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Meet the real-life Into the Wild guy

Written By kom limapulan on Jumat, 29 Agustus 2014 | 19.39

Campbell Walker, 23, from Sydney, has booked a one-way ticket to Nepal and will travel around Asia and the Middle East with three friends and his girlfriend. Source: Supplied

HAVE you ever dreamed of quitting your job, selling all your stuff and booking a one-way ticket to the other side of the world?

Many young would-be adventurers have daydreamed about this ultimate travel fantasy, but far fewer people have actually bitten the bullet and done it.

Campbell Walker, a 23-year-old guy from Sydney, is set to become one of these valiant few.

He's selling all of his possessions - except about 100 essential items - quitting his job in publishing and has bought a one-way ticket to Nepal.

Along with his girlfriend and two best mates, he plans to travel indefinitely, starting in western China, Mongolia and through the Middle East.

He's saving $10,000 - which includes a buffer of a few thousand dollars - and plans to live on $15 a day.

Campbell says the daily grind of work-sleep-eat-repeat isn't how he wants to spend the rest of his life.

"Time is extremely finite. It's the one resource you can't buy or exchange," he told news.com.au.

"You're only as good as what you did yesterday. If I wrote down everything that I wanted to do yesterday, and everything that I actually did, there would be a massive difference.

"All I did was go to work, come home and eat three meals in between."

Cam on a previous overseas adventure. Source: Supplied

"Work and sleep takes up about 90 per cent of my time. In the end you're only left with about 10 per cent of your day to do the things you actually like doing and have a wonderful time.

"I love music, travel, and meeting interesting people."

Campbell's light bulb moment came after he returned from a recent trip to Central America.

He had just landed his dream job back in Australia and had two months travelling ahead of him. "I saw those two months as an opportunity to treat the world as my playground," he said.

Along the way, Campbell was offered a job and place to live permanently in Guatemala, but turned it down.

He returned home and launched himself into a demanding role with long hours.

"I actually quite like my job but I was really coming to grips with just being a cog in the wheel.

I felt like I had lost my freedom. I became really quite critical against not just work, but the whole concept of work, capitalism, consumerism, the working world and all those things.

You reflect on whether working 50, 60, 70 hours a week is really going to give you anything in the long run."

Cam and his girlfriend. Source: Supplied

"I want to cut my ties, particularly with Sydney as a city. Sydney used to be far less competitive. People's opinions are as monochromatic as the clothes they wear and the cars they drive.

"I also had a brush with my own mortality and I got my priorities in order. It made me realise what's important.

"I wrote down the 10 things in life that I love so much, and asked myself if there was a way I could combine them into one lifestyle."

With the help of his friends - an artist and a documentary director - Cam will produce a documentary series about his adventure.

"We want to get inside the heads of people who have gone AWOL — particularly artists and musicians around the world."

"My girlfriend is coming with me. She's just as fed up with the gravity of Western living. Neither of us, nor our friends see an exciting future in sticking round and rotting.

"The best we could hope for, if we all stayed, is a good night out. That's a pretty contagious thought in my opinion.

Cam and his mate Bart, who will be travelling with him across Asia and the Middle East. Source: Supplied

Campbell's parents have mixed views on his decision to go AWOL.

"My mum is generally supportive. She's actually on the verge of doing something similar.

But my values are conflicted with my Dad's.

"When I told him [about my plan], he came back at me with a list of reasons that I should stay in both my job and the workforce during my twenties.

But will there be anything about his current life that he'll miss?

"It will be the small, comfortable things. I could find myself living in some half-built house just stinging to be back home in a warm bed watching some series on my laptop.

"But if that's the biggest luxury that I'm idolising, it's not worth staying for.

"If you're not feeling happy you can't keep doing the same thing. If you don't quite know what you want to do, then do something wild and irrational and bizarre."

Have a story you'd like to share? Get in touch at rebecca.sullivan@news.com.au or on Twitter @beck_sullivan.


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What being on The Amazing Race is really like

Daniel Ryan from The Amazing Race Australia vs New Zealand season, talks to news.com.au about their experience on the show.

IT looks like the greatest reality TV show on Earth, an all-expenses paid trip around the world, but is the Amazing Race the ultimate travel experience or is it actually a nightmare?

"It's hell," jokes Daniel, who with his teammate Ryan has just finished the Australia v New Zealand instalment of the race.

"You would never choose this sort of travel in normal life because you want to spend a few days in a place, but this sort of experience, some people describe it as like 'Contiki tour on crack'. It's a nightmare ... it's quick, it's extreme but it's a beautiful experience."

Added Ryan: "It's a money can't buy experience, it's insane, even if you tried to recreate it you couldn't."

The Sydney-based intensive care nurses joined forces to tackle the latest local series which sees Aussies and Kiwis pitted against each other for the race around the world.

