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Bellevue Hill mother Samantha Palmer accused of stabbing son Hugo Ball


A mother accused of stabbing her own son multiple times at their family home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs screamed “I love you” as she was escorted into the back of a police van.

Officers were called to a home on Drumalbyn Rd in Bellevue Hill just after 1.30am on Saturday where they found 22-year-old Hugo Ball suffering life-threatening injuries.

It is alleged he had been stabbed in his upper body.

He was treated at the scene before being rushed to St Vincent’s Hospital in a serious condition. His condition has since stabilised following surgery.

NSW Ambulance Inspector Giles Buchanan told 9News Mr Ball had extremely low blood pressure suggesting he had lost a lot of blood

“The location of the wounds can certainly be fatal,” he said.

His 55-year-old mother Samantha Palmer was arrested at the home and taken to Waverley Police Station where she spent 13 hours before she was charged with wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (domestic violence).

She could be heard screaming “I love you” as authorities whisked her away into the back of a police van.

“I’m the mother of this child for God’s sake,” Mr Palmer could be heard saying.

She was refused bail and will front court on Sunday.

A knife was seized from the home.



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Box Hill Hospital cluster grows to 10 cases


Infections connected to an outbreak at a Melbourne hospital have more than doubled.

Victoria’s chief health officer professor Brett Sutton revealed on Saturday the cluster at the Box Hill Hospital in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs had grown to 10 cases.

“There are five cases from a family being added today, so the outbreak comprises three staff, one patient and now six household contacts,” he told reporters on Saturday morning.

All close contacts of the Box Hill staff have been quarantined, with all staff in the hospital’s COVID ward asked to get tested and isolate pending those results.

Prof Sutton said contact tracers were still investigating the source of the outbreak, which first came to light on Wednesday.

It comes as the Premier revealed a grim lockdown warning for Melburnians after the state recorded 14 more infections on Saturday.

“The tale of this second wave was always going to be stubborn and that is exactly the way it is panning out. I think it unlikely that we will be able to move as fast as we would like to have done next Sunday,” Daniel Andrews said.

“We will take steps next Sunday, and (we) will spend an enormous amount of time this weekend and throughout the week determining exactly what those next steps can be.”



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Flash flooding hits Broken Hill in the New South Wales outback


Flash flooding has hit an outback town in New South Wales with 15mm of rain falling in 15 minutes.

Broken Hill has been inundated with water as a storm passed across the region on Saturday, according to meteorologists at the weather bureau.

In total 33mm was dumped on the town and the majority of it fell between 12pm and 2pm, duty forecaster Helen Kirkup said.

At one point 15mm fell in just 15 minutes, more than the median September average of 13mm, she said.

But it’s not unusual for the town to receive big amounts of rain it was “definitely more than normal”, Ms Kirkup said.

The Broken Hill SES responded to more than 100 calls for help and performed three rescues due to flooding.

People in the community have been urged to be patient as there are only six teams on the ground at the moment, the SES said.

A severe weather warning was in place over the area warning people to watch for damaging winds, hailstones and heavy rainfall.



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Local News - Victoria

Kingswood College in Box Hill dumps old uniform for activewear


Principal Elisabeth Lenders said the decision had been three years in the making, but had been clinched during this most disrupted of school years, when the wellbeing of students has been brought into sharper focus than ever.

“I think what we’re doing is saying, what’s the most important thing here, the health and wellbeing and flourishing of young people, or is it them being able to look the same as their grandparents looked?”

Although the school’s new activewear will be branded with the college’s name and motto, students will be free to wear any combination of apparel they like.

“Uniforms are about making people the same,” Ms Lenders said.

“Giving students choices about what they wear means they can be physically active without having to drag their sports uniform to school, get changed into it, get changed out of it and all that stuff.”

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A 2018 national survey of Australian children and youth by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found just one in seven met the national guidelines of doing at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

The college’s own review found the school timetable and its uniform were the two biggest impediments to physical activity among students at the co-educational campus of 600 children.

