NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Senator Nova Peris pushes campaign on alcohol-related domestic violence

2014-03-04 10.52.05

Senator Peris said in the Northern Territory an indigenous woman is 80 times more likely to be hospitalised for assault than other Territorians.

“I shudder inside whenever I quote that fact because it makes me picture the battered and bloodied women we see far too often in our hospitals.

“Every single night our emergency departments in the Northern Territory overflow with women who have been bashed.”

Picture above :Senator Nova Peris along with Opposition colleagues  addressing the NACCHO board at Parliament House Canberra this week

LABOR’S first indigenous MP Nova Peris has challenged the Australian Medical Association to advocate for more action in tackling alcohol-related domestic violence.

In a powerful speech, Senator Peris said alcohol-related domestic violence was on the rise and ruining the lives of Aboriginal women.

She told the launch of the AMA’s national women’s health policy that the AMA must use its high standing in the community to “advocate for more action in tackling alcohol-related domestic violence”.

Report from PATRICIA KARVELAS   The Australian

SEE AMA Position Statement on Women’s Health below

“Today I call on the AMA to formally adopt a policy position that supports the principle that people who have committed alcohol-related domestic violence be banned from purchasing alcohol at the point of sale.

“The technology to implement point-of-sale bans exists; it is cost effective and has been proven to work.”

Senator Peris said in the Northern Territory an indigenous woman is 80 times more likely to be hospitalised for assault than other Territorians.

“I shudder inside whenever I quote that fact because it makes me picture the battered and bloodied women we see far too often in our hospitals.

“Every single night our emergency departments in the Northern Territory overflow with women who have been bashed.”

In 2013, domestic violence assaults increased in the Northern Territory by 22 per cent, she said.

She criticised the incoming NT government’s August 2012 decision to scrapped the banned drinker register.

“For those of you who may not be familiar with the banned drinker register, or BDR as it is also known, it was an electronic identification system which was rolled out across the Northern Territory.

“This system prevented anyone with court-ordered bans from purchasing takeaway alcohol — including people with a history of domestic violence.

“Around twenty-five hundred people were on the banned drinker register when it was scrapped. “Domestic violence perpetrators were again free to buy as much alcohol as they liked. As predicted by police, lawyers and doctors, domestic violence rates soared.”

Senator Peris said she had met with doctors, nurses and staff from the emergency department in Alice Springs and they confirmed these statistics represent the true predicament they faced every day.

“Every night the place is awash with the victims of alcohol fuelled violence, with the vast majority of victims being women.”

She said the Northern Territory faces enormous issues with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

“We have such high rates of sexually transmitted infections, especially and tragically, with children.

“Rates of smoking are far too high, and diets are poor and heart disease is widespread.”

Senator Peris’s speech was well received by the AMA, which committed to taking on her challenge.

AMA SHINES LIGHT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THE HEALTH NEEDS OF DISADVANTAGED AND MINORITY GROUPS OF WOMEN

AMA Position Statement on Women’s Health 2014

The AMA today released the updated AMA Position Statement on Women’s Health.

The Position Statement was launched at Parliament House in Canberra by the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator Michaelia Cash, Senator for the Northern Territory, Nova Peris, and AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton.

Dr Hambleton said that all women have the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

“The AMA has always placed a high priority on women’s health, and this is reflected in the breadth and diversity of our Position Statement,” Dr Hambleton said.

“We examine biological, social and cultural factors, along with socioeconomic circumstances and other determinants of health, exposure to health risks, access to health information and health services, and health outcomes.

“And we shine a light on contemporary and controversial issues in women’s health.

“There is a focus on violence against women, including through domestic and family violence and sexual assault.

“These are significant public health issues that have serious and long-lasting detrimental consequences for women’s health.

“It is estimated that more than half of Australian women have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes.

“The AMA wants all Australian governments to work together on a coordinated, effective, and appropriately resourced national approach to prevent violence against women.

“We need a system that provides accessible health service pathways and support for women and their families who become victims of violence.

“It is vital that the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children is implemented and adequately funded.”

Dr Hambleton said the updated AMA Position Statement also highlights areas of women’s health that are seriously under-addressed.

