Army film editor recognised on the world stage

by Major Carrie Robards.

PHOTO: Corporal Susan Touch won ‘best editor’ at the 2022 Ediplay International film Festival in France. Photo by Private Kelsey Innes.

An Army multimedia technician has found an unexpected calling to the short-film industry.

Corporal Susan Touch, from Headquarters Combined Arms Training Centre, got into short-film production to upskill as a part of her professional development, but didn’t expect her work to be recognised on the world stage.

Earlier this year, Corporal Touch won the best editor category at the prestigious Ediplay International film Festival for a short film she created while attending an Australian Film Base course in Melbourne.

The course introduced her to all aspects of filming production, including technical aspects of using industry standard cinema cameras, lighting and sound equipment, and post production.

The casting call was a highlight.

“It was exciting being able to put a call-out to actors and writing an ad explaining how we were looking for volunteer actors, as it was a student film, and when rehearsals were taking place,” Corporal Touch said.

“After shooting, we each had to edit our work on Adobe Premier Pro. I chose to do mine in black and white. The student who wrote the script named it Nostalgia.

“It’s a reflective piece on the passage of time and how we choose to subjectively remember things.”

At the end of the course students were encouraged to submit their work to film festivals. Corporal Touch didn’t expect to win anything “given the other strong competitors, but I took a chance”, she said.

“I was later contacted by the Ediplay International Film Festival in France and was told I had won one of their awards.

“I was absolutely over the moon to receive recognition from the international filming communities and to know that they enjoyed my style of film editing.”

Now on a short break from filming-making, Corporal Touch continues to work as a multimedia technician at the Combined Arms Training Centre at Puckapunyal, a job she enjoys.

“We are expected to solve and assist clients’ needs, whether it is filming a how-to video for the training schools or creating simple infographic messages for commanders,” Corporal Touch said.

“It is a demanding trade that encourages us to seek and learn new technologies or software that can be useful to the unit or the training schools.”

Corporal Touch said a desire to give back to Australia had prompted a career change from hospitality to the military.


Leadership trophy a first for 3 RAR

PHOTO: Hassett Award recipient Corporal Joshua Green, centre, with Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Johnson, left, and Warrant Officer Class One Anthony Jones. Story and photo by Private Nicholas Marquis.

Supporting Australia’s material assistance to Ukraine has secured a soldier from the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR) the Hassett Award for the first time in the battalion’s history.

t a ceremony in Canberra on November 24, the recipient, Corporal Joshua Green, said it meant a lot to receive the award, which recognises outstanding junior leadership.

“It’s the first time a member from the 3rd Battalion has won it, so it’s a massive honour,” he said.

Qualified on the M113 AS4 armoured personnel carrier, Corporal Green was hand-selected as part of the gifting program.

“I was told to come up with a training program for the armoured vehicles,” Corporal Green said.

“We got tasked to come up with a training package and skin the cat, and I did.”

Corporal Green said he worked hard at his job and got recognised for it.

“This year, 3RAR has done really well,” Corporal Green said.

“We’ve won the DoG [Duke of Gloucester] Cup, the OSCMAR trophy for battle endurance and the Morrison Trophy for drill.

“Now, we got lucky and jagged the Hassett.”

With the highlight of his career being section commander at A Company, Corporal Green said his goals were to develop reconnaissance and sniper capabilities in the battalion.

Commanding Officer 3RAR Lieutenant Colonel Chris Johnson said the award was important to the battalion as Sir Francis Hassett commanded the battalion in Korea.

“Corporal Green is an outstanding leader,” Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson said.

“He represents the best of the battalion and the best of the regiment. We are very proud of him.

“It’s great to see the Hassett Award coming home to Old Faithful.”

To receive the award, a member from each battalion in The Royal Australian Regiment and School of Infantry is nominated to the RAR Foundation.

A recent decision has been made to have the award displayed in the soldiers’ mess in the School of Infantry so future junior leaders will be inspired to win it.


No one is pulling any strings against a voice, Mr Pearson

By Janet Albechtsen – The Australian

PHOTO: Noel Pearson’s ‘tremendous work in Indigenous education and other areas … does not give him carte blanche to treat people who disagree with him so poorly’. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen

This column has unashamedly put forward legal reasons and philosophical arguments to demonstrate why inserting a race-based voice in the Constitution is problematic to our democracy.

Whether responding to claims by lawyers or former judges or Indigenous leaders, academics and politicians, I have focused on the substance of the claims made. It has never been personal.

