The family, supporters and accusers of Schapelle Corby, 10 years on

Shapelles sister Mercedes fighting her way through the media pack after visiting Shapelle.Shapelle Corby’s sister Mercedes fights her way through the media pack after visiting Shapelle. Photo: Justin McManus

Mercedes Corby: She still calls Bali home. Schapelle had been travelling to Bali for sister Mercedes’ 30th birthday when she was arrested with the marijuana in her boogie board bag in October 2004. Mercedes lives with husband Wayan Widyartha in his family compound in Kuta. Schapelle, under her bail conditions, will live with the couple and their three children, and cannot return to Australia until 2017.

In 2008, Mercedes successfully sued the Seven Network for airing unfounded allegations about her involvement with drugs. She was paid a reported $50,000 for a bikini shoot with Ralph magazine in 2008. Before her sister’s conviction, when asked if anyone in the family was involved in drug trafficking, Mercedes said: ”No, no that I know of, nah …”

Malcolm McCauley and David McHugh arrive in Bali two weeks after Schapelle's arrest.Malcolm McCauley and David McHugh arrive in Bali two weeks after Schapelle’s arrest. Photo: Supplied

Mick Corby: He succumbed to prostate cancer in January 2008, so Schapelle could not attend her father’s funeral, where he was farewelled with the Rolling Stones’ Little Red Rooster

Marijuana dealer Malcolm McCauley would crow louder six months later when he told The Sun-Herald of Mick’s alleged involvement in the Bali drug trade. Mick’s cannabis possession charges in the 1970s (he insisted it wasn’t his) had been revealed before Schapelle’s conviction in Bali. But now McCauley claimed Mick was buying his hydroponic marijuana and flying it in bags that also contained $US1000 bribes for Balinese airport officials.

It was a horrible slur on the character of their dead father, Mercedes said. ”Schapelle was his baby girl,” she told The Daily Telegraph. ”There was no way on earth he would let her go to jail for something he did.”

James Kisina: Schapelle’s half-brother was ”very remorseful and committed to his family”, his lawyer said last November, when the Queenslander escaped a jail term but was fined $750 for possessing cocaine. Kisina has struggled to keep his nose clean in the years since 2004, when he was with Schapelle during her arrest in Bali.

”If the marijuana was mine, like if I did take it, I wouldn’t let my sister take the blame,” he would say later.

In January 2006 – on the day Schapelle’s second appeal against her conviction was rejected in Indonesia – Kisina was arrested at his home in Loganlea over a drug-related home invasion. He had beaten a man with a baseball bat, but he would claim the victim and his partner were known drug dealers and he was trying to get information that might help Schapelle. Police also found 23 bags of marijuana weighing 183 grams and electronic scales when they arrested Kisina.

”This has ruined my case,” Schapelle’s lawyer, Hotman Hutapea, declared.

But Schapelle defended her brother: ”He just wanted to help me … and he just made a really bad mistake.”

Malcolm McCauley: Several people have attempted to claim ownership of, or links to, the fabled 4.2 kilograms in Schapelle’s bag. But the fact McCauley visited Schapelle in jail, and was caught trafficking marijuana to her home state at the same time as her arrest, leaves him squarely in the frame. Since his tell-all interview with Fairfax Media in 2008, McCauley has been living the quiet life in South Australia. He still stands by his story.

Robin Tampoe: The Corby family’s former lawyer revealed in a documentary that he made up the ”baggage handler defence”. Shortly afterwards, he was struck off by the Queensland Law Society. However, he had exposed genuine flaws and triggered the Wheeler report, resulting in a multimillion-dollar overhaul of Australian airport security. Tampoe has since reinvented himself as a successful businessman in the United Arab Emirates.

Ron Bakir: Once dubbed Schapelle Corby’s white knight, the flamboyant Gold Coast businessman now refuses to give his thoughts on Schapelle, her family or the case. Publicly anyhow.

Like best friend Tampoe, the former mobile phone retailer has a new career – in property. In November he was named 2013 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Toyota to stop making cars in Australia by 2017


file photo of the Toyota Australia Car, Melbourne

Toyota Australia says it will stop making cars in Australia by the end of 2017. Source: AAP

TOYOTA is expected to make a major announcement on Monday regarding its future in Australia.

Toyota Australia President and CEO Max Yasuda made the announcement to staff in Melbourne late on Monday.

“This is devastating news for all of our employees who have dedicated their lives to the company during the past 50 years,” Mr Yasuda said in a statement.

“We did everything that we could to transform our business, but the reality is that there are too many factors beyond our control that make it unviable to build cars in Australia.”

About 2500 manufacturing workers are expected to lose their jobs because of Toyota’s decision, while corporate jobs may go too after a review of the company’s operations.