“This includes improving the health outcomes for disadvantaged groups of women, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, rural women, single mothers, and women from refugee and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds,” Dr Hambleton said.

“We also highlight the unique health issues experienced by lesbian and bisexual women in the community.”

Dr Hambleton said that the AMA recognises the important work of Australian governments over many years to raise the national importance of women’s health, including the National Women’s Health Policy.

“There has been ground-breaking policy in recent decades, but much more needs to be done if we are to achieve high quality equitable health care that serves the diverse needs of Australian women,” Dr Hambleton said.

“Although women as a group have a higher life expectancy than men, they experience a higher burden of chronic disease and tend to live more years with a disability.

“Because they tend to live longer than men, women represent a growing proportion of older people, and the corresponding growth in chronic disease and disability has implications for health policy planning and service demand.”

The Position Statement contains AMA recommendations about the need to factor in gender considerations and the needs of women across a range of areas in health, including:

  •  health promotion, disease prevention and early intervention;
  •  sexual and reproductive health;
  •  chronic disease management and the ageing process;
  •  mental health and suicide;
  •  inequities between different sub-populations of Australian women, and their different needs;
  •  health services and workforce; and
  •  health research, data collection and program evaluation.

Background:

  • cardiovascular disease – including heart attack, stroke, and other heart and blood vessel diseases – is the leading cause of death in women;
  •  for women under 34 years of age, suicide is the leading cause of death; and
  • in general, women report more episodes of ill health, consult medical practitioners and other health professionals more frequently, and take medication more often than men.

The AMA Position Statement on Women’s Health 2014 is at

https://ama.com.au/position-statement/womens-health

NT alcohol crackdown makes gains, but questions over mandatory rehabilitation remain

By Michael Coggan NT ABC

It appears that stationing police officers outside bottle shops in regional towns in the Northern Territory has had a significant impact on alcohol consumption.

The latest figures show consumption has dropped to the lowest level on record, but the statistics do not include the impact of the mandatory rehabilitation policy or punitive protection orders.

The ABC has investigated the situation as a new federal parliamentary inquiry is promising to test the evidence.

On a weeknight in Darwin’s city centre, locals and tourists mingle at Monsoons, one of the pub precinct’s busy watering holes.

Less than a block away, six women have found their own drinking place under the entrance of an office building, sheltered from monsoonal rain.

Most of them are visiting from Indigenous communities on Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria. They’re “long-grassing” – living rough on the city streets.

Northern Territory Labor Senator Nova Peris is here to talk to them.

One of the women, from the Torres Strait Islands, tells the Senator how she is trying to get through a catering course while struggling with homelessness and alcoholism.

“I am doing it. I’m trying to get up and I’m finding it hard,” she said.

In an interview after talking to the “long-grassers”, Senator Peris emphasised how homelessness makes alcohol abuse among Aboriginal people more obvious than alcohol use in the non-Indigenous community in Darwin.

“Those ladies, they weren’t from Darwin, they were from communities that came in, so they’re homeless and they drink when they come into town and it’s easy to get alcohol [in town].”

Senator Peris also blames alcohol abuse for much of the poor health in Aboriginal communities.

“When you look at alcohol-related violence, when you look at foetal alcohol syndrome, when you look at all the chronic diseases, it goes back to the one thing and it’s commonly known as the ‘white man’s poison’,” she said.

Alcohol-related hospital admissions increase, senator says

The Northern Territory has long grappled with the highest levels of alcohol abuse in the country, but figures released recently by the Northern Territory Government show the estimated per capita consumption of pure alcohol dropped below 13 litres last financial year for the first time since records started in the 1990s.

Territory Country Liberals Chief Minister Adam Giles believes a more targeted response by police has made a difference.

But Senator Peris says data released last week tells a different story.

Senator Peris has quoted figures showing an 80 per cent increase in alcohol-related hospital admissions over the past 14 months as evidence that the previous Labor government’s banned drinker register was working.

The Territory Government scrapped the BDR when it won power in September 2012.

Alice Springs-based associate professor John Boffa from the Peoples Alcohol Action Coalition wants to see the consumption figures verified.