Ms Lenders said low activity levels among schoolchildren, combined with a rise in screen time, was a recipe for poor mental health and poor fitness.

Kylie McCorriston has four sons at the college and said she was thrilled when the uniform change was announced.

“My kids have come through junior school and I’ve often just watched them trying to climb on the monkey bars and their tie is in the way, or kick a football in a blazer and it’s just always looked pretty uncomfortable,” Ms McCorriston said.

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She believes that her sons will feel more relaxed, and therefore be more focused, in their new gear and says it demonstrates a progressive approach to education.

“If you’re looking at it from a student’s perspective and trying to design the ideal environment for them, I don’t see how a blazer and tie would fit with that.”

Her son Henry, 11, is in year 5 at the school and looking forward to returning to class in his activewear.

“You can just kind of mix and match and it’s really comfy,” he said. “The old uniform, yeah it was good but not as good as the new uniform.”

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Pendle Hill meat cleaver attack: Son allegedly threatens neighbour


A man who allegedly threatened his neighbour with a meat cleaver after slapping his mother in the face during a domestic dispute in Sydney’s west has been hit with a number of charges.

Authorities believe the 35-year-old man engaged in a dispute with his mother in the driveway of their Pendle Hill home on Wednesday before he slapped her across the face.

He then allegedly armed himself with a meat cleaver and smashed the rear and side mirrors of his neighbour’s car before approaching his 50-year-old neighbour’s house and accusing him of calling the police.

According to officers, the man allegedly swung the meat cleaver towards his neighbour who was standing behind his front security screen door, slicing through the mesh.

He then left the property without further incident.

Officers from Cumberland Police Area Command were called to the home where they arrested the 35-year-old man.

He was charged with two counts of malicious damage, being armed with intent to commit a serious indictable offence and common assault.

He was refused bail and will appear in Fairfield Local Court today.

The man’s mother and neighbour were unharmed.



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Quakers Hill woman who died falling out of a car identified


Police have identified a woman who died after falling from a moving car in Quakers Hills as 23-year-old international student Yue Zhuo.

On June 25 emergency services were called to Hambledon Rd, near Maslin Crescent, Quakers Hill, after reports a woman had fallen from a moving vehicle.

Ms Zhuo died at the scene.

Detectives are now launching a fresh appeal for information into the Chinese student’s tragic death.

The driver, a 27-year-old man believed to be Ms Zhuo’s partner, was taken to hospital where he underwent mandatory testing.

It is understood Ms Zhuo was sitting in the back seat and her partner’s father was sitting in the front seat of the vehicle at the time, the

Rouse Hill Times reports.

Both men are reportedly helping police with inquiries.

Quakers Hill Police Area Command crime manager Detective Chief Inspector Gavin Rattenbury said authorities were still piecing together Ms Zhuo’s last movements.

“We know she was a rear passenger in a black Nissan Navara utility and the vehicle travelled between Quakers Hill Railway Station and Hambledon Rd prior to the incident,” he said.

“Detectives have made significant inquiries and are now appealing to anyone who saw the Nissan in the Quakers Hill area on Thursday 25 June or has dashcam footage of the vehicle to come forward.

“Initial inquiries suggest her death is not suspicious, but if you saw the vehicle or you recognise the photo of Ms Zhuo, you may be able to help us with our inquiries.”

The investigation is ongoing.



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Stolen Generations survivor Sandra Hill turned to art to tell her story, process grief and heal


In one of Noongar artist Sandra Hill’s most striking paintings, a group of white women make a cake as an Aboriginal woman looks on.

Hill told RN’s The Art Show that the painting was inspired by events from her childhood, which she spent with a white foster family after she and her sister were forcibly removed from their mother.

“My foster mother would never let me and my sister help to make the cake,” she recalls.

“I used to wonder about it because my white cousins … could make the cake, and they were there, lined up and licking the bowl and whisking the eggs, and I’d be sitting at the bench watching this happen.”

WARNING: This article contains graphic content that may be confronting for some readers.

Years later, she confronted her white foster mother about this memory.

