Latest National news

School breaks century-old tradition to become co-ed

Eryk Bagshaw 9:30 AM   After 123 years being a single-sex school, The Armidale School will enrol female students from next year.

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Record support for Indigenous recognition ahead of summit

Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson.

Michael Gordon 1:52 AM   Support for recognising Indigenous Australians in the constitution has reached a record high of 85 per cent as the Prime Minister hosts an unprecedented summit of Aboriginal leaders to plot a "road map" to the referendum.

Ex-mayor runs Mafia cell, answers to Italy

Tony Vallelonga,

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard 1:47 AM   A former Western Australian mayor is allegedly running a Calabrian mafia cell in Perth and answers to a mafia godfather in Italy, according to explosive court files.

The mafia, metadata and me

Australian Customs display some of the seized 4.4 tonnes of ecstasy (MDMA) tablets, in what they said was the biggest haul of the illicit drug anywhere in the world, in Melbourne on August  8, 2008. Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said the seizure of the drugs, which were concealed in tins of tomato shipped to Australia from Italy, had resulted in the arrests of 16 people across the country in pre-dawn raids.  AFP PHOTO/HO/AUSTRALIAN CUSTOMS SERVICE - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

Nick McKenzie 1:47 AM   When the phone vibrated in my pocket in September 2007, I had no idea the incoming call would plunge me into the middle of Australia's biggest mafia investigation in decades.

Terror diverts focus from Mafia 'board of directors'

Mafia and organised crime influence in Australia.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard 1:47 AM   Italy's top anti-Mafia prosecutor and Australian police are warning that the massive diversion of law enforcement resources to combat terrorism is eroding the fight against the Mafia and other serious organised crime groups.

Labor expels figure linked with Mafia intimidation

Frank Madafferi and Michael Teti.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard 12:15 AM   Victorian Labor party delegate and Moreland councillor Michael Teti allegedly supplied a gun to a Mafia henchman which was then used to threaten a woman, and has repeatedly moved funds on behalf of convicted crime boss Frank Madafferi.

Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard ponder the errors of their ways in The Breakfast Clubbing

Parody of the Killing Season.

11:21 PM   Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard have thrashed out their differences in detention – in an episode of The Breakfast Clubbing.

Cope's winning work questions obsession with authenticity

Artist Megan Cope at her Brunswick studio.

Dylan Rainforth 11:21 PM   Melbourne artist Megan Cope has won the prestigious 2015 Western Australian Indigenous Art Award, worth $50,000.

Union, member fined $24,000 for racial abuse against American

Union offends an American and pays the price.

Pallavi Singhal 11:21 PM   The national construction union and one of its members have been fined a total of $24,000 for abuse on a building site.

AFP 'stab us in the back then invite us to dinner'

A community rally earlier in 2015 to protest against Islamphobia.

Natalie O'Brien 11:18 PM   The Muslim community are angry about being stabbed in the back and then invited to dinner.

Why she told mothers to rock their babies

Kathryn Barnard.

Bruce Weber 10:26 PM   Kathryn Barnard 

NAIDOC Week kicks off in Canberra

Honey Beatty from hip-hop duo MajikHoney.

Tom McIlroy 11:30 PM   About $100,000 of works to upgrade a national memorial dedicated to Australia's journey toward Indigenous reconciliation has been completed in time for NAIDOC Week 2015.

ATO pays to fire, pays to hire

The ATO is advertising technical specialist jobs after hundreds of experienced and trained technical staff were declared redundant in the last year.

Noel Towell 12:15 AM   Tax Office hiring tax specialists just months after making hundreds of them redundant.

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Westfield makes pitch for Immigration to stay

Westfield desperately wants the Department of Immigration and Border Protection's headquarters to stay in Belconnen, but says rumours Frank Lowy is personally involved are wrong.

Noel Towell 12:15 AM   Westfield Belconnen wants the Immigration Department to stay put.

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Redeploy your lanyards, Defence public servants urged

A screen shot from the Securing Defence Capability site.

Noel Towell 11:45 PM   New lanyard laws at Defence sparks a protest movement.