Daniel and Ryan on The Amazing Race: Australia v New Zealand. Source: Supplied

"We do a lot of night shifts doing intensive care, often 12 hour nights, so we're used to trying to perform under fatigue. Shift work is very much like jet lag, when you've got to turn your body clock around 12 hours on it's head, so we thought operating under pressure with a lack of sleep — we've got this ... but we didn't," said Ryan.

"You think you've got the race, but the race is full on, 24/7, after a few days of not sleeping and eating properly, you're ready to tear your hair out and that's where things get interesting."

It's the first time the show has pitted the two nations against each other, but the pair say there wasn't as much Trans-Tasman rivalry and tension as they'd first thought.

"To be honest, there's more that bonds us together as Australians and New Zealanders than drives us apart. It's really only the rugby that really separates us as nations, but generally when the times get tough we bond together and that's what we found on the race."

Australian teams: Elizabeth and Todd, Sally and Tyson, Ashleigh and Jarrod, Tiharna and Inga, Daniel and Ryan. Source: Channel 7

In the franchise's thirteen years on air, there's been 25 seasons of the shows in the US and three local, ensuring nearly every TV viewer has caught at least an episode or two.

So with that in mind, we decided to grill Dan and Ryan on what really goes on behind the scenes.

What do the contestants eat when they're travelling?

"Anything you can get your hands on, muesli bars are great, because if you stop, you're stopping in the race, you're not having a degustation meal, you're not spending money, you're just trying to do your best on minimal time, I mean you'd be searching everywhere for a woodfired pizza in Namibia. The key is to bring snacks."

How do you pay for everything?

"You've got a budget for the leg, you rip and read (the card) and they say 'you've got $125 for this leg of the race' but it's up to you, you do what you want, sometimes you have some money leftover, sometimes you're scraping by, living on the bare minimum, living on mars bars and muesli bars. You just have to manage it well and then you end up having to beg and that becomes quite awkward."

New Zealand Team L-R: Cat and Jesse, Carla and Hereni, John and Murray, Emily and Jono. Front: Aston and Christie. Australian Team L-R: Inga and Tiharna, Elizabeth and Todd, Sally and Tyson, Daniel and Ryan. Front: Ashleigh and Jarrod Source: Channel 7

How many crew are travelling with you?

"You've got a little crew and they change around, they're always with you, you're a team of four people running around. You're always aware of what they're doing because you look after them, but you sort of tune out as well, you're not constantly aware there's a camera right next to you because it's the two of you talking and you've got to do your thing. No one's directing you, you can go where you want."

Which is the best airport in the world?

"It'd have to be Munich, we've been there several times. They do free coffees and hot chocolates and have kick-ass pretzels and when you're on a race and you don't have money and you're trying to scrounge food, that's the best thing."

What do you pack and what can you not pack?

"No technology, no maps, no cameras, no phones, no books, nothing that's going to help you or assist you. No money, no credit cards. In terms of everything else, what you bring is up to you, but you have to carry it so we ended up turfing stuff along the way. Half the bag is just underwear and you throw them out as you go."

Bonnie Sveen and Philippa Northeast and Daniel Little and Ryan Thomas at Westfield Parramatta. Source: Supplied

How much time do you have in between legs?

"It's a 12 hour turnaround or less but in that time you have to fit everything in. You have to get back to the hotel, do an interview, eat, get an hour and a half's sleep, unpack your bags, wash your clothes, repack your bags and your clothes are still wet because you haven't had time to dry them. It's pandemonium sometimes and they really keep you going in that race mode, they want to keep you going and keep you in that state and it adds to that point of getting to emotional and physical fatigue."

Do you get any days off to explore?
"That's the mystery of the race, you come on the show thinking 'yeh, I'm going to get a day off between episodes, I'll chill out, I'll have a rest', but you don't get that, you get a couple of hours sleep at max and you'll sleep on the planes if you can, that's why you're so fatigued constantly because you're only getting a few zzz's here and there."

Daniel and Ryan in their day jobs at intensive care nurses. Source: Channel 7

How do you manage to catch up on sleep?

"Drugs, definitely and that's coming from the nurses, the medical professionals here and earplugs are an absolute must on the planes. Also always try and get the exit row seating or if you think the flight's not going to be that full, book a seat up the back of the plane and hope that you get a full row to yourself to put your head down. A sneaky red is always good to wind down a bit."

What do you think the audience wouldn't know about how the race is run?

"I think people don't realise the amount of commuting and travel you do, because it just says teams are now on their way from Thailand to Namibia, but that's like a 36 hour long haul and you're doing four flights just to get there so its epic, its huge, you've had 36 hours travelling and no sleep and you feel like rubbish when you get there. You're stressed, jet-lagged, tired, hungry and tensions are bubbling."

Your advice for anyone considering entering the show?

"Anyone who's in a relationship, anyone who goes on the show saying 'I think our relationship is great and I think this would be the perfect test for our relationship', it's not for you, don't do it, don't do it. It's a pressure cooker environment."