This week I am forced to diverge, at least partly, from that model of debate. Only partly, because the attacks by Noel Pearson a week ago demand a calm, thoughtful response. Anger is no way to respond, or to win an argument honestly or fairly.


So let us analyse in detail what was wrong with Pearson’s interview last week with Patricia Karvelas on Radio National.

What stood out most was the lack of intellectual rigour from this intellectual heavyweight. Pearson started by condemning the Nationals, saying they were deciding to vote against something that did not yet exist. Yet Pearson and other voice activists have thrown their wholehearted support behind something that also does not yet exist. If supporters can mount a Yes case, why can’t critics mount a No case?

Though we do not have the final wording, we have the Albanese amendment and the legal issues it raises. And we have the principle that inserting a race-based voice into the Constitution undermines equality.

Instead of putting forward intellectual arguments for the voice during his 17-minute interview, Pearson chose instead to launch a series of nasty attacks on those who dared to disagree with him.

Pearson attacked Nationals leader David Littleproud, accusing him of being a “boy”, a “kindergarten kid”. He was a “man of little pride”, boomed Pearson. The Indigenous leader then accused the Nationals leader of having his strings pulled by Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, then accused Price of having her strings pulled by think tanks such as the Centre for Independent Studies and the Institute of Public Affairs. He accused Tom Switzer and me of pulling Price’s strings, too.

PHOTO: Nationals Leader David Littleproud and Jacinta Nampijinpa Price. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage

Where does the string-pulling stop? Who is at the end of the line? Who is pulling my strings, Noel? There are no strings. Only ideas and concerns and questions I have raised in great detail over months. Price has done the same.

I do not know Price except for a couple of brief conversations, one long before Pearson’s attacks and one immediately after to check on her after listening to Pearson’s demeaning attacks. Even if I’d had 100 conversations with Price, even if she were my close friend, it would not warrant the patronising, belittling accusation that Price is the puppet of someone else.

Attempts to smear people who have concerns about the voice have been going on for some time. But Pearson shows how high the abuse goes, reaching into the upper echelons of the voice proponents. It suggests there is little that leaders of the voice campaign would not do to try to taint those who have raised concerns about a major change to the country’s founding document.

Witness Marcia Langton this week claiming it would be unfortunate if “the debate sinks into a nasty, eugenicist, 19th-century style of debate about the superior race versus the inferior race”. This is a wicked intervention from Langton. No one on the No side has done this. Only an Indigenous leader on the Yes side has mentioned eugenics.

No matter how invested these Indigenous leaders are in the voice, nothing warrants this ripping down of opponents to try to win people over to their side.

Notice the allusions to violence Pearson chose to deploy – people like me had fashioned the “bullets”, he said, and Price’s “black hand is pulling the trigger”. We were, he claimed, “punching down on other black fellas”.

If one wanted to resort to the same foul language, one could point out that Pearson was punching down on a black woman during that interview.

When Karvelas chose not to call out these nasty, personal, anti-intellectual attacks, or Pearson’s demeaning accusation that an Indigenous woman was the puppet of others, it revealed how one-eyed she had become on this matter. Imagine if a conservative claimed that someone was pulling Megan Davis’s strings or Penny Wong was someone’s puppet. There would be an uproar about sexism. But if Pearson demeans a black woman, there is silence from the left.

Sadly, even those voice supporters in the media we might expect to be more balanced have fallen silent, as if Pearson is a protected species. Their silence tells you they are not thinking clearly about the voice.

Whether you agree or disagree with Price, we need more people like her in federal parliament. People who are not political insiders, not former political staffers or union officials. People who have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, with a set of convictions that predate politics.

Pearson’s arrogance is dangerous to an informed debate. He claims there are “two kinds of people in the bush”. People such as Littleproud, who disagree with Pearson, are the “heartless” people who “couldn’t give a stuff about black fellas”. People who agree with Pearson are the “decent” people.

Pearson has been rightly celebrated for his tremendous work in Indigenous education and other areas. But that does not give him carte blanche to treat people who disagree with him so poorly.

He sounded ridiculous when he boomed about Price being caught in a “vortex”, “a celebrity vortex”, “a redneck celebrity vortex” and then a “tragic redneck celebrity vortex”. Had he reached for one more adjective I would have called for confiscation of his thesaurus. He then moved on to John Howard, who has expressed concerns about the voice. Pearson attempted to rip into Howard by saying: “Who can arrogate to themselves that kind of presumption that their own view should be the view that prevails?”

