Far North Queensland’s wet season begins with a drumroll of heavy raindrops splattering on roofs and sidewalks and the inevitable arrival of hordes of newly hatched mosquitoes. Floating in and around houses and yards, these tiny blood-suckers are on a relentless search for unprotected human flesh.
Hungry mosquitos float out into the steamy air as soon as Sularto snaps open the container lid. Blowing the insects gently on their way, as gently as he might blow on a spoonful of hot soup, the stocky Indonesian waits for a minute before hitching his denim bag more securely onto his shoulder and setting …read more
Aung Lin Tin is a tiny, struggling scrap of humanity. Born six weeks prematurely, he weighed 1.08 kilograms when he arrived. He couldn’t suckle. He had a fever. He lost more weight in his first days of life. His mother, Tin Zar, is 24 years old and a Karen – one of the long-battling people …read more
The deadliest creature in the world can be squashed with a casual slap. Yet the tiny mosquito still manages to kill hundreds of thousands of people a year with the diseases it carries: malaria, dengue, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever. Now it seems science is getting closer to controlling some of the mosquito’s cargo of …read more
Sheer hard work, dedication, and a refusal to be distracted: Asian-Australian teenagers have their eyes on the glittering prizes – scholarships, top exam marks, sought-after university places. Jackson Huang, for one, insists he doesn’t mind a 90-minute commute to school every day. The long trip, he says, gives him time to “relax”. Otherwise, he’s in …read more
Rabia Whitson is just three – a true little Queenslander who loves going to the beach and playing in the ocean. Born in Ethiopia and adopted by her Australian parents when she was 20 months old, the toddler is a living symbol of an ever-shrinking band of Australians: children adopted from overseas.
Australia’s Chinese-language Sing Tao newspaper may routinely steal articles from the internet and from Australian newspapers and magazines, yet it has been congratulated by the NSW Parliament and this year it won an industry award. Sing Tao Editor Vincent Ho recently admitted to the theft of a 2,500 word feature article I wrote for the …read more
High heels give a kick to New Year’s Eve parties; sashaying through a night of cocktails and canapés. Worn at weddings and to wakes, to summits and to war-rooms, heels are the event wear for women who are stepping out. But are heels losing their lift? After decades of elongating women’s silhouettes, lengthening their legs …read more
A semi-literate Indonesian hired hand started thumbing the tears from his cheeks in the dock of courtroom LG2 in Sydney’s Downing Centre last April. He faced a roomful of imposing figures: two defence barristers and a crown prosecutor in black gowns, a judge resplendent in black, scarlet and lilac, an Australian Federal Police officer, two …read more
On a mild autumn day earlier this year, Keith Cooper was admitted to Melbourne’s Austin hospital with pain and tenderness in his belly. Diagnosed with generalised peritonitis, possibly from gall stones, a perforated ulcer, or maybe an inflammation of the pancreas, his condition wasn’t considered critical. Certainly not serious enough for immediate medical intervention.