Tag Archives: Police

Finding Hope On Mt Disappointment.

This week, we had the best good news story here in Australia, which really warmed and electrified my heart. On Monday afternoon, word got out that Will Callaghan, a 14 year old, non-verbal youth on the Autism Spectrum, strayed away from his family on a bush walk at Mt Disappointment in Victoria, and had gone missing. He was lost in dense bushland, and it was almost like trying to find someone in a fog. You just wouldn’t know where to start, and the only way forward involved trying to think like Will and somehow trying to crawl inside his mind and body, and do everything they could to be like him.

No doubt, this is what Police and emergency service personnel are trained to do. However, trying to find Will was next level, but they went there, pulling out all the stops to lure him out. Will’s favourite song is the theme song from Thomas the Tank Engine, and they were playing that from Police cars and loud speakers in the area. They also put food out for him, and warned locals to keep an eye out. That he could help himself to their fridge, or be asleep in a bed. They also encouraged locals to fire up the BBQ, as Will particularly loved the smell of frying onions or bacon and kept repeating how much he loved his food. The local response was so enthusiastic, they had to turn people away. Indeed, it seemed there was a real public surge of love and concern for Will and wanting him found

After spending two nights in the bush, Will was found by a volunteer not far from where he went missing. Despite all he’d been through, he only had a few scratches and was pretty much fine and unscathed. Indeed, on the way to hospital, the ambulance detoured via McDonald’s, and after a check-up he was allowed to go home. It was an absolute miracle, especially after being missing for 47 hours barefoot in sub-zero temperatures without food or water.

rcmit-mt-MountDisappointmentStateForest_003

It was like trying to find  a needle in a haystack. Photo: https://www.film.vic.gov.au/choose-victoria/locations/mount-disappointment-state-forest

I was so struck by the efforts Police, emergency services, community, the media, everyone made  to put themselves into Will’s feet (he doesn’t like wearing shoes and was indeed found barefoot), that I needed to write about and acknowledge it myself in my own words and share it in my little space here at Beyond the Flow. I’ve never seen acceptance, understanding or empathy for someone on the Autism Spectrum on such a grand scale before. Indeed, if you could write a wish list of how you’d like people to respond, this would have to be it. Moreover, I feel that this experience has embraced this community in a way we haven’t seen before. Well, not to my knowledge anyway. I hopeit encourages people to respond to people living on the autism spectrum with greater understanding, acceptance and flexibility in the future.

As a person living with disability myself, I know what it’s like to be misunderstood and be “beyond the flow”. I get sick of having to explain myself over and over again, and so frustrated having to make so much effort just to do this basics, and there are times where every day involves conquering an Everest of some sort. I have friends with children who are non-verbal and on the Autism Spectrum, and they have their good days and their bad, but I can tell you, they adore their children and step out and advocate for them so passionately. They endure often experience discrimination, judgement, pity and being cut off from family and friends because oil and water don’t mix. Yet, they also experience a love for their child which knows no bound.

So, while I’m grateful that things have come such a long way for people living with disabilities and their families, we need to maintain this momentum and take it further. The Wills of this world are counting on us and so am I.

Lastly, I hope I have got all the lingo right through this. There are so many ways of referring to people living on the Autism Spectrum. Some are quite fine with being called “Autistic”. Others prefer to maintain the distinction between what was known as “Asbergers” and “Autism”. Others say that we’re all somewhere on the spectrum. However, the point I wanted to make, is that it’s possible for all of us to find out more about how people on the spectrum experience the world and how to relate to them without pressing any triggers. That love and acceptance should be for everyone and we need to look at ways at making community more inclusive, even if people choose to go their own way. These are difficult conversations to have without tripping over the lingo. However, we still need to try, and that’s where I’m coming from.

Love & best wishes,

Rowena

Through the Drapes…Friday Fictioneers June 13, 2019.

Miff found herself drawn into an increasingly sticky web after her casual observations of her neighbours turned obsessive and her notebook was filled with minute observations. The husband, Jerome, was a Neanderthal of the worst order keeping his wife locked up like a slave. Miff had never seen her. However, her lingerie, which she’d photographed out on the line in case it was required as evidence, was clearly very expensive. Miff was poised on the edge of her chair waiting for the shouting, the violence, which strangely never came. There were only his comings and goings. No sign of her at all.

….

102 Words.

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff Fields. This week’s prompt was provided by © Valerie J. Barrett. Thank you Valerie.

We’d love you to join us. Every week, Rochelle posts a photo prompt and we respond in 100 words or less and I’ve been quite amazed at what we’ve been able to accomplish in so few words. Makes me ponder the need for the novel.

Master & Apprentice…Friday Fictioneers.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned since becoming the local Coroner, Jack, it’s how to die with dignity. Funny how we all die, yet nobody talks about it.  We keep both eyes fixed on the here and now, and completely deny the hereafter. That’s including the religious folk. When the bell tolled, many of them were also caught out in their holy underwear with the dodgy elastic. What’s the world coming to? Didn’t their mothers ever warn them to wear their good underwear just in case? Apparently not. Never fear. I always come prepared with a range of spares.”

….

99 words

I was struggling to think of something for this scene. However, it did look like somebody ha been called away suddenly. Being Friday Fictioneers, this thought led to the subject of death. How could it not?