The Amazing Race airs Monday nights at 8.40pm


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Hidden pain behind Bondi Rescue

Taking the viewers on their journey through mass rescues, resuscitations, shark sightings, and all number of the weird and wonderful experiences Bondi dishes up. Courtesy: Network Ten

Haunted ... Trent 'Maxi' Maxwell and Jesse Polock reveal the dark side of their jobs as Bondi Beach lifeguards, which they say has changed their lives. Picture: Chris Pavlich Source: News Corp Australia

BEYOND the golden sands and sparkling blue water that make Bondi Beach famous, there's a dark secret that no one talks about.

Further up the coast is The Gap, a notorious chunk of jagged cliff and suicide spot where on average one person per week will take their own life.

The Gap is a part of Bondi's lifeguard emergency response patrol area – and it's often the job of lifeguards like Bondi Rescue stars Trent 'Maxi' Maxwell and Jesse Polock to paddle out and retrieve the bodies.

"My very first day as a lifeguard at Bronte Beach, I was 16, I experienced a suicide," Maxwell, now 23, recalled.

"He was still alive when I got to him but in a really bad way. I brought him in but he died."

Dark side ... the job of a lifeguard at Bondi Beach often involves the shocking task of bringing in the bodies of suicide victims. Source: News Limited

He and Polock, 24, bonded over their mutual emotional scars and decided they could either let it get to them, or channel their energy into doing something about it.

They form an unlikely duo. Maxwell comes from a middle-class family in Sydney's inner-east, while Maroubra local Polock is a Bra Boy who grew up in housing commission and not long ago faced jail over a major drug smuggling sting.

Best mates ... Trent Maxwell and Jesse Polock are lifesavers on and off the beach. Source: News Limited

Scared straight by his run in with the law, Polock took his second chance seriously and became a lifeguard, sorted himself out and has kept out of trouble since.

Like Maxwell, he quickly discovered the dark side of his job. In his first year on patrol, Polock had to deal with five suicides.

"To have to pull someone out of the water is really difficult and going through my head is what the family is going to be going through after that," Polock said.

"It was extremely hard on me and I struggled a bit at times. I was lucky to have good people around me. I went and had counselling myself too and that helped."

He and Maxwell "connected" over their shared emotional scars, he said. One night after work, while sharing battle stories, they decided the issue of suicide wasn't spoken about nearly enough.

"That's how we came to ride jetskis from Sydney to Cairns over 16 days," Maxwell said.

Trip of a lifetime ... the two mates just before they set off on an epic jetski ride from Sydney to Cairns last year to raise the profile of youth mental health charity Headspace. Source: News Limited

Their epic 3000-kilometre journey, known as The Ride, was filmed as part of a documentary which aired on channel One earlier this year.

Each day, the pair of mates would return to land and visit a Headspace youth mental health centre to speak to local young people about their battles.

"It was a bit confronting and some of the stories really stuck with me," Maxwell said. "We gave them a voice to talk about what they were experiencing."

In the view of Headspace chief executive officer Chris Tanti, the mates also saved lives by reducing the stigma associated with seeking help.

"Having these young guys openly talk about mental health will hopefully help young people understand that it's okay to say you're not okay and there's support available."

Second chance ... Jesse Polock had a second chance at life and became a lifeguard, after a serious brush with the law saw him face jail time. Source: News Limited

When they returned home, Maxwell and Polock felt mixed emotions — accomplished and proud but not content. They were determined to do more.

This month they launched a new business, Ocean Men, which takes groups on a day long beach trip to experience surfing, jetskis and a taste of the lifeguard world.

As part of the program, they also talk about their experiences and passion for mental health advocacy. A percentage of profits go back to Headspace.

Wrong side of the tracks ... Jesse Polock spends his spare time raising money for mental health charities. Source: News Limited

Making a difference ... Trent Maxwell and Jesse Polock bonded over their mutual tough experiences with suicide and vowed to do something about it. Source: News Limited

While it's early days, Maxwell said they plan to expand the initiative to have a community focus.

"Jesse has an idea of getting a heap of different kids together — kids from the north shore and ones from south Sydney and combine them. It'd be a good learning experience, I think."

On the side, they'll continue fundraising for the cause so close to their hearts and encourage conversations despite society's reluctance.

"It's such a taboo topic and not many people want to talk about it. But we have to — it's too serious an issue to ignore."

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.


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Five ways social media is killing dating

Has social media changed dating for the better? Source: Getty Images

MISERY loves company. All's fair in love and war. There are plenty of fish in the sea.

You've probably heard these before, because over the decades cautious words and clichéd phrases have guided our mothers, and their mothers, through romantic courtship.

Now, thanks to the introduction of social media, the wealth of indispensable wisdom has grown to accommodate our technological future with new advice. It's not official until it's "Facebook official". Snapchats can be screenshot. No-one ever likes the 'mirror pic' guy on Tinder.

