A Helping Hand for an Amazing Young Woman

Cassidy Richardson receiving an IPad from Aaron Kernaghan, Principal Solicitor at Kernaghan & Associates.
Cassidy Richardson receiving an IPad from Aaron Kernaghan, Principal Solicitor at Kernaghan & Associates.

Kernaghan and Associates and its staff through our patronage, support and participation of musical theatre and the arts have come to know many individuals in the community over many years. Sometimes it’s great to be able to highly one very strong, and inspiring individual and today we send a shout out to Cassidy Richardson.

Cassidy is a year 12 student this year and is currently in a bit of a battle to get the sort of help and equipment she needs to finish her schooling and make good on her potential. See, Cassidy has some special requirements because she has Tourettes. She is an amazing spokesperson and has played an important role making people aware of the special challenges that go with having such a special condition. Here is a TV interview that she did a few years back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjo_TVOFHSc

We met Cassidy through our support and involvement with local community work. She has been doing a tremendous amount of work in musical theatre and performance – she is a terrific and accomplished dancer and actor. Hailing from a family of incredibly talented people (they’re all performing artists!), Cassidy has support for both her condition and her unique and special way of trying to deal with it. She has been in many shows and performances in the Illawarra for years now and is an inspiration. Cassidy suffers from severe Tourettes and has times of great troubles, especially with schooling and the writing component. The hardest part has been getting people to understand the great challenges of simple tasks.

Some local friends pulled together a Facebook group to raise funds to buy an IPad for Cassidy and a whole heap of amazing things that will help her to express herself, get the writing done and achieve amazing things. When Kernaghan and Associates found out about this, we thought we would get on board and so Aaron Kernaghan, the Principal of the firm bought her an iPad Air 2.

In addition to this, a Facebook fundraiser was put together by Louise Hamilton and Hannah Garbo, putting it all together under the ever-watchful eye of Cassidy’s big brother and super-hero guardian, Tyler Richardson. Many people showed their support and have put in to help Cassidy.

All of us here at Kernaghan and Associates want to shout out our support for Cassidy and wish her the best. And we’d also like to shout out to everyone who joined in helping her out. It’s great to be a part of a community that achieves something so quickly (it all came together in literally, less than half a day). With the money that was raised, many accessories and assistive devices were purchased for use with Cassidy’s iPad.

Best wishes to a great member of our little community and all the best for your HSC! Cassidy, you are a true inspiration to young people everywhere.

http://www.kernaghanandassociates.com.au

Malcolm Fraser Dies at Age 84

Malcolm Fraser died this morning aged 84. A press release from his family indicated that he passed away earlier this morning. He first became Prime Minister of Australia after being appointed by the then Governor-General John Kerr who had just dismissed Gough Whitlam’s labor government (November 11, 1975). A member of the Liberal party he lead the party in the following election and returned as Australia’s 22nd Prime Minister until 11 March 1983 hen Bob Hawke won the election and became Australia’s 23rd Prime Minister.

During his time as PM, John Howard served as a deputy leader of the Liberal Party to him and he was followed in that role by Andrew Peacock.

He was born in Toorak, Victoria in 1930 and into a political tradition. He played a leadership role in delaying the Whitlam Government’s budget bills, an attempt to force an early election. Months of deadlock followed and the result was Sir John Kerr acting to remove the Prime Minister from office and replacing him with Malcolm Fraser.

On 19 November 1975, a letter bomb was sent to Fraser but it was detected before it reached him.

After his departure from the office of PM, he began to play an increasing role in humanitarian efforts. He put some distance between himself and his former party mates, being critical of the Howard Government on a number of occasions. His legacy was somewhat marred by an incident in 1986 when he was found in the foyer of an apparently seedy hotel of ill-repute in Memphis wearing nothing but a towel. The incident was passed off as the result of a practical joke.

Time will tell as to his political legacy though like many who ascend to high office, his greatest achievements might lie in what he pursued following his retirement from political office. Whatever the case, he will always go down in history for his role in the dismissal of 1975.

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http://www.kernaghanandassociates.com.au

Moving Forward – Lindt Cafe Re-Opens

Today the Lindt cafe at Martin Place will re-open, just months after the siege at Sydney’s Martin Place that left Tori Johnson & Katrina Dawson dead.

In a move that most would welcome, Steve Loane, Chief Executive of Lindt Australia, said reopening was “the best thing to do”.

“After the tragic events that happened in December we discussed this reopening with our staff and gave a lot of thought to next steps,” he said.

“Overwhelmingly, the feeling was that reopening and moving forward is the best thing to do for everyone affected.”

Much like the reconstruction of the new World Tower after the destruction of the twin towers in New York, the best thing to do after such a tragic event is to show terrorists that despite the trauma, the heartache and the savagery we will stand strong and we will move forward.

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Happy St Patrick’s Day from Kernaghan and Associates

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It is that time of the year again when the world turns green and we raise a glass, preferably of Guinness, to St Patrick’s Day. It provides an opportunity for Irish men and women to remember their rich and vibrant heritage and culture. With the Irish representing the third most common ancestry group in Australia, it is anticipated people will turn out in thousands to celebrate around the country.

Many this morning would have enjoyed a traditional Irish breakfast of pork sausage, black pudding and soda bread accompanied with a cheeky Irish coffee, before settling back to enjoy a day of traditional Irish festivities.

