Join Dr Niall Aboud  in conversation with Dr Peter SIlberberg on the
current investigation and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.


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The Devil You Know

The Devil You Know
Dr Gwen Adshead & Eileen Horne
Allen & Unwin 355pp $32.99

The title screams Netflix crime series, and no doubt the true stories contained in this remarkable book have the makings of one, but this memoir is by no means sensational, despite the harrowing nature of the tales. Credit for this goes to the main author, British psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Dr Gwen Adshead.

The likelihood that a streaming service might come sniffing around is that the co-author of these Stories of Human Cruelty and Compassion, to quote the sub-title, worked for twenty years as a television drama producer and scripted BBC radio dramas. 

No doubt the material evinces all the necessary responses from a reader - shock, revulsion, disbelief, and, surprising as it may seem, some humour, and not always black. The stories are recounted in short chapters by eleven of Dr Adshead’s many patients over the years, all of them imprisoned for violent crimes, often ghastly ones.

Reading that, “Every violent crime is a tragedy for the victim and their families,” we nod our heads, only to be told that this is so “for the perpetrators” as well.

Southern Cross to host new Health Academy

From 2022 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students in the Northern Rivers will have access to a new training pathway on their doorstep. The Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Academy in Lismore is aiming to support education and increase career opportunities in the health and social assistance sectors, thanks to a new partnership between Indigenous Allied Health Australia Ltd (IAHA), the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) and local Aboriginal Medical Services.

The Academy will give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in years 11 and 12 in the Northern Rivers the opportunity to complete a school-based traineeship undertaking a nationally recognised Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance (HLT33015) qualification through TAFE NSW. 

Students will also gain experience in the health workforce with both IAHA and local health service providers, gaining relevant employability skills and work readiness. The partnership will build on existing relationships and also strengthen local health workforce development strategies, including paid employment for school-based trainees, mentoring, leadership development and career planning. 

Casino bush tucker group

A project in Casino to create a bush tucker walk along the riverbank has strengthened the cultural identities of its young Indigenous participants. The recently completed ‘Water is Life’ project was also aimed at reinforcing their connection to country, Elders and community. 

Healthy North Coast (under the North Coast Primary Health Network) funded Water is Life as part of its Healthy Towns initiative. Program lead Kerrie-Anne Maunder, from CASPA Services Ltd explained there were two stages of the project. 

In stage one, jobs were created for two young Indigenous people to work alongside program facilitator Ben West from the Casino Sports and Recreation Association. They cleared, levelled and tidied the accessway to the river and created a path beside the water’s edge.

The site is located behind Casino’s Queen Elizabeth Park and it was suggested by the local Boolangle Aboriginal Lands Council and approved by their board. 

Storyteller Mitch King and composer and performer Blake Rhodes on stage in Flow. Photo by Kate Holmes.


NORPA’s unique Indigenous production Flow was warmly embraced by audiences during its four-night opening season in July at Lismore City Hall. 

It’s exciting to know that the NORPA crew are already looking at ways to expand its audience by offering this local production to festivals and creating a version to be played at schools. 

While onstage theatregoers see only two Yaegl men – Mitch King and Blake Rhodes – Flow has been a major collaboration involving an impressive creative team and valued input gathered from Elders during a week-long stay on Yaegl Country earlier this year. The Yaegl People are the traditional custodians of the coastal areas around Yamba, Iluka and Maclean, having lived there for 60,000 years. Yaegl country covers a relatively small area due to plentiful resources both from the ocean and the Clarence River.