When our grandparents started dating, there was no social media to blur the lines. They didn't wonder when was an appropriate time to ask a new suitor to delete their Tinder account. They didn't need to worry about the new set of digital dating rules that we face today.

Dating, when there's no social media to blur the lines. Source: Supplied

Some argue that social media has changed dating for the better. We're now connected in ways that years ago, were unimaginable. We can source potential dates while sitting on the living room couch with unwashed hair and a lap full of chip crumbs. Others argue the less attractive additions that social media has brought to the table: the 'gamification' of dating, the death of social serendipity, or the rate at which we're heading towards customs defined by superficiality and instant gratification.

When I was lucky enough to be involved in the first-ever test group for Facebook (which is what inspired me to start L&A Social Media), the extent to which social media would change the way we engage could not have been predicted. But today there is no denying that these changes are occurring rapidly and they're nothing short of drastic, as the gap between digital and physical courtship is well and truly closing.

Gina Lednyak. Source: Supplied

Here some of the ways in which dating is forever changing, for better or for worse:

1. Next level competition

Whether you like it or not, social media has created a dating pool that knows no boundaries. Literally. The dating pool has become infinite. And with more options, comes more competition.

Gone are the days when you met a guy at a party and found comfort in the fact that he probably wouldn't be attending any more parties until the next weekend. Now, in the days following your fated meeting he has potentially connected with 20 plus suitors on Tinder.

On the flip side though, the dating pool has become considerably larger for you too. And this, I think most would agree, is one of the greatest perks that social media has brought to the world of millennial dating.

2. The future of zero guesswork

According to research, we can recognise when someone isn't into us about 80 per cent of the time. No surprises, as most of us are pretty good at detecting when we're being shot down. It usually involves watching someone's eyes glaze over while they check their phone for imaginary texts before sculling an entire vodka apple-juice just so they have an excuse to exit for the bar.

When it comes to sensing when someone is flirting with us however, researchers from the University of Kansas say we're pretty hopeless. In fact, according to their study, men could only determine if someone was admiring them 36 per cent of the time, and women could only tell 18 per cent of the time.

So it's safe to say that most of us have probably missed out on more than few opportunities to close at the bar. Enter Tinder. The dating app completely eliminates any of the conjecture and speculation involved with traditional dating. In fact the pre-existing guesswork been reduced to a solitary swipe; left for no, right for yes. Thanks to apps like Tinder, we now know, instantaneously mind you, who is or isn't interested in us.

Thanks, Tinder. Source: TheAustralian

3. Background checks

No matter how much we think we like somebody, the minute we take to their online profile can quite literally be a game-changer. It only takes a single shirtless selfie, for instance, and the mission is aborted. Our attraction plunges, the next date is called off and we end up asking ourselves what in the world we were thinking. Some would argue that this is a bad thing. Does it take all of the fun out of dating? Perhaps some of us have even thrown away the person we were destined to be with, in a few short clicks?

It could be argued however, that it's a blessing in disguise. While writing someone off because of one photo shouldn't be condoned, there's no denying that social media can now help us learn a lot more about someone much quicker. And this means we can skip the 5 dates to find out we actually had absolutely nothing in common in the first place.

4. Jealousy is a dangerous thing

For some of us, the temptation to sift through the profiles of our current partners exes is one that cannot be overcome. Luckily, no matter how private someone tries to make their profile, it's usually possible to find something. And thanks to social media there is no generation more efficient when it comes to private investigation than Gen Y.

These days, you only need to log onto Facebook or Instagram and you can stalk someone's exes from the most recent relationship back to their first kiss at the Grade 8 school dance. But what if seeing them smiling and having a great coupled-up time together in photos begins to haunt you? You start wondering if they really have moved on, or if they even love you as much, and you've effectively opened the ex-floodgates forever.

Adding to this, nothing has added a layer of complexity to dating the way Likes, Comments and Pokes have. Trivial, you say? Not according to the many relationships that have been ruined by Facebook. Owing to the ease with which one can see who their partner is connecting with, or whose photos they like or comment on, Facebook-induced-paranoia is actually a thing.

That selfie could be a massive turn off ... Source: Supplied

5. Digital infidelity

Before the world of dating apps, when someone's impulse to cheat on their significant other was strong enough to act on, they'd have to go out into the real world and physically meet another party willing to participate. But things have changed. Finding someone to get it on with no longer means putting on clothes, fixing your hair and heading out to a bar; thanks to social media, a world of potential hook ups is at your finger tips. And sure, Snapchat has made sending dirty pictures much easier to get away with. And of course nobody is required to reveal their actual relationship status on a Tinder profile.

But social media also brings with it another challenge; secrecy. These days everyone has a phone and staying off social media after leaving the house has become a difficult feat. Thanks to social media, getting busted by an indiscreet photo or slip up on Instagram or Facebook has made it a lot harder to be a slimy cheater.