Oh, the hypocrisy, Mr Pearson. You spent 17 minutes demeaning opponents and presuming that your view is the only morally acceptable view.

“We’ve landed with the voice,” Pearson thundered to Karvelas, as if a series of conventions and meetings and papers drawn up by Indigenous activists should settle the matter once and for all. In fact, we, the people, have not landed anywhere yet. That is up for debate. And a referendum.

Pearson’s lack of temperance when it comes to the voice reveals a dark side, not just to the voice campaign but to what a body called the voice may look like.

I once feared that a constitutionally entrenched voice would be filled with people like Lidia Thorpe. That changed last week. If the voice comes to sound anything like the bullying from Pearson – with people who believe that attacking people with different views, rather than engaging in a civilised debate, is the way forward for reconciliation – then the country is in trouble.

Janet Albrechtsen

Janet Albrechtsen is an opinion columnist with The Australian. She has worked as a solicitor in commercial law, and attained a Doctorate of Juridical Studies from the University of Sydney. She has written for numerous other publications including the Australian Financial Review, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sunday Age, and The Wall Street Journal.


Vale 13134 Major Sydney R Gerahty (Rtd) – RAA

We have received advice of the death on 7 December 2022, of Major Sydney R Gerahty (Retd). He was a member of the Regiment attached to the Australian Intelligence Corps. He was 90 years of age and had graduated in the Class of June 1953 from Officer Cadet School, Portsea

RIP Sydney R Gerahty.

Peter Bruce, OAM

Obituary Resource Officer

Two-Thirds of Australia Under Beijing’s Missile Threat: Report

PHOTO: Chinese structures and buildings at the man-made island on Johnson reef at the Spratlys group of islands in the South China Sea  (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

By Cindy Zhan

Two-thirds of Australia could be at risk from Beijing’s land-based missiles, according to a submission to the national Defence Strategic Review.

The 33-page submission, prepared by former analysts at Defence Department and the U.S.-based Rand Corporation, includes a map showing Australia’s vulnerability to potential strikes from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), The Daily Telegraph reported.

The militarization of artificial reefs and atolls in the disputed South China Sea will give the Chinese army the potential capability to launch “land-based DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile strikes.”

The CCP’s militarized Mischief Reef atoll, which is 3000km northwest of Darwin, is of particular concern as it creates a “ring range” over key Australian Defence Force (ADF) installations in the Northern Territory, Townsville in Queensland, and northern Western Australia, especially the joint Australian-U.S. Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt.

MAP: China’s “9-dash line” claims in the South China Sea. (United States Central Intelligence Agency)

The analysis suggests that Australia’s future military bases, stockpiles, and fuel reserves should be moved further south.

Security analysts have long been warning about the CCP’s military buildup in the South China Sea.

“China has expanded its ability to conduct military operations about 1,500 miles farther offshore from China, so now China can reach down to Australia, well into the Southwest Pacific, and off into the Central Pacific. And from these bases, it can cause the Americans and America’s friends all sorts of problems,” Grant Newsham, a senior fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies, told Epoch TV’s “Forbidden News” program in April.

The Defence Strategic Review was announced by Australia’s Defence Minister Richard Marles in August and led by former Australian Defence Force Chief Sir Angus Houston and former Defence Minister Prof. Stephen Smith.

It was designed to “help Defence to better understand where it should prioritise investment” to “ensure the Australian Defence Force is well positioned to meet the nation’s security challenges through to 2033 and beyond.”

The news comes at a time when Defence Minister Marles travelled to Washington this week for AUKUS talks with his American and British counterparts.

In October, U.S. intelligence confirmed that Mischief Reef had been militarized and that Guam and United States’ “second island chain” targeting the CCP was under threat. The issue is expected to be a major topic of high-level talks among the three countries.

Mars said the meeting, which takes place in the “most complex and precarious set of strategic circumstances,” would push forward the AUKUS agenda, create opportunities to build the ADF’s strength and integrate the supply chains of the three countries.

“We must invest in capabilities that enable us to hold potential adversaries’ forces at risk at a greater distance and increase the cost of aggression against Australia and its interests,” he said.

The report will be submitted to the government by February 2023 and released to the public in March.



“I Am Not Oppressed”

“I Am Not Oppressed” Man Destroys Critical Race Theory and the School Bans It!