Ashamed and sorry, she told Hill: “I didn’t want you making the cake because you had dark skin … I thought you were too dirty or too grubby to help make the cake.”

“I was gobsmacked, it killed me, it still upsets me thinking about it … I had to move towards some sort of healing,” Hill says.

So Hill — a mixed-media artist who has worked across painting, printing, collage, sculpture, installation and public art — painted The Cakemaker.

“Going through that process of getting that story out of the way, it’s almost immunising me a little bit from it,” Hill says.

That painting was recently on display in Mia Kurrum Maun (Far from Home), an exhibition of Hill’s work at Perth’s John Curtin Gallery.

Storytelling through art

“We were told by the welfare that our mother didn’t want us and that she left us in the bush under a piece of tin,” Hill says.

Later in life, she learned that in 1958, she and her three siblings were forcibly taken from their mother and their home in Point Samson in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Hill was just six and a half years old at the time.

Hill is the third generation of her family — who are from the Wardandi, Minang, Pibulmun, Ballardong and Wilmen clans — to be removed and placed in an institution.

They were taken to Sister Kate’s children’s home for “half-caste” children — an infamously cruel place where Hill experienced violence, abuse and neglect.

Hill was there for three years before she began living with her foster family. Eventually, her older sister Barbara joined her there.

A painting with an Aboriginal woman half naked, the rest of her covered with a kangaroo-skin cloak, a white man asleep in a bed
In Hill’s Home-maker series, she painted Aboriginal women in colour and white characters in grey tones.(Supplied: Mossenson Galleries)

“I harboured such hatred and such angst, stress, pain and grief when I was a child and as a young woman, [so] I used to use humour as a foil to cover my pain,” Hill says.

But at her foster family’s home, she would also often find herself drawing an angel, inspired by a print she saw in the church at Sister Kate’s.

“That whole environment was just so disgusting that she was the only thing that was beautiful,” Hill recalls.

By age 16, she had turned to art in earnest and she ended up completing an Advanced Diploma in Art Studies at Perth’s Swan TAFE in 1981.

That angel became an image she returned to throughout her award-winning career as an artist and educator.

“If I couldn’t have the healing process of telling my stories through art, I can’t even imagine where I would be today and what condition I’d be in,” she says.

Different shades

In 1985, 27 years after being taken, Hill was reunited with her mother, who told her about the years she had spent as a maidservant in the homes of white people.

“She never felt like she belonged, she always felt a sense of alienation, a sense of isolation and a sense of unacceptance from the white people around her,” Hill recalls.

“I could relate to it because I felt the same thing. Not at the level she did but … everyone knew I was Aboriginal and they kind of looked down at me.”

Building off a previous self-portrait, and inspired by her mother’s experiences, she painted the “Home-maker” series (which includes The Cakemaker).

A painting of a group of grey woman in a 1950s hair salon, Aboriginal woman in colour in traditional clothes in the background
The Hairdresser from the 2014 Home-Maker series.(Supplied: Mossenson Galleries)

Each painting in the series depicts an Aboriginal woman in a bookah (kangaroo-skin cloak) in a brightly-coloured domestic setting. In contrast, the white people of the Home-maker series are rendered in grey tones.

Hill’s mother and aunty had been at the Moore River Native Settlement when AO Neville, Western Australia’s notorious Chief Protector of Aborigines, visited to examine their skin.

Lighter-skinned Aboriginal children, like Hill’s mother and aunty, were then sent to Sister Kate’s children’s home (with the mission to “breed out the black”) — the same orphanage Hill was later sent to.

“So the grading that he [Neville] was doing to determine the colour level of an Aboriginal child, I put that back on the white people by making them different shades of grey,” the artist explains.

A painting of an Aboriginal woman in a shell dressed as a maid, in the style of the Birth of Venus
Hill’s Divine Devolution explores how Aboriginal women have been devalued by colonisation.(Supplied: Mossenson Galleries)

Reconnecting with country

Hill is now a Wardandi elder and custodian and she lives in Balingup, a small village in Wardandi country.

