My Top Five Published Articles

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Katoomba’s forgotten rollercoaster: The Orphan Rocker. Read about it below! Image: Christopher Kelly
My voiceover

**Press play for the fully immersive experience!

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Man strolling through an airport. Image: Shutterstock

Jinyuan* was diagnosed with HIV during a quick return home to China after settling himself into Sydney, Australia. Just as the plane landed in China, an unexplained fever rattled his body and he fell ill. He assumed the worst and bought an HIV home testing kit. It returned positive. He went to the doctor to get tested and was called back because “something is wrong”. And after two more tests, he was diagnosed as HIV positive.

*name changed for anonymity

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Jaco Ottink climbing Mt Everest. Image: Jaco Ottink

Everest climbers are risking their lives trekking with rogue operators and Australian taxpayers are helping pay to bring back thousands of sick and injured climbers down the mountain each year.

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The Orphan Rocker hovering above a small park outside Scenic World. Image: Christopher Kelly

A hundred kilometres west of Sydney sits a roller coaster patiently waiting for its final verdict.

Designed and built in Australia during the 1980s, this 840-metre steel coaster is a first of its kind. Its carriages act like an old mine cart as it reaches a top speed of 45 kilometres an hour through the dense forest above the valley. Its bone-white track slices through the brush, swooping through tunnels and under bridges, with a heavily banked curve mere metres away from a 200-metre drop to the valley floor. And for 32 years the Orphan Rocker has sat at Scenic World in Katoomba — almost finished, almost ready for its first passengers, with little hope to hold onto.

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Futuristic bookstore. Image: Supplied

The book is the epitome of a sanctuary, and this is something we’ve captured through nearly 600 years of reading printed words.

We have read books under sheltering oak trees, we have read novels in the open sunshine at the park, and we have lapped up reality in the confines of a silent library. But all that seems like yesterday, because it’s not just the printed book anymore. Nowadays we can read electronic stories on the train to Sydney; we can listen to biographies on a plane ride to Bali; or we can even candidly peruse an interactive multimedia article on the Cronulla riots during our lunch break. It’s a changing industry.

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Sydney’s nightlife in black and white. Image: Shutterstock [RugliG]

It is no doubt that Sydney’s nightlife has changed dramatically over the century — even more since the 2014 lockouts. And it’s still changing.

Kings Cross is taking on a fresh face following the rise of apartment complexes. Newtown has made way for the influx of partygoers coming in from the outer suburbs. And Oxford Street, with help from the growing acceptance from the public towards LGBTIQ Australians, is gradually becoming redundant as a safe space.

From Kings Cross to King Street, Newtown, from drag queens to safe spaces, this is a snapshot of Sydney’s changing nightlife.

Thanks for listening!

I know I say to “search my name on Hunter and Bligh”, but click here instead.

And here’s the link to Sydney Star Observer.

Oh, and here’s another top story I got when in Nepal.

And to the ABC, hopefully I’ll see you soon…

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Setting the record straight on sexuality and being your most authentic self.

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