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Travel related gifts: The best (and worst) Christmas presents for travellers

Get ’em a Go Pro: Tiny and takes great pictures, making it a great gift for travellers. Photo: Danielle Smith Backpackers at Bondi beach.
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IS your favourite traveller going on holiday soon? Buy them a splurge.

Guidebooks are only a good gift if they’re digital. Photo: iStock

‘Tis the season to be jolly, which means ’tis also the season to go through the hell of trying to figure out what to buy everyone for Christmas. What do they all want? Who knows? You’ll probably get it wrong.

If your family or friends are keen travellers, however, it’s easy. With this handy little list you’ll be able to knock over your present buying in no time, and get back to the beer and prawns. These are the best – and worst – gifts to buy for a traveller. BESTPhoto fridge magnets

It’s a little conceited, but travellers love looking at their own photos, so why not have some of their snaps turned into fridge magnets? There are several websites now that do this (and will post them out to your house when they’re done), and it’s a great way to help travellers keep in touch with their memories. A GoPro

Anyone in the slightest bit techy, or who has some creative flair, or who just likes carrying a selfie stick and recording their every move, will absolutely love a GoPro. They’re small, sleek, and the footage they capture, particularly of anything action-related, is amazing.   Photo of the Day! Greetings from 4,500 feet with @na34te of @beyondballooning as they soar high above the clouds during an n #sunrise. Share your best moments with us by clicking the link in our profile.A photo posted by gopro (@gopro) on Sep 14, 2015 at 10:20am PDTA Leatherman

There are about a million jobs a Leatherman pocketknife can do on the road, from running repairs on things like backpacks and hiking shoes to getting the cork out of a bottle of wine. About the only thing they can’t do is go in your hand luggage. A portable charger

Phone battery deaths are pretty much the bane of the modern traveller’s existence. You can solve this with a portable charging pack, or, for the really hardy explorer, a solar-powered phone charger. A Turkish towel

This is more a stocking filler than anything else, but it’s a handy one. Turkish-style towels look good, they pack down small, and they’re easy to get dry before they go back in your bag. And, like a sarong, they have loads of different uses.   A Friday Classic #style #stripes #hammamas #turkishtowel #theclevercottontowel #bathtowel #beachtowel #travellight #classicrange #friyay!A photo posted by Hammamas -Uk (@hammamas) on Aug 6, 2015 at 4:50pm PDTSmall digital camera

You don’t need to lug around a gigantic DSLR these days if you want really high quality photos. Brands such as Canon, Panasonic and Sony have now released pocket-sized cameras with full manual controls and excellent image quality. For travelling photography fans, it will change your life. Carry-on sized toiletries

Plenty of high-quality toiletries makers now sell their products in sizes that will allow you to take them onboard a plane with you – the perfect gift for anyone who does a lot of business travel, or just likes to look nice when they arrive somewhere. A splurge

Is your favourite traveller going on holiday soon? Buy them a splurge in their next destination – the kind of thing they’d never think to spend their own money on. Get them a night in a fancy hotel, or a meal at an expensive restaurant, or a massage, or a hot air balloon flight, or anything they’d never normally do. Trust me, they’ll enjoy it. Qualifications

For travellers, the world opens up even more when they’re licensed to do new things. So this Christmas enroll your family or friends in a scuba-diving course, or pay for them to get their boat license, or do their solo sky-diving certificate, or get a motorbike license, or take a photography course. All will come in handy on the road. World scratch map

These are made for kids, but they’ll also work for colossal travel dorks – they’re world maps covered in gold foil, allowing you to scratch off each country as you visit it. You then stick the map on your cubicle wall at work and sit there waiting patiently for people to walk past and say something like, “Wow, you’ve been to Cuba?” A voucher

This might be for something like Airbnb, or Viator, or Uber, or Expedia, or Red Balloon, or Eurail – whichever you choose, a voucher from a travel provider will definitely go down well. Money

This might just be the ultimate gift. As a Traveller staffer so beautifully put it: money weighs nothing, and it can be used for everything, anywhere. It’s not very imaginative, but it sure is useful. WORSTA chunky travel diary

Many well-meaning relatives will bequeath upon you a gigantic brick of a book that you’re expected to lug around the world for a year to record your memories. It’s not a terrible idea as such, but fairly impractical. Especially since the invention of blogs. Guidebooks

Go for the digital ones! Or a gift voucher for Lonely Planet or Rough Guide. Hard-copy guidebooks are quickly becoming a thing of the past. They might be good for research before you leave, but they’re a nightmare to carry on a long trip, and an unnecessary one. Travel clothing

Unless your gift-ee is heading to Everest base camp, or trekking for weeks through the Amazon jungle, they’re probably not going to need specialty travel clothing. No mozzie-proof shirts, no zip-off pants, no micro-fibre towels, and no wide-brimmed hats. This stuff is all completely unnecessary. Luggage

In and of itself, this is not a bad idea at all. Great luggage is something you’ll value for years. But choosing the backpack or suitcase you love is such a personal thing that it’s highly unlikely you’ll get it right for someone else. If you really insist on this, it’s best to take them down to the store with you.