Are you sure you want to Snapchat that? Source: Supplied

Gina Lednyak is the Founder and Managing Director of L&A Social Media. Follow her on twitter at @GinaLednyak
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The harsh reality for trolley workers

Trolley workers can earn as little as $8 an hour. Picture: Gary Merrin Source: News Limited

SOME shopping centre trolley collectors are being taken for a ride by employers, and the Fair Work Ombudsman isn't having a bar of it.

The workers who weave trolley conga lines through car parks and pick up the carriers from surrounding streets risk being underpaid. Some have worked for as little as $8 an hour, compared to the national minimum wage of $16.87 an hour.

The government agency is now urging supermarket and shopping centre managers to stamp out wage exploitation or face legal action.

A third of the workforce are under 20 years, 40 per cent don't have an education past year 10 and 30 per cent were born overseas.

"These workers encounter barriers to understanding and enforcing their entitlements themselves," FWO Natalie James says.

The FWO has four matters before the courts claiming 71 trolley collectors have collectively been underpaid by almost $500,000. Retailers often outsource collection to trolley services companies that compete heavily on price.

But while retailers don't directly set the terms for subcontractor employees, Ms James says they are still legally responsible.

This is because of "accessorial liability" - a Fair Work Act provision that deems someone other than the employer who is involved in unfair treatment may also be held accountable.

The FWO handed down 38 rulings on this provision last year.

"Just because a company doesn't own the contract doesn't mean it can wash its hands of it," Ms James said in a statement.

Underpayment in the cleaning and security work sectors is also on the FWO's radar.

"These are highly competitive industries ... where the profit margins, particularly on the labour component, are often low," Ms James said.

In the past six years, the FWO has recouped more than $430,000 for 528 underpaid trolley collectors in Australia.


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Zimbabwean axed for sharing Mitch video

Written By kom limapulan on Rabu, 27 Agustus 2014 | 19.40

Mitchell Johnson has again proved he is no slouch with the bat, smashing a six into the commentary box during Australia's ODI against Zimbabwe.

Mitchell Johnson's bowling has claimed another victim, albeit in unusual circumstances. Source: AFP

MITCHELL Johnson's path of inadvertently destruction has continued in Harare with a Zimbabwean cricketer sacked — apparently for posting a video of the Australian bowling fast.

In what must rank as one of the harshest firings in cricket history, Zimbabwe fast bowler Tinashe Panyangara has paid the price for sharing a video with teammates on social media app Whatsapp of Johnson in action against England during the last Ashes series.

Sending around the video of Johnson's bouncers, and implying Zimbabwe's batsmen might be in for a tough time against the quickest man in world cricket, has been deemed worthy of a $US1000 ($A1,082) fine and being stood down for the rest of the tri-series.

Zimbabwe bowler Tinashe Panyangara won't have to face Johnson again in this series. Source: AFP

Panyangara allegedly shared the video on Sunday night, on the eve of Zimbabwe's opening ODI clash with Australia.

Several media outlets reported its distribution cost him his place in the side and the fine.

The bizarre news comes two days after Johnson smashed the window of the Harare Sports Club commentary box with a straight six, sending callers flying.

Zimbabwe Cricket issued an official statement which made no mention of the reasons for Panyangara's punishment, however it said the team's disciplinary committee had found the side's most experienced seamer "disruptive in the build-up to the first ODI of the triangular series".

Johnson took one wicket and struck Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura on the helmet, in a match Australia won by 198 runs.

It's not the first iron-fisted decision made by Zimbabwe coach Steve Mangongo in recent times.

He dropped Luke Jongwe for breaching team curfew and the team's best player Brendan Taylor for an unexplained reason.

Mangongo reportedly sets a tight 9.30pm curfew for Zimbabwe players and doesn't let them consume alcohol.

Originally published as Zimbabwean axed for sharing Mitch video

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Shocking truth about sex assaults overseas

Be careful when reporting sexual assault overseas, especially if drugs or alcohol were involved. Source: ThinkStock

IT'S a truly horrifying thought that a traveller sexually assaulted overseas could end up being the one who lands behind bars instead of their attacker. But unfortunately it's a scenario that rings true in some of Australians' favourite holiday spots, a travel insurance company has warned.

Sure, you may think it will never happen to you, but it does happen. There are on average 30 cases of sexual assault involving Australians overseas filed to Travel Insurance Direct (TID) every year, with the majority being 18-30-year-old women in a range of locations, the company's Head of Emergency Assistance Lisa Fryar revealed.

And it's not just women who are affected; on average 5 per cent of the victims are men, most of whom were travelling in South East Asia and had their drinks spiked. These figures are just the tip of the iceberg, with many cases going unreported.

"When you're on holiday your guard's down a bit, you're more vulnerable," Ms Fryar told news.com.au of sex assault overseas. "You just don't expect these kind of things to happen."