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Mining boss loses $2 million bid for ICAC legal fees

Former Doyles Creek Mining director Craig Ransley has lost a bid to be indemnified for up to $2 million in legal costs.

Kate McClymont 12:15 AM   One of the Newcastle mining entrepreneurs adversely named in a corruption inquiry has lost his bid to be indemnified for up to $2 million in legal costs.

The bottom line: Adultery thrives in the market place

couple sex

John Elder   If you're troubled by an unpleasant squeaking sound that you can't put your finger on, it's probably the 34 million members of adultery website Ashley Madison getting it discreetly on with other people's husbands and wives. That's the combined population of Greece and Australia, by the way.

Fresh abuse, mismanagement claims at Nauru detention centre

A group called Doctors Against the Border Force Act hold a silent protest at Carlton Gardens on Saturday.

Adam Morton   An asylum seeker accused of sexually assaulting four girls at the Nauru detention camp has been moved into isolation with his eight-year-old daughter, sparking concern for the child's welfare and fresh criticism of the centre's management.

Bali flights cancelled amid volcanic ash threat

Virgin airlines at Melbourne Airport

Goya Dmytryshchak   A number of flights in and out of Bali have been cancelled due to the ash threat from the Mount Raung volcano in Indonesia.

Gay marriage language 'offensive': Penny Wong

Senator Penny Wong

Labor senator Penny Wong has slammed the "illogical and quite offensive" language used by opponents of same sex marriage.

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Pet industry's top dogs overlooked puppy factory cruelty complaints

Dogs from the Adelaide puppy factory were funnelled to pet stores.

Eamonn Duff   Exclusive: Australia's pet industry peak body has been rocked by allegations that two successive chief executives overlooked advice relating to its retail stores selling puppies from inhumane breeding factories.

'We're losing the plot on homework'

Ruby Stephenson is tutored during the school holidays by Vanessa Romero at Presbyterian Ladies' College, Croyden.

Kieran Gair   Australian children have the fifth highest amount of homework in the world, research from an OECD report into the performance of students has revealed, leading to a backlash from parents and academics about homework destroying school holidays.

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'Crowning a king is not something I've done before'

His Majesty King Tupou V1 arriving for tradional entertainment by school children.

Peter Munro   The king is everywhere. On street posters and water bottles and archways lit up like Christmas trees across Tonga. Bright balloons, flags and bunting line homes from the airport to the capital of Nuku'alofa. King Tupou VI's face – looking a little bored and bemused by the fuss – is on every crisp banknote.

Greeks ready to just say 'No'

Lucky to be a two-job family: Katerina Bomou with her son Jason, 16.

Nick Miller   You want to know why near-bankrupt Greece may this Sunday vote a defiant, (some say) suicidal "No" in a national referendum on Europe's proffered financial lifeline?

Where have the women gone? The town at the heart of regional Australia's woman drought

Merv Hall (left) and Billy Hackett lament the fact that men outnumber women in Junee over beers at the Commercial Hotel.

Inga Ting   From the shire with the most campervans to the community where women give birth at four times the national rate, this is "the Lucky Country" you won't find in tourist brochures.

A 'Hamilton bogan' who always gave as good as he got

Phil Walsh: the scrawny kid who transformed into a great player, coach and something of a Renaissance man.

Tony Wright   Phil Walsh was just "a scrawny little kid" when the man who would become his early mentor, Paul Cranage, first saw him play football.

Former union boss' trial to go ahead

Former HSU head Kathy Jackson.

Nick Toscano and Ben Schneiders   A long-awaited trial over former union leader Kathy Jackson's alleged misuse of $1.3 million in union funds will go ahead, despite her last-minute declaration of bankruptcy.

ACT Public Service boss Kathy Leigh on being the first woman in the job and what's ahead

Kathy Leigh says the ACT Public Service is Australia's youngest and "most agile and responsive".

Megan Doherty   The head of the ACT Public Service, Kathy Leigh, has given her first major interview since she was appointed more than a year ago

Reverse call: Send Maccas staff to public service

Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott – a former public servant herself – wants public sector workers to learn from the corporate sector.

Phillip Thomson   Respected academic calls for private sector bosses to work in bureaucracy while APSC works with ex-public servant Jennifer Westacott.