What do you think are the best and worst Christmas presents for travellers?

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​See also: The cheapest day to fly over Christmas

See also: Why I’ve stopped buying fake handbags overseas

Borderforce Act is inhumane in its secrecy

In July this year the government introduced the Border Force Act containing Secrecy Provisions (Section 42) making it a criminal offence for Departmental staff and contractors, (including healthcare providers and teachers) to disclose knowledge acquired in their capacity of working within the immigration detention system.
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The legislation prohibits any worker from speaking out about conditions of detainment or the treatment of asylum seekers in our care.

I felt compelled to start a petition to repeal the Secrecy Provisions because without the ability to speak out workers lose the capacity to fulfil their duty of care. Healthcare providers and teaching staff are legally mandated to report incidents of child abuse but healthcare providers are also called upon to be a voice for vulnerable adults too.

When I worked on Christmas Island, adult clients were often so traumatised that the detention environment exacerbated their trauma symptoms. Grown men started bed wetting, men and women became too frightened to sleep due to horrific nightmares.

Flashbacks became so common that people existed in a numbed vacate void, closed off from their new reality. Incidents of self-harm and suicide attempts were common.

The detention centre did not offer safety and sanctuary but rather an imposed persistent purgatory.

I often prepared clinical recommendations for these people; these human beings; my clients, using my clinical findings. Over my five years on Christmas Island I spoke up for many men, women and children.

When the department of immigration failed to address the recommendations, I would be forced to advocate elsewhere. It was never easy; there were always veiled threats, but not the threat of two years imprisonment.

As a mental health clinician I was duty bound to my clients, morally, ethically and legally, the new Secrecy Provisions now challenge these professional duties.

The public are now informed due to information released by whistle-blowers, the n Human Rights Commissions National Inquiry into Children in Detention Report and the government’s own Moss Report.

We all know conditions within Immigration Detention are unsatisfactory, at times inhumane and definitely cruel, however the situation remains unchanged.

On November 23, the Senate voted to pass four key amendments to the Migration and Maritime Powers Amendment Bill (No.1) 2015 put forward by The n Greens’ Immigration spokesperson SenatorSarah Hanson-Young.

One of the amendments is the reversal of the Secrecy Provisions, and makes it clear that disclosures of matters that are in the public interest are lawful, despite any law or contractual provision to the contrary.

The Bill is now before the Government-controlled House of Representatives, which means it is now up to the Government to support the Bill. But until these provisions are repealed or reversed, I will continue to campaign to end them. Because to put it simply, legislation that defies safe, ethical practice is wrong and the current conditions of detainment are inhumane.

DETENTION: Christine Cummins was duty bound to her clients, but she argues the new Secrecy Provisions now challenge these professional duties.

The Justice for Asylum Seekers Forum is onFriday,7pm at WestsNewcastle. Visit facebook杭州龙凤论坛m/events/1093742400649476/ for information.- Christine Cummins isa credentialled mental health nurse who worked in immigration detention

David Warner prepares for Hobart Test match -with a visit to Tasmanian distillery

FLYING VISIT: n cricket vice-captain David Warner visits Hellyers Road Distillery. Picture: Grant Wells.
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GEARING up for ‘s first Test against the West Indies in Hobart, batsman David Warner took a break from the training pitch and headed for a brief visit to Burnie by private helicopter.

Mr Warner’s visit was to take his first look at the distilling process of his new venture, 666 Pure Tasmanian Vodka, which is prepared at Hellyers Road Distillery.

Helicopter aside, the affair was a brief, low-key event with a small throng of diehard, mostly female, fans keen to grab a signature and photo with the cricket star.

Mr Warner was met at the helicopter, which landed in the distillery car park, by fellow 666 owner Jeremy Ferguson, as well as master distiller Mark Littler, before taking a 45-minute tour of the distillery.

Mr Warner said his heart was “100 per cent” behind the product and that he was very excited to be doing something a “a bit different from cricket”.

“I am not drinking any more but I will be back on board soon,” he joked.

Mr Warner said he was proud of the product and wanted to get behind it on a global stage.

Mr Warner said his last visit to the North-West was marred by rain, but he was impressed with what the region had to offer.

“I know it’s a nice, quiet place,” he said.

Mr Ferguson said his friendship with Mr Warner extended back four or five years, when the international cricketers celebrated in his former bar in Melbourne.

Mr Ferguson said Mr Warner was previously a “Grey Goose man” but was converted to 666.

