was convicted and fined $1800, disqualified from driving and sentenced without recording conviction to 60 hours of community service. She did not tell the national registration board of the outcome.

According to a QCAT decision handed down last week, Ms Chambers was ordered to pay $2000 for failing to notify the National Board of her convictions.

Acting Deputy President Kerrie O’Callaghan noted Ms Chambers had demonstrated remorse and was taking part in rehabilitation treatment.

“Ms Chambers has been fortunate to have found employment with a supportive organisation where she has been able to rehabilitate whilst given the opportunity to continue to work as a nurse and maintain her skills,” she said.

“It is appropriate in all those circumstances that that situation not be interrupted.”

Sydney woman sues for defamation over shoplifting poster

The poster appeared in the One Stop Bargains store in Mount Druitt. Photo: Supplied
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A Sydney woman has lost a defamation case against a business owner who posted a photo of her with the word “Thief!” in a Mount Druitt discount store.

The poster appeared at the counter of One Stop Bargains, a two-dollar shop on Mount Druitt Road, in July 2016.

The word “Thief!” was written in capital letters above and below the woman’s photograph, which was taken from CCTV footage of her in the make-up section of the store.

The woman denied stealing from the shop and demanded that the poster be taken down before launching defamation proceedings in the NSW District Court.

Judge Judith Gibson said CCTV footage from inside the shop was incomplete but showed the woman “looking at items in the make-up section” and “picking up small cylindrical items which look like lipsticks”.

The woman placed one hand in her pocket while giving a “very long and furtive stare” in the direction of the shop assistant behind the counter.

“The plaintiff is seen putting her hand into her pocket in a suspicious manner throughout the CCTV footage,” Judge Gibson said.

The woman told the court she lived “three to five minutes’ walk” from the shop and went there every day. On the day in question – July 1, 2016 – she attended the shop with two of her children.

She said she bought two $1.50 lollipops, two 50?? ice-blocks and a $4 lipstick. But the 21-year-old shop assistant, whose family own the business, gave evidence she did not buy any lipsticks although she stood at the lipstick counter for some time.

The woman denied in the witness box that she placed anything in her pocket during the shopping expedition. Asked the same question in writing before the trial, she answered “I can’t recall.”

The case faced a number of legal hurdles, including that the man who was sued for defamation was not the owner of the shop, but the father of the owner. The father said he was not responsible for the poster.

Judge Gibson also found the poster was not, as the woman had claimed, placed in the shop window, although it was placed at the front of the shop, “namely at the counter directly in front of the glass windows”.

“As no action has been brought in relation to publication of the poster elsewhere in the shop, this claim fails,” Judge Gibson said.

Judge Gibson nevertheless considered whether the defences pleaded by the defendant, including truth, would have been successful.

A criminal prosecution against the woman for theft did not proceed and the charge was withdrawn on the day of the hearing.

But Judge Gibson said she was satisfied on the balance of probabilities that “the evidence displayed that the plaintiff did in fact steal items from the shop”. This was a “complete defence” to the poster.

Slater & Gordon principal lawyer Andy Munro, who acted for the defendant, said the shop owner had been “quite careful before preparing the poster”, including checking store inventory and the CCTV footage.

“While an individual’s rights to privacy must always be balanced against potential intrusion by the use of CCTV, the use of cameras in stores is a kind of deterrence, and this decision recognises that business owners have a right to protect themselves from legitimate shoplifters,” Mr Munro said.

Melbourne Cup: Chinan Bloodstock double focus on sharing the adrenaline rush

FOR n Bloodstock (AB) co-founder Luke Murrell, the best part about having two runners in theMelbourne Cup (3200m) for the first time is the chance to share the adrenaline rush with even more owners.
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ON TOP: n Bloodstock syndicators and part-owners Luke Murrell and Jamie Lovett celebrate after Protectionist’s victory in the 2014 Melbourne Cup.

Make no mistake, though, Murrell and business partner Jamie Lovett are addicted to Cup success, much like five-time winnerLloyd Williams,after their 2014 victory with Protectionist.

And the Hunter-based part-owners believe Red Cardinal or Big Duke, both $19 with TAB Fixed Odds,can give them a second win on Tuesday at Flemington.

“The aim is always to win this race,” Murrell said.“Lloyd’s trying to do it as well and he’s got six runners, but I wouldn’t be swapping my horses for his.”

