The Australian Women's Weekly December 2019

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in this issue

2 min

I love reading the acts of kindness, large and small, that readers have shared to our Kindness Project. In fact, if you are ever in despair about the state of the human spirit I can recommend a visit to nowtolove.com.au/thekindnessproject. From the struggling new mum who was handed $300 by a random stranger, to the ailing dad who had home-cooked meals left daily on his doorstep by neighbours, the stories are many and varied. The one constant is how grateful the recipients are, and how it makes them want to ‘pay it forward’ when they are in a position to do so. Now the only thing more uplifting than reading about kind acts, is being on the receiving end of one. After a tough week I was excited to be heading…

2 min
open line

LETTER of the MONTH I would like to thank you for the very timely and honest interview with Libby Trickett about her struggle with crippling postnatal depression (“My final comeback”, AWW, November). Sadly, I lost my beautiful, thoughtful and loving sister to depression, and now I have to take care of my health and try to stay mentally strong coping with this great loss in my life. It is imperative that mental health issues are talked about so that those suffering do not feel any stigma, just love, understanding and support. D. Bowden, Rosebud, Vic. A CARER’S CONCERNS I’m really upset with those bullies who criticised Kerri-Anne Kennerley when she went back to work two years after her husband, John’s, devastating accident (“Mornings are the hardest”, AWW, November). Did it ever occur to them…

5 min
in brief news bites

Jewels in the Crown William and Kate prove they are the new royal power couple during their tour of Pakistan, writes Juliet Rieden. THE DUKE AND DUCHESS of Cambridge have taken a while to grow into their roles, but on an extraordinary five-day tour of Pakistan the couple gave us a glimpse of the sort of King and Queen they are likely to be. The duo, who were envoys for the British government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, not only wowed Pakistan, they proved their worth in the tricky world of soft diplomacy while also managing to shine a light on their own passion projects. Add to this a visually mesmerising backdrop taking in some of the nation’s most jaw-dropping geography, and a wardrobe of colourful, elegant and culturally appropriate royal outfits, and it’s…

15 min

“Every moment is precious” A golden sun sets behind thunderheads and rolling hills. To the east, a double rainbow arcs across a darkening sky. It feels like a blessing. Rainbows are special talismans for Olivia Newton-John. They’ve lit up significant moments of her life and offered her hope. “Rainbows are special to me,” she says simply, stopping to look up, acknowledge the beauty in the sky and snap a picture on her phone. This is an extraordinary time in Olivia’s life. Last night, she celebrated her 70th birthday. Some of the people she holds dearest partied on the patio and by the pool at friend Gregg Cave’s house, nestled in farmland and forest just west of Byron Bay and across the valley from the Gaia Retreat & Spa, which he, Olivia and…

11 min
farmer wants a midwife

On a hot, bright day in a tiny Queensland town, midwife Anne Bousfield is sitting face to face with a local legend. She’s in a health clinic in Cunnamulla, 750 kilometres west of Brisbane, and has just met Jessie Thompson. Jessie is expecting her third child, and she’s hoping this next delivery will be less dramatic than her first. The tale of Jessie’s first birth, back in 2016, is well known to health workers in these parts because her baby was delivered here, at the Cunnamulla clinic, but five years after it had ceased to operate as a birthing service. “It’s you!” Anne says. “The last woman to give birth in Cunnamulla!” Jessie, 30, smiles as she relays the story of her infamy. Five weeks before her first baby was due, she started…

11 min
neale daniher play on

If you ask Neale Daniher about the bald, brutal reality of living with motor neurone disease (MND), you won’t hear him complain. Apparently he never does, and he’s not inclined to start now. When pressed, though, he describes it as a daily battle. “You never totally accept it,” says the 58-year-old. “The voice is never far away, saying, ‘You’re f**ked, mate’. One minute you might be able to lift a fork, the next you can’t. You get a little cold and can’t cough, and you feel like you’re drowning.” At this point, Neale can’t cradle his grandkids in his arms, can’t brush his teeth or sometimes even catch his breath. But this is what he can do: he can jiggle his legs to rock his newborn granddaughter to sleep on his lap;…