Fryer says that unsuspecting and traumatised victims may find themselves in trouble after reporting the crime to local authorities, due to surprising laws. They may also be forced to undergo invasive physical tests and toxicology screenings that could have implications if drugs or alcohol are detected in their system.

These kind of nightmare situations even play out in major tourist hubs frequented by Australians such as Dubai and Bali.

"The Middle East is quite a different place for a female to report sexual assault, they're at risk of being incarcerated for adultery," Fryar said. "And if they've had anything to drink, which is also illegal over there, they could end up being jailed for that."

Fryer said she hasn't heard of a single case of a tourist successfully reporting a sexual assault in the Middle East without ending up behind bars themselves. But that certainly does not mean you should not report the crime. Actually the opposite. Just be aware of the steps you should take.

"Sadly, we see so many of these cases (sex assault). Rather than saying not to report it, always call the Australian embassy or travel insurance company to find out the best way to handle the situation."

If toxicology tests are pushed on you when reporting rape overseas, Fryar says to resist if possible.

"There are certain countries where we wouldn't advise you to consent to toxicology tests if you've had drugs or alcohol or been drugged. If the authorities find any trace of forbidden drugs you could be jailed. Especially in Indonesia, you could get a death sentence."

She said that in many countries, you could be forced to undergo a toxicology test if you report the crime to local police before contacting the Australian embassy. But if you report the incident when back home in Australia, you could take the tests over here instead.

Victims of sex assault also need to be cautious when dealing with local authorities in India and South America due to corruption.

"There could be further assault (by the authorities), they could take advantage of you financially (bribes), and the other thing is in a lot of countries they don't have appropriate trauma counselling or medical assessment," she said.

"And in Africa if you report rape and then have a medical assessment they won't necessarily start you on antiviral treatment straight away, so you're at a greater risk of contracting a disease such as HIV."

It's a timely alert that comes days after Australian tourist Laura Bushney went public about her fight in a French court against a man who allegedly molested her on a Malaysia Airlines flight.

Laura Bushney, 26, claims that she was assaulted by the chief steward on flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpur to Paris. She underwent invasive physical tests in France and was forced to confront her attacker in court where her claims were read out and she was asked if she wanted to retract them. It has been a gruelling process.

Laura Bushney claims she was sexually assaulted on a Malaysia Airlines plane. Source: Channel 7

And Ms Bushney is far from the only traveller who has had to deal with the aftermath of sexual assault overseas.

In a shocking case last year, Norwegian traveller Marte Deborah Dalelv was sentenced to 16 months in jail for reporting her rape in Dubai. She said she'd never expected that telling the police would end up being a bad decision.

"I called the police," Ms Dalelv said. "That is what you do. We are trained on that from when we are very young."

But she claims she became nervous when the officers asked her some uncomfortable questions such as: "Are you sure you called the police because you didn't like it?"

Ms Dalelv's passport was confiscated, her money taken and she was charged with having extramarital sex, drinking alcohol and perjury. She was later pardoned after an outcry.

But not everyone has been set free in such a scenario. Australian Alicia Gali was jailed for adultery for eight months in 2008 after she complained to police that her co-workers at a resort in nearby Fujairah drugged and raped her.

Alicia Gali 29 was raped after her drink was spiked at a hotel. Picture: Jamie Hanson Source: News Limited

Here's a guide of what to do (and not to do) if sexually assaulted overseas:

Middle East

Regardless of blame, be warned that a woman may be incarcerated for adultery (and for

drinking alcohol — if that has happened) if she is raped. So we suggest this course of action:

• Call the Australian Embassy immediately and ask to be taken to the Embassy clinic (or

one they recommend)

• Do not consent to toxicology screening

• Demand antiretroviral treatment immediately

• Call your travel insurance provider's emergency assistance team as soon as practicable.

(Generally insurers will arrange flights to get you to the nearest reliable medical facility or

back home so the issue can be dealt with properly.)

South America

You may be dealt with fairly, however high levels of corruption among local police, have led

to complaints in dealings of the situation. A suggested course of action is:

• Call the Australian Embassy immediately

• Call your travel insurance emergency assistance team. For example, TID will arrange

medical treatment at a trustworthy facility as soon as practicable.

Indonesia

• Do not consent to toxicology if you suspect you have been drugged (screening is very

limited and not comprehensive, it is better to get it done properly and thoroughly in Australia)

• Call the Australian Embassy immediately and ask to be taken to an embassy-preferred

clinic

• Demand being moved to Australia for medical treatment (particularly if you have been

drugged with methanol)

• Call the your insurance company's emergency assistance team.

India

If you're in a large city in India, the below course of action is suggested:

• Call the police on 100 and report the incident. Have someone with you to act as a

witness when you are being interviewed.

