Their first Mardi Gras: a journey for Tiwi Island sistagirls decades in the making

Many of the 30 Aboriginal trans women from the islands are already in the city, and have a few messages to convey

As the evening light settles over a Rapid Creek backyard, eight Tiwi Island sistagirls are making their final preparations to fly to Sydney.

A large portion of the 30 Aboriginal transgender women from the islands, north of Darwin, are already in Sydney, sending daily selfies and Facebook updates as they explore the southern city. For many, it’s their first time in Sydney. It will be everyone’s first ever Mardi Gras.

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John Howard: Trump and Brexit symbolise cry for ‘national sovereignty’

Former PM tells Ceda forum Australia should note that Donald Trump articulated people’s anger at ‘avalanche of political correctness’

Former prime minister John Howard has said Donald Trump’s election and Britain’s decision to quit the European Union demonstrated a global push for greater “national sovereignty” that’s also affecting Australian politics.

“I was delighted with the result of the Brexit referendum,” he told the Committee for Economic Development of Australia forum in Sydney on Friday. “The British people made the right decision. I saw that decision as being very much a cry for national sovereignty and control of their own affairs.”

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Fire hits Torrens power station as South Australia warned of further blackouts

No power loss after blaze cuts three units from network but planned maintenance work may cause blackouts on weekend

A fire at a power station in Adelaide knocked out part of South Australia’s electricity generation capacity on Friday as the state faced the prospect of weekend blackouts because of planned maintenance work.

Three units at the Torrens Island power station were cut from the network at 3.35pm on Friday because of the blaze. The nearby Pelican Point power station also tripped at the same time but the incident did not result in blackouts.

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Judge denies QUT staff member’s appeal in racial discrimination case

Court says the three university students and their accuser Cindy Prior have suffered enough from legal proceedings

A federal court judge has drawn a line under the high-profile racial discrimination claim against three Queensland University of Technology students, saying they and their accuser had “suffered” from prolonged legal proceedings.

On Friday, Justice John Dowsett quashed an attempt by former QUT staff member Cindy Prior to revive her claim against the three students over Facebook comments criticising an Indigenous-only computer room where she worked.

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Manus Island: IHMS accused of running medical centre without a licence

Operator says it was advised in May about concerns over clinic’s registration and it is still awaiting government clarification

The Manus Island immigration centre’s medical facility appears to have operated without medical registration for at least 10 months.

The clinic’s operator, International Health and Medical Services (IHMS), said in a statement it was registered to provide medical services in Papua New Guinea and became aware of issues over its clinic’s licence in May last year.

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WestConnex wasting public money with AFL team sponsorship, critics say

Company behind Sydney motorway criticised over deal with GWS Giants, with opponents accusing it of using taxpayers’ money to improve damaged reputation

Opponents of the $16.8bn Sydney motorway project WestConnex have criticised its use of taxpayers’ money to sponsor the GWS Giants AFL team, saying it appears to be using public funds to improve its damaged reputation.

The publicly funded company behind WestConnex, the Sydney Motorway Corporation, this week announced a three-year deal with the western Sydney team.

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Cashless welfare card panel ‘akin to a star chamber’

Greens senator raises privacy concerns over anonymous panel to which welfare recipients apply for cash payment increase

Anonymous community panels are determining whether individuals who are part of the cashless welfare card trial should be entitled to access a greater proportion of their welfare payments in cash.

It has raised concerns about the privacy of those on welfare, with one-year trials of the card in the small communities of Ceduna in South Australia, and Kununurra and Wyndham in Western Australia, due to finish on 15 March and 25 April respectively. A decision from the government is imminent as to whether the cards will be implemented permanently.

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Turnbull ramps up national security rhetoric, saying Australia is ‘destroying’ Isis

Escalation in the prime minister’s language comes as Peter Dutton says government may need to strengthen laws to prosecute returning foreign fighters

Malcolm Turnbull has muscled up his language on national security, declaring Australia’s objective is to kill fighters serving with Islamic State in the Middle East wherever possible.

The prime minister, who made a significant effort when he took over the top job to calm the superheated terrorism and national security debates that raged while Tony Abbott was prime minister, told reporters on Friday: “Our goal as far as those who serve with Daesh in the Middle East is to kill them.

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