The Australian Women's Weekly Christma 2019

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in this issue

2 min

All our Christmases came at once this month at The Weekly, literally. On top of putting together our bumper festive issue – which we hope you enjoy – we have been beavering away on a TV special with Network 10 (imaginatively) called, Christmas with The Australian Women’s Weekly. That meant double the ham, double the peace and joy and, crucially for me, double the trifle. As far as I’m concerned, nothing tastes more like Christmas than a mouthful of jelly, custard, cream and soggy sponge. So I was thrilled when The Weekly’s Food Director, Fran Abdallaoui, let me into the kitchen to help her create one for the show. The origins of my trifle obsession are unclear but legendary among my extended family, who are all pavlova lovers. In fact, for the…

2 min
open line

LETTER of the MONTH I sit here reading “Neale Daniher play on” (AWW, December) with tears streaming down my face. I recognise the growing battle Neale (right) faces, having lost my mum Judith to “The Beast” (motor neurone disease) just three months ago after her 27-month battle. Family is key, and we could never have imagined the daily devotion and care she received from our Dad, all while he was preparing to say goodbye to the woman he’d loved for more than 62 years. FightMND won’t help my mum now, but I am grateful to Neale for bringing this cause to Australia’s attention. I hope his army will continue his amazing fight. Love and prayers to Neale, Jan and family. L. Heneker, Newport, Vic. RURAL ANGEL Thank you for writing such an important article…

6 min
in brief news bites

Courage under fire As our east coast burned, the courage and generosity of heroic Australians shone through. AUSTRALIANS ARE counting the cost of the savage bushfires that tore through NSW and Queensland, fuelled by unusually hot and windy conditions. The persistent drought in both states left the land prone to fire and hampered the efforts of firefighters. Lives were tragically lost and as we go to press more than 700 buildings have been destroyed. Many evacuees held their breath as the flames ripped through their communities. But amid the grim news, stories of hope and compassion emerged, showing the strength of the human spirit in the face of disaster. NSW’s Rural Fire Service Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, expressed concern about the forecast for the coming months, but the courage of those on the…

1 min
animals of the world

POSSUM PROBLEM Tiny mountain pigmy possums are waking up hungry from their annual hibernation, but without nutritious Bogong moths to eat, they can’t raise their young. Zoos Victoria is asking everyone in NSW, Victoria and the ACT to turn off unnecessary outside lights that lure the moths away from the possums. DEER OH DEER A shy, tiny hooved animal once thought to be extinct has been rediscovered in the forests of Vietnam. Chevrotains, or mouse-deer, hadn’t been seen in 30 years until researchers recently spotted this little guy.…

16 min
megan gale the healing power of family

“I’ve always been taught to stand up for myself by mum.” You look like a princess!” If there was any doubt which dress Megan Gale would be wearing on the cover of our Christmas issue, it was dispelled the moment her family saw her swathed in dreamy red tulle. “Moana!” squealed two-year-old Rosie in delight, adding to brother River’s high praise. From fiancé Shaun Hampson, there was simply an appreciative whistle. It’s true, the dress is a knockout, but it’s how she carries herself that takes it to fairytale proportions. It was a decidedly more casual Megan I met the day before at a retro cafe in Daylesford, Victoria. Rocking black jeans and a slogan T-shirt, with her hair scraped back in a ponytail, her look screams off-duty model but her manner…

12 min
louisa hope from hostage to hero

The morning of December 15, 2014 began like any other. The air was warm and Sydney’s financial district was decorated with red and green banners. Christmas was only 10 days away. The city was humming in anticipation of the festive break. Among the workers and busy shoppers were Louisa Hope and her mother, Robin, in town for a meeting. Four days prior, Louisa had been in Dallas, Texas, and was considering extending her stay, but her mother was dealing with a legal matter. “So I came home early,” she recalls. They debated whether to have breakfast at their hotel or go out, and decided they’d eat at the Lindt Cafe. It was a decision that would change the course of their lives. Earlier that morning, a dangerous and deluded man named…