“He offered to help out with social media and I asked him if he wanted to be our ambassador,” Mr Ferguson said.

Mr Warner went one better and offered to buy a part of the company six months ago.

“His name is gold and it makes a big difference,” Mr Ferguson said.

Mr Ferguson said Mr Warner was an enthusiastic part of the team, regularly attending meetings.

The Advocate, Tas

Sexual harassment rife in Victoria Police

MORE COVERAGE
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Commissioner Graham Ashton pledges compensation for victimsJohn Silvester: Can police culture change?’Boys will be boys’: toxic, sexist police culture haunts victimsComment: Fear keeps victims silentVictoria Police: Sexist from the start’I kept thinking, I am going to get raped in a police car”The next thing I knew he was inside my house’Abuse in Victoria Police: The”charismatic” senior constable’Just some lesbian drama’: ex-policewoman ‘bullied’ by colleaguesThe sexual harassment figures that shame the forceSenior police will apologise and offer compensation to staff sexually harassed and assaulted by fellow officers after an independent investigation uncovered hundreds of cases where victims were too frightened to complain.

The damning Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission report to be released on Wednesday found Victoria Police has a culture of cover up, acted unlawfully and is riddled with unreported sexual discrimination and harassment cases.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton has promised to implement the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s recommendations. Photo: Paul Jeffers

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton has promised to implement the commission’s 21 recommendations that will result in the biggest structural changes in the police force in more than 40 years.

As part of the investigation nearly 500 responders to a confidential survey said they had been sexually harassed by colleagues in the past five years, with a small number (less that10) saying they were victims of assault, including rape and attempted rape.

“Of extreme concern was the number of people who reported thoughts of suicide,” the inquiry found.

The harassment includes sexually suggestive comments, unwelcomed physical contact, leering, indecent exposure, repeated advances, abuse of social media and requests for sex. Some victims reported assaults inside stations and police cars, with one threatening to use pepper spray to protect herself from a colleague.

Sexual harassment rife in Victoria Police TweetFacebook

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Last month Boulton learned that one of hermockumentary projects had received a grant from Screen NSW to allow further development. Classy n production company Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder (Bondi Rescue, Gruen Planet, Go Back To Where You Came From) is on board with the concept, based on Boulton original idea.
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Kelly BoultonGrow project, a puppet-driven children’s show about life on a compost heap, she revisited the mockumentary idea.

“He said ‘that is too good for Tropfest –make it a show. He came over with a grocery bag full of mockumentaries. He said ‘watch these, go away and write a show.’ That was three years ago. Finally, I wrote it and took it to SPA [Screen Producers ’sannual conference where writers pitch ideas to networks and production companies].’’

Because of her advertising agency background, Boulton has producedscripts, storyboards anddirector’s treatments for others. It was just another step to start doing them on her own work.

“I’ve got about 20 of them,” she says of her scripts and concepts. “I’ve got a bunch of kids’ one that are floatingaround at the moment.’’

What if one of them catches hold?“I would be happy if that happened. I am realist. I don’t know, I’m not banking on it, put it that way.’’

What if more than one goes into production?“Whatever it takes, I’ll do it. I’ll do the one I want and get a writer for the other. I’m not a seasoned writer. I’ve got a lot to learn.

“I don’t want to do everything, sometimes you just have to. I’m hoping the next thing I work on I just have one role.”

Among the many ideas she is working on is a music video featuring an international women’s rollerskating star who is coming to Newcastle next year.

She also has big plans for the 2016 Newcastle animation festival, which is supported bythe University of Newcastle.

She’s keen to support the University of Newcastle and encourageyoung talent in creative fields.

Our interview takes place ahead of aspeaking engagement where she was to talk about career paths for graduatesat an event sponsored byBehance, an online platform for showcasing creative talent to the marketplace.

She was almost reluctant to tell them how she works, and how she has succeeded.“It has been extremely risky,” she says of her own approach. “I don’t know if I can encourage people to do it.”

Boulton is an independent as they come.

“I have this very strange approach to my work, which scares some people,” she says. “But I’m not afraid. I don’t do a job and then panic about what the next one’s going to be, because I know something will happen.”

But when you’re holding so many aces –the ability to write, produce and direct –your chances of winning must be higher.

Talking about the profitability of B is for Baby, done on a tight budget to a high standard, Boulton does not flinch about her commitment.

“This one was not lucrative. But it is very lucrative in terms of being able to send it out and get a commercial job straight up. That’s what I’m always about. This one has to be better than the last one.”

Left: A still photo from the B is for Baby Sesame Street segment filmed at Sawtooth Studios in Newcastle.

Top: Pizza Face, the educational how-to-make-a-healthy pizza segment was Boulton’s first Sesame Street project.

Above: A still from the Going on 16 Daniel Johns music video produced for the Newcastle International Animation Festival.