The day itself represents both a cultural and religious celebration to mark the passing of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. It is commemorated as a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and remembered more widely in other countries like Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand. The day also provides an opportunity to remind Australians of our multicultural roots, with many non-Irish participants finding their way to pubs and festivities to celebrate alongside the Irish.

Today we will raise a glass to celebrate all that is good about the Irish, and who knows, we may be so lucky as to find a leprechaun with a pot of gold. Let us know what you are doing to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

Happy St Patrick’s Day from all of us here at Kernaghan and Associates.

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Oliver Stephens
Law Clerk

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Steak Fracas?

The most politically incorrect man on television, Jeremy Clarkson, has done it again.

Social media has been awash this week with news of Jeremy Clarkson causing a ‘fracas’ with a producer of Top Gear over the lack of food options during a shoot in the North of England this week.

Details have emerged that the host got extremely angry after a day of filming when he was not allowed to order a sirloin steak and it was instead suggested to him that he might like some cold meats and cheese. OUTRAGE!

What ensued has been hotly debated and speculation has been rife. The BBC called it a ‘fracas’, others called it a scuffle, perhaps it was a melee? Whatever happened it was enough for the BBC to stand Clarkson down indefinitely, cancel the airing of this weeks episode and place the entire program’s future in jeopardy.

It has been reported that before Clarkson could escalate the situation into something more serious he was placated and was provided with a $42.00 piece of steak in a private room. He apparently then refused to leave a pub for two hours whilst the helicopter that had been arranged to transport him and his co-stars to their hotel.

As the fallout from the fracas gathered pace, Lord Hall, director general of the BBC, disclosed that he would personally oversee the investigation and will decide what to do with Clarkson “based on the facts”.

To read more click here.
 

Timothy Wilson Comments: Landing of the Qantas 747-400 VH-OJA at Albion Park Airport

As our Wollongong followers might know, the Qantas 747-400 VH-OJA landed on the tiny airport runway of Albion Park. But for our Sydney and International followers, hundreds of people, lined the fences of the highway at the very early hours of Sunday morning to see the great feat of landing this gigantic plane on such a small run way.

The 192-tonne plane touched down on a runway that normally allows for aircraft up to 25 tonnes; and astoundingly had room to spare on the 1819-metre runway stopping distance.

This plane and piece of history will now become part of the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) Museum.

To showcase some of the day and some great pictures, Mr John Wilson, photographer; who was up close and personal with the landing of the plane has graciously shared some of his amazing photographs.

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Timothy Wilson

Timothy Wilson
Senior Law Clerk

The Death Penalty – Powerful or Pointless?

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As the two condemned men, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, await their horrifying execution date on the Indonesian prison island of Nusa Kambangan the angst amongst (most of) the Australian community grows stronger by the day.

The pair have shown and incredible transformation since their arrest, court case and sentence over nine years ago. Prior to his transfer to the prison island last week Myuran ran art school and lessons from inside Kerobokan jail. He has received a degree in fine arts from the Curtin University and prominent Australian artist Ben Quilty has become one of his most vocal supporters. Andrew Chan has become a devout Christian and led the Christian services inside Kerobokan until his transfer to the prison island. Both have been described by prison staff and authorities as ‘model prisoners’ and have been commended on their approach to prison life and setting a good example and mentoring their fellow inmates.

It is a fair question to ask would the pair have been rehabilitated to this point if they were not sentenced to death, for example if they had been given twenty years or life imprisonment in Indonesia or if they had been sentenced in Australia to a period of five to ten years? The answer is they probably wouldn’t be. However, just because they are facing the firing squad it doesn’t make their rehabilitation any less valid, it doesn’t make their last decade in prison meaningless and it doesn’t mean that they cannot be assessed by Indonesia (the appeal courts & the President) as the men who they are today rather than the drug peddlers they were a decade ago.

In New South Wales Section 3A Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 clearly sets out the factors courts must take into account when determining the appropriate penalty. It is true that these are considered at the time of the sentence hearing and not half way though or even ten years after a sentence served by a prisoner. However, the purposes of sentencing (amongst others) are to punish and denounce the crime by sending a message to the community (general deterrence) and to the individual (specific deterrence), to ensure the safety of the community AND to promote rehabilitation of the offender.

Another not insignificant fact to point out is that the pair were attempting to smuggle the 8.3kg of heroin to Australia from Indonesia and NOT from another country into Indonesia. The rhetoric from Indonesian President Joko Widodo about the death penalty being necessary to send a message to drug dealers and the resulting pain they inflict on Indonesia is a bit long in the tooth. He was recently quoted as saying,

“Most importantly, our diplomats can explain to other countries the urgency of our drug problem in Indonesia. Explain to them about the conditions here, that drugs are entering villages, ruining our young ones, are being sold at campuses. Even universities have drug problems. This is an emergency.”

Certainly, Indonesia has a drug problem and drug dealing should be denounced and the appropriate punishment metered out. However, is tying someone to a post whilst para-military police take aim in the dead of night and fire a lethal shot to the heart really necessary in this day and age?

No one is questioning Indonesia’s sovereign right to impose and enforce it’s own laws, but is the execution of these two men (and indeed many others) going to do anything to fix Indonesia’s drug  “emergency”? The simple answer is no.

For some related comment in The Age click here.