“If it’s true, it’s very welcome news and it would reflect the success of the police presence on all of the takeaway outlets across the territory,” he said.

Parties, police association at odds

In regional towns where alcohol-fuelled violence is high, police have been stationed outside bottle shops to check identification.

Anyone living in one of the many Aboriginal communities or town camps where drinking is banned faces the prospect of having their takeaway alcohol seized and tipped out.

Northern Territory Police Association president Vince Kelly believes police resources are being concentrated on doing the alcohol industry’s work.

Mr Kelly has also questioned the will of the two major political parties to introduce long-term alcohol supply reduction measures since it was revealed that the Australian Hotels Association made $150,000 donations in the lead-up to the last Territory election.

“No-one I know gives away $150,000 to someone and doesn’t expect something back in return,” he said.

But Mr Giles dismisses Mr Kelly’s view.

“I don’t respond to any comment by Vince Kelly from the Police Association, I think that he plays politics rather than trying to provide a positive outcome to change people’s lives in the territory,” he said.

Giles stands by alcohol rehab program

The Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister has asked a parliamentary committee to investigate the harmful use of alcohol in Indigenous communities across the country.

The committee is expected to examine the application of new policies in the Territory, including mandatory alcohol treatment that was introduced in July 2013.

People taken into police protective custody more than three times in two months can be ordered to go through a mandatory three-month alcohol rehabilitation program.

The figures showing a drop in consumption pre-date the introduction of mandatory rehabilitation but Mr Giles believes the policy is making a difference.

So far there is not enough evidence to convince Professor Boffa that mandatory treatment is making any difference.

“We just don’t have publically available data on the numbers of people who have completed treatment, [or] how long people who have completed treatment have remained off alcohol,” he said.

One of the women from Groote Eylandt explained how she had been locked up to go through the mandatory treatment program but was now back on the grog.

“I was there for three months and we didn’t like it,” he said.

The Chief Minister’s political stablemate, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, has commended the Territory Government for using a mix of police intervention and mandatory rehabilitation, but says jail is not the solution.

“We can’t keep treating people who are sick as criminals. However annoying they might be, people who are alcoholics are ill,” he said.

Alcohol Protection Orders seen to criminalise alcoholism

Police were given the power to issue Alcohol Protection Orders to anyone arrested for an alcohol-related offence, attracting a jail sentence of six months or more.

Aboriginal legal aid services have criticised the orders for criminalising alcoholism.

Priscilla Collins from the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency says the orders are predominantly being handed out to Aboriginal people, threatening jail time if they are breached.

“Alcohol protection orders are really being issued out like lolly paper out on the streets. You can be issued one just for drinking on the street, for drink driving. We’ve already had 500 handed out this year,” she said.

Mr Kelly has welcomed the introduction of APOs as a useful tool but has questioned what they will achieve.

“The community and the Government and everybody else needs to ask itself what the end game is,” he said.

“Are we going to end up with even fuller jails? No matter what legislation we introduce we’re not going to arrest our way out of alcohol abuse and Aboriginal disadvantage in the Northern Territory.”

Do you know more? Email investigations@abc.net.au

 

 

 

You can hear more about Aboriginal women’s health  at the NACCHO SUMMIT

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The importance of our NACCHO member Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS) is not fully recognised by governments.

The economic benefits of ACCHS has not been recognised at all.

We provide employment, income and a range of broader community benefits that mainstream health services and mainstream labour markets do not. ACCHS need more financial support from government, to provide not only quality health and wellbeing services to communities, but jobs, income and broader community economic benefits.

A good way of demonstrating how economically valuable ACCHS are is to showcase our success at a national summit.

SUMMIT WEBSITE FOR MORE INFO

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NACCHO members congratulate the first Aboriginal woman elected to Federal Parliament Senator Nova Peris on her maiden speech

NOVA

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO THOSE WHO SEE THE INVISIBLE.

“To Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples this has always been part of our story of struggle, injustice and heartache. But we are here today – I am here today – because of this history. Aboriginal Australians are symbolic of triumph over adversity. We represent knowledge and wisdom held in land and country.”