She is a board member of Wardandi’s Undalup association which, for the last four years, has been trying to establish the first gallery and education centre dedicated exclusively to south-west Western Australian Aboriginal art.

“If we don’t do something in the very near future, we’re going to lose a generation of our young people because they’re not going to have a pathway to move towards,” says the artist.

Hill is hoping to train Noongar artists in “mainstream arts” — teaching them about everything from funding applications to materials.

“[But] I like to think that we’re going to create a movement which will be an Aboriginal arts movement with Aboriginal rules and Aboriginal parameters,” she says.

A painting with an Aboriginal woman on the left and the outline of a white woman on the right filled with flowers
Hill depicts the Moore River Native Settlement on the right side of this painting, which is called Yorga.(Supplied: Mossenson Galleries)

A key part of her vision for the centre is connecting students with their country, which in south-west Western Australia encompasses 14 different language groups.

“This is part of what the Stolen Generation has taken … away from our people, especially here in the south-west, because it was so ravenous.”

“I went on a journey, a very long journey. Most of my life I’ve been fighting my way back and trying to find out who I am, where I am. And I know how hard it was … [because] I had few people to guide me,” she says.

As elders pass away, Hill says, there’s an urgency to reconnecting stolen children with their descendants.

“We’re losing knowledge and information that they carry and it needs to be documented — and we could do that through art.”

A beacon

“I’m still here and so many other Stolen Generation people are still here. It’s living history and that’s what people don’t understand. They think it happened in the past. It didn’t, it happened to me and I’m still alive,” Hill says.

“It’s still happening. Our kids are still being taken away and put in juvenile detention centres. So it hasn’t stopped. It’ll never stop until people stop and listen.”

The artist Sandra Hill, an older Aboriginal woman in glasses and long hair
“I’m still here and so many other Stolen Generation people are still here,” says Hill.(Supplied: Sandra Hill)

For the last 25 years, Hill has been making public art (with collaborator Jenny Dawson) and she was recently commissioned to make a new public artwork acknowledging the Stolen Generations, for Perth’s Wellington Square.

“We have nothing in Perth that tells that story … We need this place, we need it so badly, we’ve needed it for a long time, and we will take ownership of it.”

She says the work is going to consist of five traditional dwellings, or mia-mias, and that it will serve as a place for Aboriginal people to come together and tell their stories.

“It’s going to be something tangible that we can hang on to,” Hill says.

The design also includes lights that will make the mia-mias glow like a campfire at night.

“It’s a beacon to help Stolen Generation people find their way home.”

Hill says this will be one of her final pieces of public art and that she has hope in the future of Aboriginal people despite the challenges.



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Local News - Victoria

Notting Hill reeling after bodies identified as mother and son


Detectives from the Monash Crime Investigation Unit are investigating, with assistance from the homicide squad.

Neighbours had earlier described the shock of seeing ambulances and police arrive in their quiet court, with officers remaining on seen late into the night.

The scene in Wooral Court, Notting Hill where to people were found to have died.

The scene in Wooral Court, Notting Hill where to people were found to have died.Credit:Penny Stephens

“It was very scary that it was just around the corner,” Peter Wrighter said.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit crimestoppers.com.au.



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Cannon Hill Willow Dunn found dead in Brisbane home was ‘mauled by rats’ as she lay in cot


The helpless toddler who was allegedly left to die by her father had her face eaten by rats as her decomposing body lay in her cot for days, police say.

Horrific details of little Willow Dunn’s death emerged on Tuesday night, as the four-year-old was pictured for the first time.

Her father, Mark James Dunn, 43, has been charged with his daughter’s murder after police arrived at his home in Cannon Hill, Brisbane on Monday.

Dunn allegedly told police he found Willow dead on Saturday morning – but didn’t seek medical help.

No call to the emergency services were made until Monday morning.

In devastating details of alleged abuse, police say the dead toddler was left to rot in her cot, even after her father discovered her body – which was later mauled by rats, The Australian reported. 