Red Cardinal and Big Duke will be AB’sfourth and fifth Cup runners in total, afterIllustrious Blue (ninth in2010), Lucas Cranach (third, 2011) and Protectionist.

AB were successful this year in gaining a slot and finishing third with Brave Smashin the new $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick but Murrell said their focus remained on the$6.2 million Cup.

CLASS: Red Cardinal, left, works at the Werribee Quarantine Centre last Thursday. Picture: AAP Image/Mal Fairclough

“Jamie and I joke a bit, but we’re serious –we want to win 10 of these and the only way to do it is to have runners and good horses and hopefully we’re here for plenty of years to come,” he said.

“It’s just such a different world and we’re trying to share it with people.There’s always group 1s and we’re the most successful syndicators in terms of them, but the Melbourne Cup is just a completely different level.

“The Everest was amazing when we ran third and we desperately want to win that race but the Melbourne Cup’s on its own pedestal.I guess it’s an addiction.”

Murrell was pleased to have two runners this year so more owners could share in the Cup excitement.

“We’ve won the race and the more people we can share that thrill and experience with … you can’t describe that feeling,” he said.

“The Mondaynight nerves and when they are milling behind the barrier and about to jump, it’s an amazing adrenaline rush that you probably get when you’re a little kid and playing sport.It’s probably one of the only ways to recapture that.

“We introduce these people with grand plans and it’s more that I want to see the horse do well for them, rather than for ourselves.”

WINNER: Brenton Avdulla rides Big Duke to victory in the St Leger Stakes. Picture: AAP

Murrell declared Protectionist the winner prior to the 2014 Cup and he felt the same about his Japanese import Admire Deus before it broke down three weeks ago. The draw in 24 for Red Cardinal was another blow for AB but Big Duke has firmed in the market since gaining gate five.

“We’ve still got two good chances,” Murrell said.

“If Red Cardinal had drawn well, he couldn’t help but run top three, but some has to draw out there.

“I’d always probably rather a horse like Big Duke.He hasn’t got the class of Red Cardinal but he just tries all the time, whether he’s feeling great or not.They are the ones the owners get a thrill out of because you can rely on them.”

Building partially collapses in Kurri Kurri amid severe weather

‘I wasn’t meant to die today’: close calls as savage storm smashes Kurri Kurri SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil
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SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

SMASHED: The clean-up in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Marina Neil

Picture: Media Response Newcastle

The scene in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Anthony James

The scene in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Anthony James

The scene in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Anthony James

SCENE: Emergency services converge on Kurri Kurri after severe weather damaged the community centre. Picture: Jessica Dowler

SCENE: Emergency services converge on Kurri Kurri after severe weather damaged the community centre. Picture: Jessica Dowler

SCENE: Emergency services converge on Kurri Kurri after severe weather damaged the community centre. Picture: Jessica Dowler

SCENE: Emergency services converge on Kurri Kurri after severe weather damaged the community centre. Picture: Jessica Dowler

SCENE: The Kurri Kurri Ambulance Station.

The scene in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Anthony James

The scene in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Anthony James

The scene in Kurri Kurri. Picture: Anthony James

Picture: Media Response Newcastle

Picture: Media Response Newcastle

Picture: Media Response Newcastle

Picture: Media Response Newcastle

Picture: Media Response Newcastle

Picture: Media Response Newcastle

Picture: Media Response Newcastle

TweetFacebookKURRI KURRI | #FRNSW is assisting with multi-agency response to partial building collapse in Lang St. Torrential rain in area. Ops continue

— Fire & Rescue NSW (@FRNSW) November 6, [email protected] inspecting the roof of the Kurri Community Centre after it partially collapsed during a storm @[email protected]苏州夜总会招聘/ahnE3huYGE

— Lachie Leeming (@LeemingLachie) November 6, 2017Kurri Kurri Public School will be closed tomorrow (Tues Nov 7) due to damage from a major storm. Please share: https://t苏州夜场招聘/irZ9I94tfVpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/4afarfqrwM

— NSW DoE (@NSWEducation) November 6, 2017Storm destruction on Lang Street, Kurri Kurri, this afternoon. Video credit: Jessica Dowler pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/P2iaJDCwNL

— The Advertiser (@CessAdvertiser) November 6, 2017