Senator Nova Peris Canberra 13 Nov 2013

The chair of NACCHO Justinm Mohamed on behalf of the 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services members would like to congratulate Senator Nova Peris the first elected Aboriginal woman to the Federal Parliament.

Here is Nova’s maiden speech

Thank you Mr. President

I acknowledge the traditional owners, the Ngambri and Ngunnawal people on whose country we meet today — I pay my respects to my elders, past and present and to our future leaders.

I am Nova Maree Peris.

I was born in Darwin in the Northern Territory and I retain my strong cultural and spiritual ties to my country, to the Mother Earth.

I am a member of the oldest continuous surviving culture on earth.

I am proud that this hill we meet on here today is culturally significant to the Ngambri people as representing the womb of the ‘Woman’ on this Country.

It is very significant to me being the first Aboriginal woman elected to the Federal Parliament of Australia.

Through my mother, I am a descendant of the Gija people of the East Kimberley and the Yawuru people of the West Kimberley I am also Iwatja from Western Arnhem Land through my father.

Through my life I have come across many people from all walks of life who have inspired me.

Some through their wisdom; and others through their courage and their ability to overcome adversity.

But no one has inspired me more so than my grandmother. Nora Peris was a proud Giga woman – She was torn from her mother’s arms and lived on the Mission of Moola Bulla in the east Kimberley.

Moola Bulla is a long, sad and painful story” she used to say. This was home to her for 12 years. A river separated her and her traditional Aboriginal mother who was still living on country.

She always said they were so close — yet so far apart. My Nanna’s clothes were made from stitched together hessian bags. When the Second World War hit, the kids were released from the mission and for two years she walked and lived off the harsh Eastern Kimberly land.

These conditions and her will to survive shaped her; and it was there where she met my grandfather Johnny Peris. Johnny Peris was a Yawuru Man, a Beagle Bay mission survivor who was also a proud stockman. They met and had 10 children. Four of their children were taken away and sent to Garden Point Mission on the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory.

One of the four children who was taken and is here today is my mother, Joan Peris. She lived on the mission for eight years, she worked every day and never received a cent in pay. Mum became like a sister to many of the other children that were forcibly taken to the Garden Point mission.

Over the years, people have said to me that it’s incredible what I have achieved in sport. I have competed at some of the biggest sporting events on the planet.

Accolades, achievements and celebrations have been a part of my life. But in my heart, I know that part of my life is virtually meaningless compared to the ability to survive shown by my grandparents and my mother.

I cannot even imagine or comprehend how it would have felt to live life during those days.

These stories are part of the truth of Australia’s history.

It is what it is. The past is the past and no matter how hard we try we cannot change that history.

But let’s start to undo the wrongs with what is right and just. I urge all my Parliamentary colleagues to become champions for the recognition of Australia’s first nations people in our constitution.

To Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples this has always been part of our story of struggle, injustice and heartache. But we are here today – I am here today – because of this history. Aboriginal Australians are symbolic of triumph over adversity. We represent knowledge and wisdom held in land and country.

Because in our hearts we know that we do not own Mother Earth, the Earth owns us.

As a child growing up, I dreamt big.

Most people would have looked at an Aboriginal girl from the Territory, where the statistics of alcohol abuse, youth suicide, domestic violence, imprisonment rates and sub-standard education point to every reason why you should not succeed.

But I was determined to be successful.

And yes I am a product of that history, and I continue to live in a society whereby the odds are stacked against Aboriginal people.

I have always been inspired by those around me and my sister Venessa Peris has undertaken an incredible journey of her own.

She has lived an amazing and accomplished life serving Australia. She was a Corporal and served 10 years in the Australian Army. And last month she just completed 10 years with United Nations Peace Keeping Operations.

Venessa served seven years in the Ivory Coast and survived a West African Civil war and at one stage was involved in evacuating more than 4000 people.

She is currently carrying out her duties and resides in Monrovia, Liberia.

I say this to all of my Indigenous brothers and sisters, and to all people – within every one of us, lies the ability to reach deep inside ourselves and draw upon our inherited strength that our ancestors have given us. There lies a spirit that needs to be awakened.