Parent of student drops the truth about Critical Race Theory and helps get it banned from a Colorado Springs school. There doesn’t seem to be any better quality videos from the meeting. It’s well worth watching.

Political expediency fuels a reckless drive to electric vehicles

The Australian

Climate activists and politicians constantly tell us electric cars are cleaner, cheaper and better. Many countries, including Germany, Britain and Japan, even will prohibit the sale of new petrol and diesel cars within a decade or two.

But if electric cars are really so good, why do we need to ban the alternatives? And why do we need to subsidise electric cars to the tune of $US30bn ($44.6bn) a year?

The reality is far more muddled than the boosters of electric cars would have you believe. Carbon emissions from an electric car depend on whether it is recharged with clean or coal power. Moreover, battery manufacturing requires masses of energy, which mostly is produced today with coal in China. That is why the International Energy Agency estimates that an electric car using the global average mix of power sources over its lifetime still will emit about half as much CO2 as a petrol car.

You can buy that same carbon emission reduction on America’s longest established carbon trading system for about $US300. Yet many countries pay more than 20 times that amount in subsidies to convince people to make the switch.

There is no air pollution from the engine of an electric car but it needs electricity, which can end up polluting more. One new study found that electric cars cause more of the most dangerous particulate air pollution than petrol-powered cars in two-thirds of American states. In China, an extra electric car pollutes slightly less if driven in areas with new, cleaner power plants, but it produces slightly more pollution in regions with older power plants.

In 2022, China began its assault on the European electromobility market. Will Chinese EVs soon cause the…

Electric vehicles need a huge amount of battery capacity and this makes them much heavier than comparable petrol-powered cars. A new study shows that this weight difference alone means electric cars produce more particulate matter emissions from greater tyre, road and brake wear than petrol cars do. These heavy electric cars are also more dangerous for others in accidents. A study in Nature showed that, in total, heavier electric cars will cause so many more deaths that the toll could outweigh the total climate benefits from reduced CO2 emissions. Consumer demand for longer-range and bigger batteries will make this problem worse.

While electric cars are cheaper to drive, they are expensive to buy. The average US car costs $US48,000 whereas an electric one costs more than $US66,000.

A new US government report finds that the lifetime cost of an electric car is 9 per cent higher, even making the generous assumption that the electric car will be driven as much as a regular petrol car. In reality, electric cars are likely driven less than half as much, which makes the electric car much costlier again. A new study shows only one in 10 households with an electric car relies solely on it. The rest have at least one non-electric car, with most including an SUV, truck or mini-van. For most households, at least one of those non-electric cars is driven much longer distances, making the electric one their “second car”.

Electric cars require large amounts of minerals to manufacture, and an enthusiastic switch will increase demand for cobalt, nickel and manganese 40 to 80 times by 2050. Lithium demand will explode to 140 times its current use for electric cars, with cars and storage each year gobbling up more than 10 times the current annual global lithium production.

There are ethical problems with this production – for instance, most cobalt mining in Congo uses child labour – and there are security problems arising from the fact most mineral processing is concentrated in China.

Norway is the only country where most new cars are already electric. But such a path is open only to super-rich countries because Norway is paying indirect subsidies of avoided sales and registration tax worth $US23,500 a car on top of other tax breaks such as reduced road tolls. Of course, oil makes up a large part of Norway’s economy. The country is paying such high subsidies for such small CO2 reductions that it has to sell 100 barrels of oil, emitting 40 tons of CO2, to subsidise an electric car to cut just one ton.

While many pundits suggest electric car sales will dominate within a few decades, the quiet reality is starkly different. The Biden administration estimates that even in 2050 more than two-thirds of all cars globally still will be powered by petrol or diesel. And if the vast majority of voters continue not to pick an electric car as their first choice even by mid-century, it is unclear whether politicians promising prohibitions really would dare tell them to do otherwise.

Ultimately, the reason electric cars are championed is because of their promised emission reductions. Yet the IEA estimates that even if the whole world achieves all of its ambitious stated electric vehicle targets by 2030, the additional saved CO2 emissions over this decade will be 235 million tons. The standard climate model used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reveals that this will reduce global temperatures by only 0.0001C by 2100.

Electric vehicles will take over only when innovation has made them better and cheaper than petrol-powered cars. But politicians want the change now and are planning to waste hundreds of billions of dollars subsidising electric cars, blocking consumers from choosing the cars they want, to achieve virtually nothing for the climate.

Bjorn Lomborg is president of the Copenhagen Consensus and visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.