In a company statement, Toyota cited the high Australian dollar for making exports unviable, as well as the high costs of manufacturing within one of the most fragmented markets in the world.

Mr Yasuda said manufacturing operations in Australia have continued at a loss despite efforts to turn things around.

Toyota’s announcement follows Ford and Holden’s decision – leaving Australia without a local car manufacturing industry by 2017.

National AMWU vehicle secretary Dave Smith said the decision would have devastating impact on everything from road transport to shipping and beyond.

“The magnitude of this decision in the community cannot be underestimated,” he said.

“We are looking at a potential recession all along the south-eastern seaboard.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott was asked about Toyota jobs about an hour before the announcement but had no details.

Sculpture Of Greek God Apollo Found Off The Shores Of Gaza


An ancient sculpture of the Greek god Apollo was found by a Gaza fisherman off the coast of Gaza. The statue itself apparently has a price tag of half a million dollars.

A 26 years old Gaza resident told Reuters that he saw the bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo in shallow waters about a hundred meters from the beach and just north of the border between Gaza and Egypt. At first, the fisherman thought he was looking at charred body, but after diving, he then discovered that it was another rare statue.

After the fisherman found the statue, he consulted with experts in archeology in Gaza, and for a short time, it was also on sale for auction at his house. The price tag on the statue is about half a million dollars, a price far lower than the estimated value of the statue. After a picture of the sculpture was posted on the internet, the police came to the house of the man, took the statue and requested to download the picture from eBay. Authorities in Gaza are now preparing an investigation in acquiring further details on the statue, its origin and real value.

According to current estimates based on the picture that was posted, the sculpture is approximately from the first century to the fifth century. “This is unique sculpture,” said Jean-Michel Tragon, a historian at the French School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. “No price for it is too special. This is like asking the price of the Mona Lisa. It is rare to find a statue like this that is not made from marble or stone but from metal.” The historian added that according to the picture, the condition of the statue is good despite its having been in the sea.

The weight of the statue is 500 kg, and archaeologists from around the world are making efforts to gain access to the statue and examine it. Researchers on the Hellenistic period are raising many questions about the statue’s origins, but all they have is one picture of the statue posted on the Internet.

Dad to be questioned over skateboard fall in suburban Marrickville


A SYDNEY father is expected to explain to police on Monday why he towed his 12-year-old son on a skateboard behind his car.

The boy fell to the ground as he and two friends were riding skateboards in inner suburban Marrickville on Saturday night.

The three were allegedly holding the rear of a Kia Sportage, with the 12-year-old’s father behind the wheel.

The man’s son fell and hit his head on the road.

He was taken to Randwick’s Children Hospital where he was placed in an induced coma. He has a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

Police hope to interview the father on Monday, after which they will decide whether or not to press charges.

Crash investigation unit inspector Phillip Battin says police believe the father was fully aware he was towing the boys.

The father has told Network Ten in a statement he was shattered.

“I am just devastated,” he said.

“I just ask that you pray for my son.”

The 12-year-old remains in a critical condition.

Brunch to Support St George Monastery in Springwood


Our Philoptohos has organised a Brunch to raise money for St George Monastery in Springwood.

The Brunch will be held in our Parish Hall on Sunday 23rd of February immediately following the Divine Liturgy. The entry donation is $20.00. We will have plenty of food, tea, coffee and soft drinks.

We will have a raffle and a small auction.

Our support is needed more this year than in the past, especially after the devastating and destructive fires that burnt through the Monastery buildings and brought about the loss of life to some of the animals.

If you wish to support this initiative of our Parish, please contact Fr Sophrony or one of the Ladies of the Philoptohos.

Protesters torch Greek motorway toll booth over price hike

Athens: A group of 500 anti-government demonstrators has set fire to a toll booth on a motorway east of Athens to protest a near-tripling of prices, Greek police said.

The announcement last week of the toll hike from 55 cents (USD 0.74), rising to 1.45 euros (USD 1.97) tapped into general rage by Greek motorists who complain that they are paying a high price for roads that are not always properly maintained.

Austerity measures hitting Greek citizens are also fuelling the indignation. The demonstrators yesterday blocked the motorway, set fire to tyres and chanted slogans against the government. They dispersed hours later.

But Transport Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis said Friday the toll increases were part of the contract signed with the motorway operators in 2007.

“Whoever obstructs passage through the tolls is acting to the detriment of the Greek people,” he said.

He said however that everyday commuters using the tollway at the centre of the protest would pay the previous lower fare.

According to a document Chryssohoidis presented to parliament, Greece has raised 1.3 billion euros (USD 1.7 billion) in toll revenue since 2008. He said average tolls were among the lowest in Europe.