Whilst I am obviously very proud of my Aboriginal heritage I want to make it clear that I do not consider myself an expert when it comes to finding solutions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s particular predicaments.

For too long we’ve all heard too many people say they have the answers for Aboriginal Australians and claim the moral high ground.

If the answers were as easily provided, as the questions are posed – we simply would not have a problem. In fact the answers are difficult and complex; but they do not lie in absolute positions and simplified slogans. Just delivering another Government program will not end the appalling rates of youth suicide in our communities for example. These are uncomfortable issues but they must be confronted.

But I have always been someone who has tried to do things, not just talk about them. I build things up, I don’t tear things down and I have lived by the view that ‘As much is given, much is expected’.

I have always been humbled and honoured to serve. It’s partly why I established the Nova Peris Girls Academy. I wanted to try to make a real difference to young disadvantaged Indigenous women.

Of course I have now ceased active involvement in the Academy but I remain the organisation’s Patron.

Like many before me, for too long, I have watched Aboriginal Australians and our plight be used purely for political purposes.

I have seen some totally unscrupulous people try to use the misery of some our people’s circumstances to promote their own cause and agenda.

Should I see this happen – I will call it for what it is—it’s racism—and I know that’s confronting—but I will not stand by in silence.

How we change things – that remains the challenge—but I know from my heart that nothing can be achieved without total determination and a gut-busting effort.

I have been fortunate enough to achieve at the Olympic levels of sport in hockey and athletics. I have experienced the total joy of winning gold medals for my country.

And I have lived the exciting life of an elite athlete—fussed over and entertained—in more than 50 countries around the world.

But I would swap all of that in a heartbeat – I would forgo any number of gold medals – to see Aboriginal Australians be free, healthy and participating fully in all that our great country has to offer.

It is my dream to see kids from Santa Theresa, from Gunbalanya, from Kalkarindji and the Tiwi Islands all with the same opportunity as the kids from the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.

That is one of the reasons I am a fierce advocate for Aboriginal people being taught to be able to read and write English. We cannot and should not be denied these basic tools.

Of course we should never be forced to renounce our culture—our beliefs sustain our spirits—they nourish us but at some levels they can restrain us too—that is the collision point that confronts Aboriginal people.

I make the simple point that in spite of difficulties like those I’ve described we are seeing some positive health benefits through the dedication of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health professionals.

We can make a difference; whatever our differences. The Northern Territory is currently the only jurisdiction in Australia that is on track to meet the Closing the Gap target on life expectancy.

This improvement comes from people who have sought evidence, and put that evidence into action. They have not acted on any fixed ideology, but out of dedication and commitment.

This evidence based method of approach is in my view, a real road sign for the future and points the way to dealing with so many other areas of Aboriginal life that have seemed so intractable for so long.

This is why I will be seeking to work not only with my colleagues in the Labor Party, in holding the Government to account, but also with the current Government, to ensure we build on successes in primary health care—and to extend those successes into other areas of our lives.

Mr President – Education remains the major foundation for self improvement. And although education is a basic fundamental right of every child in this country, irrespective of their race. The fact remains we must work hard to convince people of the value of education.

I acknowledge I am a Senator elected to represent all Territorians— and I fully intend to discharge this duty to the best of my ability and I will always put our concerns – the concerns of Territorians first and foremost.

I believe it is my duty and the duty of all members elected to the Parliament to answer questions and deal with issues honestly and openly.

One such matter that is a very contentious issue is the location of Australia’s proposed nuclear waste facility. Recently my Larrakia uncle Eric Fejo who is also here today spoke about the previous Government’s decision to locate the proposed nuclear waste facility on Muckaty Station in the Barkly region of the Northern Territory.

He reminded a public forum that during the Apology to the Stolen Generations it was stated that Governments were wrong to make laws and policies that inflict profound grief, suffering and loss on Aboriginal people.

That is what the Muckaty decision is currently doing. It is dividing a community of traditional owners. This policy is inflicting grief.

I strongly urge my fellow parliamentary colleagues to reconsider their support for the current location of this facility.

Of course Australia needs a nuclear waste management facility. But its location must be based on science not politics.