Willow Dunn (pictured, in 2017) was allegedly left dead in her cot for two days, having her face attacked by rats, after suffering horrific injuries and malnourishment

Willow Dunn (pictured, in 2017) was allegedly left dead in her cot for two days, having her face attacked by rats, after suffering horrific injuries and malnourishment

Her father, Mark James Dunn (pictured) has since been charged with her murder

Her father, Mark James Dunn (pictured) has since been charged with her murder

Police are probing whether Willow, who lived with Down syndrome and grew up without a mother, starved to death and was being denied medication. 

They allege she had burns to her scalp, and infected bone-deep sores on her hips. 

Her body was allegedly found in a back bedroom inside the rented home, where she lived with her father, stepmother and stepsister.

Willow’s stepmother and stepsister are not facing charges and there is no suggestion of wrongdoing on their parts. 

The four-year-old’s own mother died after complications from childbirth, it is understood.

A teddy bear wearing a Parramatta Eels jersey is seen in the bedroom of the Cannon Hill home on Tuesday (pictured) just hours after little Willow was allegedly found in her cot

A teddy bear wearing a Parramatta Eels jersey is seen in the bedroom of the Cannon Hill home on Tuesday (pictured) just hours after little Willow was allegedly found in her cot

A stroller was seen in the front yard on Tuesday (pictured) as police continued to investigate what happened to the toddler

A stroller was seen in the front yard on Tuesday (pictured) as police continued to investigate what happened to the toddler

On Tuesday night, the Department of Child Safety confirmed it had had contact with the family in relation to Willow.

LNP shadow police minister Dan Purdie said the case raised ‘serious questions’ about the competency of child protection forces. 

Willow Dunn (pictured in 2017) lived with her father, stepmother and stepsister after her mother died during childbirth

Willow Dunn (pictured in 2017) lived with her father, stepmother and stepsister after her mother died during childbirth

‘The big question in such a horrific case of alleged neglect is how a vulnerable young child has slipped through the cracks and how this could have been prevented,’ he told the Courier Mail.

Shocked neighbours began arriving at the scene on Tuesday to lay flowers for the toddler, but many said they had never seen the little girl – despite the family moving in a year ago.

‘They’ve been there for that long and we didn’t know a little girl lived there,’ one neighbour said. 

‘That’s the big take-home for me. I can’t believe it.’ 

Police will allege Willow had been left with no food, and was badly malnourished.

A man is seen laying flowers outside the Cannon Hill home (pictured) of Willow Dunn, 4, who was found dead in her cot on Monday, police alleged

A man is seen laying flowers outside the Cannon Hill home (pictured) of Willow Dunn, 4, who was found dead in her cot on Monday, police alleged

An investigator is seen on Tuesday removing evidence from the Cannon Hill home (pictured) where little Willow is said to have died

An investigator is seen on Tuesday removing evidence from the Cannon Hill home (pictured) where little Willow is said to have died

Her father was charged under a new definition of murder in Queensland aimed at child-killers, which includes ‘reckless indifference to human life’.

The case was briefly mentioned in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday, but Dunn did not appear in person, with the case adjourned until July 20. 

He allegedly told police he found Willow dead in her cot, and later saw signs she had been attacked by rats, but no one raised the alarm for two days.

A teddy bear, dressed in a Parramatta Eels jersey, was placed in the window of the family home on Tuesday, while a pram sat abandoned in the front garden.

Down Syndrome Queensland chief executive Darryl Steff told 7News the family had previously had contact with the charity.

Police have cordoned off the home (pictured on Tuesday) as they try to determine the cause of Willow's death

Police have cordoned off the home (pictured on Tuesday) as they try to determine the cause of Willow’s death

Police are seen at a crime scene where the body of a four-year-old girl was found dead inside her home on Monday

Police are seen at a crime scene where the body of a four-year-old girl was found dead inside her home on Monday

WHAT IS QUEENSLAND’S TOUGH NEW MURDER LAW?

On 1 May 2019, Queensland legislated to expand the definition of murder under the Queensland Criminal Code.