REVIEW: Kirk Pengilly on what he thought of the INXS: Never Tear Us Apart TV show

Source: TheAdvertiser

Kirk Pengilly on the set. Supplied by: Channel 7

“The Australian public have no idea how big we became internationally because we played it down,” says Kirk Pengilly on the fame of INXS, the subject of a new biopic. Picture: Channel 7 Source: Supplied

My wife (former world surfing champion Layne Beachley) and I watched INXS: Never Tear Us Apart nearly two weeks ago along with my brother.

I was pretty nervous about it.

I did spend a couple of days in Melbourne on set and I was blown away.

“This is going to be pretty powerful,” I thought. The actors were extraordinarily good.

Sitting down to watch, I was nervous, but in saying that it’s been so well put together.

For the most part, it is very accurate about the work we put in, and shows the band was massive.

Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS: Luke Arnold as Michael Hutchence.

Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS: Luke Arnold as Michael Hutchence. Source: Supplied

The Australian public have no idea how big we became internationally because we played it down. We didn’t want to come across as wankers.

The producers covered it all really well.

As for actor Luke Arnold (Michael Hutchence), the other actors had the luxury of being able to meet each of us and see us in real life, albeit a number of years after the story.

Luke obviously couldn’t get together with Michael, but did an astounding job.

Luke Arnold plays Michael Hutchence in INXS: Never Tear Us Apart

Luke Arnold plays Michael Hutchence in INXS: Never Tear Us Apart Source: Channel 7

One thing that seemed a little confusing was that the show jumped from Wembley to Perth, when the band actually started in Sydney. It’s probably not that important.

But the producers did capture the time we spent in Perth, which was about 10 months.

The Farriss family had to move back, and we all dropped our jobs and moved to Perth.


INXS impact on charts following the airing of 'Never Tear Us Apart'.

INXS impact on charts following the airing of ‘Never Tear Us Apart’. Source: Supplied

We wanted to play original material. We were rocking the boat and found after a while that gigs were disappearing because we were concentrating on writing and playing original material. We were left with only one gig a week.

Then the mining town gig came up and that did bankroll our move back to Sydney, thank heavens.


INXS in 1991.

INXS in 1991. Source: News Limited

There were a few incidents up there in Perth and Michael was in a lot of them.

John was falling asleep in school all the time because we played four or five gigs a week. He may as well have not been in school anyway.

However being there gave us more time to develop original songs without anyone in the big eastern states knowing who we were.

As for the portrayal of Andrew Farriss, he was probably the guy with the most talent as a songwriter, but he had the most doubt.

It all probably comes from your upbringing. My dad would say “keep it as a hobby and get a real job”.

Some of the members were very positive like Tim and myself, and some were not so sure.

Years ago we were asked if we wanted platinum records made up for family and friends. I got one for mum and dad with the message “keep it as a hobby”.

Andrew was unsure we were going to go anywhere. We were pretty different to what other bands were doing, especially overseas. So the portrayal of Andrew was pretty good.

Luke Arnold and Samantha Jade as Hutchence and Minogue.

Luke Arnold and Samantha Jade as Hutchence and Minogue. Source: Supplied

Then there was the Kempsey gig scene — it’s all real.

We were touring with Richard Clapton. Richard and one of his band guys, after his set, chucked a browneye.

The crowd was going mental, so we all did it. Of course I waited, stripped off, and came out with a coat and did the full frontal.

We all got run out of town. We raced back to the hotel, got our luggage and got out of there before there were any issues.


Andy Ryan playing Andrew Farriss

Andy Ryan playing Andrew Farriss Source: News Limited


The cast of INXS: Never Tear Us Apart

The cast of INXS: Never Tear Us Apart Source: Supplied

The incident with the guards at Buenos Aires airport is actually a bunch of incidents rolled into one. I recall it as my bag that got searched, not Garry’s.

That certainly did happen in South America, though I don’t remember that we got rid of the substances exactly prior to the guards arriving.

Layne Beachley and Kirk Pengilly. Picture: Regina King

Layne Beachley and Kirk Pengilly. Picture: Regina King Source: Supplied

I guess it showed the mayhem of that period and was edited into one scene. We did have fun.

I would’ve liked to have included some of the recording sessions. It is a very important part.

I always believed each cycle that led us to making videos and going and touring was all instigated by the album. Do the album, do the videos, go tour — it was cylical.

The most creative side could’ve been touched on. We worked with some amazing producers. It’s a little bit of a shame that side of what we did was not represented.

Certainly a lot of family and friends contributed massive amounts of time to what we did, too, but you can’t put everyone in the show.