Mr President I do intend to finish my speech on a positive note.

The art of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is stunning. It is truly a gift to Australian culture. The outfit that I am wearing today is made in the Northern Territory – this beautiful gold silk fabric – featuring dancing brolgas was printed at Injalak Arts in Gunbalunya in Western Arnhem Land. It was made by my Dripstone High School friend Sarina Cowcher in Darwin. I also wore a Gracie Kumbi Merrepen printed design for my official swearing in yesterday.

I am a Territory Girl. I am immensely proud of who I am and where I hail from. It is majestic. The Northern Territory’s very talented musicians, our artists, our sports men and women. Our culture, our iconic and diverse landscape that boasts a number of world heritage listings.

There is certainly is no other place I would rather call home.

I want to thank the members of the Australian Labor Party and particularly those members of the Northern Territory Branch. In particular I thank Party President Matthew Gardiner and Party Secretary Kent Rowe.

I acknowledge all of my friends & family here today, my mother Joan Peris, my aunty Tanya, my bunyi Jimmy Cooper from Minjilang who walked me into the chamber.

Also here today are Aunty Eileen Hoosan and Aunty Pat Anderson. To my Children – Jessica, Destiny and Jack and grandson Issac – we may often find life difficult and challenging – but we always stick together, knowing wherever life’s journey leads us – we will all be true to ourselves.

To my husband Scott, I thank you for you unconditional love and support over the past years. As they say beyond each storm you will find the rainbow. Today is a rainbow. I thank you.

Viva la Vida.

I want to acknowledge Dr Ric Charlesworth, also a former member of Parliament, one of the greatest hockey players in the world, and now coach; he was one of my life mentors.

In the Hockeyroos team we had a mantra that took us to the gold medal.

This was loosely based on John F. Kennedy’s famous space program speech.

“We choose to go to the Olympics. We choose to go to the Olympics in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

I also want to mention the legendary Muhammad Ali. I was lucky enough to spend a day with him, and after several hours I worked up the to courage to ask him: “What makes millions of people love and admire you so much?” He simply replied: “Never look down upon those who look up to you.”

These are the people who taught and continue to teach me the right values that have enabled me to achieve so much in life.

I also particularly thank former Prime Minister Julia Gillard from the bottom of my heart for her faith in me and for giving me the chance to become involved – my duty now is to work hard and make a real difference.

Mr President – when Dr Martin Luther King spoke of his dream in Washington it inspired millions across the world. I believe everybody has the capacity to dream – we all have the capacity to believe – but very few get the actual opportunity that I have before me now – I urge everybody – particularly young people – to pursue your dreams.

In this next stage of my life I hope to make all those who have had faith in me, every reason to continue to believe in the power of those dreams.

I would just like to close today with a story that has stayed in my heart for many years.

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics there were hundreds of very excited and enthusiastic volunteers. An elderly man was amongst them at the athletics track and he greeted me and wished me well each day that I ran.

One the evening of the semi-finals of the 4x400m he didn’t say anything, he just handed me a piece of paper and said: “Read this just before you enter the stadium”. I put it in my pocket and proceeded to the check-in and then walked with my team-mates, Tamsyn Lewis, Susan Andrews and Jana Pitman.

We were without Cathy Freeman that evening and we had to finish in the top two to reach the Olympic final. We all felt the weight of Australian expectation resting on our shoulders, our adrenaline was pumping and we did our best to stay cool. We walked into the stadium to be greeted by 110,000 screaming sporting enthusiasts.

I reached into my pocket and read the words on the paper.

“NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO THOSE WHO SEE THE INVISIBLE.”

I did not really know what it meant, and I didn’t have much time to reflect on it. But it seemed to inspire me, those words written by a kind elderly man. The four of us went out that evening and ran the race of our lives. I anchored the team and we broke a 23-year-old Australian record. And we made it into the Olympic final.

I returned to the warm up track where he greeted me with a big hug. And I asked him what does it mean? He simply replied: “It was my ticket to freedom, I thought about it every day that I was held captive” … It turned out he was a former prisoner of war!

Ma, Bor Bor