Now, a person may be charged with murder if death is caused by a ‘reckless indifference to human life’.

Reckless indifference is the doing of an act with foresight that death will probably arise from that act. 

The accused must have foreseen that the act would probably cause the death of the deceased, but continue doing that act anyway. 

Source: Hamilton Janke Lawyers

‘We are very saddened about death of Willow. It is unacceptable for a child to die … regardless of disability,’ Mr Steff said.

Child Safety Minister Di Farmer gave no further detail over the department’s contact with the family.

‘The death of any child is a tragedy,’ she said in a statement.

‘I know the death of this little girl has had a profound impact on our community and my deepest sympathies go to those who knew and loved this child.’

Neighbours watched on in horror as the family were led from the home, with other young children in tow, on Monday morning to speak with investigators.

Senior detectives, two ambulances and a fleet of police cars descended on the home following the grim discovery and immediately established a crime scene.

Pictures taken at the scene on Tuesday morning show investigators had returned to take forensic swabs and further examine the family home.

An abandoned stroller was left in the front of the property with a small basketball shaped toy attached to its handle. 

Police have been at the Cannon Hill home (pictured on Tuesday) since emergency services found the toddler's body on Monday

Police have been at the Cannon Hill home (pictured on Tuesday) since emergency services found the toddler’s body on Monday

Police had taped off the area surrounding the stroller.

A smiling teddy bear was also seen in a front window of the home above a sign which read ‘Mark’s’. 

The teddy was dressed in a Parramatta Eels NRL jersey.

Detectives are still working to determine how Willow died, and are investigating whether she starved to death. 

She also allegedly did not receive crucial medication, Seven News reported. 

A call was made to Queensland Ambulance Service just after 9am on Monday.

An SUV with green ‘P’ Plates was left in the driveway on Tuesday morning, as were camping chairs which were strewn across the front lawn.

One resident, Kathy Cowell, came to lay flowers outside the house in honour of Willow.

A forensic police officer is seen on Tuesday (pictured) removing items from the Cannon Hill home

A forensic police officer is seen on Tuesday (pictured) removing items from the Cannon Hill home

An officer takes pictures of a car in the driveway of the Cannon Hill home on Tuesday (pictured)

An officer takes pictures of a car in the driveway of the Cannon Hill home on Tuesday (pictured)

‘It’s just a sad way for a little girl to go,’ she told 10 News.

‘I’ve got grandchildren, it’s just very, very sad. No four-year-old deserves to pass like that.’  

A neighbour said a family rented the home in the quiet suburban street.

‘I have never heard much from them. It is quite a quiet street… it’s a bit of a shock,’ the resident said.    

Parents at a nearby school, Cannon Hill Anglican College, were assured there was no threat to other children.

‘Should you hear of this incident through the media, please be assured there is no reason to be fearful of any threat to the school,’ an email to parents read. 

‘Your children are safe and are being kept totally unaware of the police presence outside the college.’

Police are seen recreating the floor plan of the house on Tuesday (pictured), showing the girl's body was foun din a back bedroom upstairs

Police are seen recreating the floor plan of the house on Tuesday (pictured), showing the girl’s body was foun din a back bedroom upstairs

Investigators are seen on Tuesday (pictured) taking pictures of evidence recovered from the home

Investigators are seen on Tuesday (pictured) taking pictures of evidence recovered from the home



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Child found dead at Cannon Hill house in Brisbane’s east


A 4-year-old has been found deceased at a house in Brisbane’s east.

Emergency services were called to a Bent Street property in Cannon Hill at 9:30am.

A crime scene has been set up and forensic officers and detectives are on the scene.

Detectives are door knocking nearby houses and speaking to neighbours.

Trent O’Brien was working at a house down the road.

“I heard cars coming up the street … I looked down and saw cop cars and a few ambos,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I honestly thought something happened at the school,” he said.

Police have blocked the entrance to the street.

Two police stand near a police car on a suburban street
Police have set up a crime scene at Bent Street, Cannon Hill.(ABC News: Tim Swanston)



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