Or if no-one is with you:

• Call the Australian Embassy and ask them to conference the call with the local police

• Call your travel insurance emergency assistance team to arrange treatment.

Africa

There are potentially very serious health risks from unprotected sexual contact throughout

this region. If assaulted:

• Call the your insurance company, to arrange a referral to an international

clinic to start precautionary treatment immediately.

Everywhere else:

• When in doubt call the insurance emergency assistance team and report the incident immediately. They are equipped to deal with this immediately and sensitively and get you to safety as soon as possible.

Victims can end up behind bars. Source: Supplied

Warning from the Government

The Government's Smartraveller website also advises caution when reporting sex assault overseas: "You should be aware that in some countries sex outside of marriage is illegal. It is possible that victims of sexual assault may face criminal prosecution rather than being considered the victim of a crime.

"There have been cases where sexual assault victims have been imprisoned after reporting an incident to local police or upon seeking medical assistance. If you have any doubts about possible legal repercussions, we strongly advise that you contact the nearest Australian embassy, high commission or consulate or DFAT's 24 hour Consular Emergency Centre as quickly as possible to obtain relevant information on these issues and guidance on what support services may be available."

General travel safety tips:

• If travelling solo and you're nervous about it, wear a wedding band

• If travelling with your male partner/travelling companion in Middle East/Nepal/India —

suggest you are "married" or long term partners. This will ward off unwanted attention

but also validate why you are travelling together

• If travelling solo, talk about a special man in your life, even if there is not one

• If you wake up in a location and with someone that you cannot remember going to bed

in, the chances are you could have been drugged and raped.

• Travelling with a sarong/shawl is a good idea, especially when considering visiting

temples. A sarong or shawl can be used to cover shoulders/or legs. By not covering

your shoulders, you could be sending a message that you are "available".

The Australian embassy's Consular Emergency Centre 24 hour phone service can be reached on 1300 555 135 within Australia (local call cost) or +61 2 6261 3305 from outside Australia.More advice on dealing with sexual assault abroad can be found on their Smartraveller website.

news.com.au has contacted DFAT for comment.

What you need to know before going to Dubai


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Ice bucket event drinks isle’s water

If you've used the internet in the last two weeks, chances are you've heard of the 'Ice Bucket Challenge', the latest pass-it-on fad to go viral in a big way.

Take a look at some of the hilarious fails from the Ice Bucket Challenge, raising funds and awareness for ALS/Motor Neurone Disease.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge ... demand caused the water system to be shut down on an island in the Hebrides, off Scotland. Photo Sarah Reed. Source: News Corp Australia

AN island was left without water when too many of its residents made demands on the supply at the same time for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Only 135 live on the Isle of Colonsay in the Hebrides, off the west cost of Scotland.

Someone on Colonsey must have been nominated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge who must have then nominated other people on the island and the process must have continued as demand for water escalated to such an extent that it cut off the water system, The Sun reported.

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The water system stops automatically as part of moves to cut wastage on the 13km-long island and has to be turned back on afterwards.

David Johnston, from Colonsay Brewery, said that water engineers had to come out five times over the weekend.

"The challenge spread round the island like wildfire. It hit a peak on Sunday evening," said Johnston, 60.

"The water system must have thought there was a burst main."

A spokesman for Scottish Water said water had been shut off during the weekend but added that residents were still able to use stored supplies on the island.

The Ice Bucket Challenge involves dumping iced water on someone's head before the participant nominates another person to have a go.

In Australia, people take part in the challenge to support the Motor Neurone Disease Australia.

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Rape cases: ‘Stop being so drunk’

'It's Your Fault' parody video taking on controversial comments by public figures towards rape in India. Courtesy All India Backchod

Women should not get so drunk ... A retired judge says that rape convictions would increase. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

A RECENTLY retired judge said the number of rape convictions will not rise until women "stop getting so drunk".

Judge Mary Jane Mowat said it is an inevitable fact of being "one person's word against another" in rape trials and the burden of proof necessary being that you have to be sure before you convict that sees rape cases fail.

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In the UK, where Judge Mowat retired as a judge at the age of 66 on August 1, the conviction of rape cases that go to trial stands at 60 per cent.

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"I will ... say, and I will be pilloried for saying so, but the rape conviction statistics will not improve until women stop getting so drunk," Judge Mowat told the Oxford Mail.

"I'm not saying it's right to rape a drunken woman, I'm not saying for a moment that it's allowable to take advantage of a drunken woman.

"But a jury in a position where they've got a woman who says 'I was absolutely off my head, I can't really remember what I was doing, I can't remember what I said, I can't remember if I consented or not but I know I wouldn't have done'. I mean when a jury is faced with something like that, how are they supposed to react?"

Alleged rape victim ... a police officer escorts a distressed young woman to an ambulance. Source: News Limited

A Rape Crisis England & Wales spokesperson told The Independent that while Judge Mowat makes clear that it is never "allowable" to rape a "drunken woman", her remarks could still be potentially "very harmful".

"The point that she and other influential people within the criminal justice system should be making clearly and publicly is that the legal responsibility is with the defendant in a rape case to evidence how they sought and received consent," said Katie Russell.

"And if a woman is incapacitated through drink or drugs then she is not capable of giving her consent."

Russell said only an estimated 15 per cent of all rape victims go to the police, often because of feelings of shame and self-blame or for fear of not being believed or taken seriously.

"If we are ever to improve levels of reporting, and levels of criminal justice for sexual violence survivors, we must remain focused on the behaviour and culpability of perpetrators, not victims. One hundred per cent of the responsibility for any act of sexual violence lies with its perpetrator."

Natalie Brook, of Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre, said that Judge Mowat's comments on rape were 'an outrageous, misguided and frankly dangerous statement to make".

"Rape convictions will improve when those who perpetrate it, who are disproportionately male, stop raping and when society stops blaming women for somehow being complicit in this act of violence.

'Rape is 100 per cent the fault of the perpetrator."


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A car that can avoid a kangaroo

Kangaroo crash test dummies ... Holden has tested its cars in kangaroo crash tests dummies for decades, but Volvo will go one giant leap further. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

Volvo introduces autonomous driving so you never have to park your car again. Courtesy: Volvo

SWEDISH car maker Volvo says it is a step closer to coming up with technology that can spot a kangaroo and slam on the brakes to avoid impact — and has already started testing in Australia.

The latest Volvo cars can already brake automatically to avoid rear-ending the vehicle in front, and can spot pedestrians and cyclists day or night, but it has now turned its attention to animals.

Volvo safety engineers say they are starting with big, slow moving animals first, such as cows and sheep, but they say trying to detect and then avoid a jumping kangaroo is "not impossible".

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Common site on Australia's roads ... A kangaroo warning road sign in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. Source: ThinkStock

Volvo has sent two engineers to Australia over the past 12 months to study the roadside behaviour of kangaroos, and filmed hours of footage to take back to Sweden when developing the software.

"As we have discovered, kangaroos are really unpredictable and difficult to avoid, but we don't think (avoiding them) is impossible," said Volvo safety expert Martin Magnusson.

"Kangaroos are smaller than the other animals we are trying to detect and their behaviour is more erratic, but we are working on it very intensively."

Mr Magnusson said the technology that can avoid kangaroos and other animals is still a few years away, but he is confident of finding a solution.

"We are sure we have the technology to detect a kangaroo, either standing or on the move, the next thing we need to understand is what action to take with the car, when should it brake, and so on," he said at the launch of the new Volvo XC90 in Sweden overnight, which the company claims is the world's safest SUV.

There are about 20,000 collisions with kangaroos in Australia each year, according to insurance industry data.

"We are starting with the large animals first, the ones that pose the greatest risk to drivers, such as a moose, a horse, or a cow, then we are working on ways to detect other animals, including kangaroos," Magnusson said.

Unfortunately man's best friends — dogs and cats — are not on the list of those to save. "Driver safety is not an issue when it comes to a collision with those animals. Of course it's a pity, and I happen to like cats, but there are no plans to [detect dogs or cats]," Magnusson said.

Volvo is yet to create a kangaroo crash test dummy similar to the one used by Holden in the 1990s.

Road Kill ... Hitting a kangaroo in a vehicle cannot only be deadly for the animal. Source: News Limited

But Volvo says it hopes to return to Australia in the next year or so to test the system on real kangaroos, during development.

"Eventually, we will have to test it in an environment with real kangaroos," said Mr Magnusson.

The system will not swerve the car to avoid a kangaroo (which safety experts strongly advise against) it will instead apply the brakes at full force to reduce the impact speed from, say, 110km/h to 70km/h.

A radar sensor in the grille scans the road 100 metres ahead to detect cars, cyclists and pedestrians. A camera in the windscreen works in parallel with the radar to detect which way the object is moving and help the computer decide what action to take, if any.

The system processes 15 images every second and can react to an emergency in half the time of a human, Volvo claims.

Magnusson says it takes 1.2 seconds for an attentive driver to detect danger and then apply the brakes, compared to about 0.5 second for the computer system.

"This truly is state of the art technology, because the brakes can be primed in milliseconds, much faster than a human," Magnusson said. "And we are only at the beginning of what is possible."

Volvo says it is not designed to take responsibility away from drivers. "It is a back-up in case they are distracted," Magnusson said.

The Volvo system will join a long line of gadgets designed to avoid crashes with kangaroos. Australian inventions mounted to the front of cars include plastic "whistles" and electronic sound transmitters that apparently only kangaroos can hear.

However, a 2006 study by the CSIRO found electronic sound emitters were not effective at deterring kangaroos. It tested one such device by switching it on in a paddock full of kangaroos and they didn't budge.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling


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