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields, where we write up to 100 words to a provided photo prompt. Photo Copyright –Douglas M. MacIlroy

Best wishes,

Rowena

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party… Friday Fictioneers.

What a day to be Acting Police Commissioner! An entire children’s birthday party had vanished…mum, dad, ten kids, and all the food. Forensics couldn’t even find a crumb. No footprints. Nothing. Whoever abducted this lot, came in from the air. Vacuumed them up. A man of science and hard logic, alien abduction had even crossed his mind. What was he going to tell the families?

Meanwhile, the party goers watched on in horror. “Alice, where’s the antidote? Please tell us, you packed the antidote!!”

The cloak of invisibility had worked too well. They couldn’t get back from Wonderland.

99 words.

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff Fields. Every week, we have the opportunity to write up to 100 words to a photo prompt. This week’s photo prompt kindly came from © Fatima Fakier Deria

My daughter had a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for her 5th Birthday. What a cake!

 

82 584 18 – Friday Fictioneers.

The numbers were etched onto the back of his eyeballs. Glued to his brain. Black numbers on a sunny yellow background. William was fixated on number plates. He knew no one by name, only their number plate.

“What about the boy?” The detective asked. “Must’ve seen something. Wasn’t he at the scene when his sister went missing?”

“Autistic…non-verbal. Not a hope. Just sits there rocking, banging his head.”

“Shit.”

His mobile rang.

Dinner By Heston? Sorry, babe. Birthday can wait. Missing kid.”

“The mother’s asked for a sketch pad, Boss.”

There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

…..

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioners hosted by Rochelle Wishoff Fields, where we write up to 100 words to a photo prompt. Click here to go through to the Linky. Photo Prompt © Kent Bonham

xx Rowena

More About Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.

Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. Autism Speaks urges parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes. https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism

 

When Horror is Real.

Yesterday, we celebrated Halloween. The kids dressed up. Met up with friends and we trick-or-treated along our street meeting the neighbours. It was a lot of fun and I was really touched by the generosity of some and the trouble people went to just to make the neighborhood kids smile.

At the same time, I’m not a huge fan of Halloween both due to our beliefs but also because I know we have way too much horror in real life without making things up. Yet, at the same time, I know we watch TV shows which grafically portray these horrors and the other day a friend and I went to see a real tear-jerker: I Miss You Already starring Toni Colette and Drew Barrymore. As she was bawling her eyes out, I leaned over and said: “This is what we do for fun!”

Why didn’t we choose to see a comedy?

Of course, you don’t need to look far for any real life horror. Just switch on the News.I’m  one of those people who can’t just watch the news without absorbing it and somehow living and almost breathing some of these tragic events though my heightened sense of empathy,

But there are some cases we should never ignore. Even though they’re too gruesome and make us sick to the core, we should never turn our backs.

In what sounded like a scene out of a Steven King novel, on the 15 July 2015 a little girl was found dead in a suitcase beside the highway near the tiny South Australian town of Wynaka (regional population 167 people). She was believed to be around 2-3 years old with fair hair.Unlike Madeleine McCann, who is recognised right around the world as a much loved missing child, this little girl hadn’t even been reported missing. It was truly shocking!!

How could a little girl disappear and not be missed?

Unable to make an identification, Police turned to the public for help. Detailed photographs of a handmade, patchwork quilt were shown on the news and Police worked with patchworkers trying to find even the smallest hint of a clue. Mothers rang in recognising her clothes, trying to help date the murder.The community of Wynarka also took this little girl into their hearts and grieved her senseless death.The public really rallied to try to do anything they could to help.Evil had ended her short, precious life but the Police and community took her into our hearts and were determined to at the very least find out who she was. Give this little girl back her name, identity, family and hope against hope…catch the bastards.

As we heard about this case on the news, I’m sure we were asking the same question: How could any little child be murdered in Australia and not be missed?

As a parent, you worry when a child that age wanders more than arm’s length away. You’re absolutely frantic and you’d shout the place down. A missing child stops a nation. Stops the world. How could this little girl pass right under the radar without even a blip? Was this our Australia? The whole case was so disturbing and broke all sort of concepts of family, love, community. How could this happen?

Two weeks ago, after tip offs to Crime Stoppers, our little girl finally had a name, a family and a young Mum who had also been murdered. Mum’s unidentified body had been found in Belangelo State Forest, where the victims of Australia’s notorious Backpacker Killer, Ivan Milat had also been found. Mother and daughter had been found in separate States but at least things were starting to make sense.

Karlie Pearce-Stevenson and her daughter, Khandalyce, had been travelling around Australia when they were murdered. Like the backpackers murdered by Ivan Milat, they were travelling, seeing our beautiful country and not being caught up in the rat race for a bit. Innocence, optimism, freedom, happiness…all these images come to mind. I have travelled a bit around Australia as a single woman myself and thought nothing of it. It was safe and incredibly liberating!

But there is even evil in paradise.

It soon became evident that Karlie and “Khandles” weren’t unloved. Hadn’t gone right off the grid. They had been murdered.  Moreover,  the killers stole Karlie’s identity and even contacted her family saying they were fine…adding an extra layer of heinous barbarism to something already too awful for words. Indeed, they used her phone for 3 years after her death and stole her identity to claim welfare benefits.

The more they delve into what happened, the more ugly it gets and I can’t understand how humans can be so heartless, cruel and barbaric.This horror is also something their family can’t simply switch off either. It’s forever.

Yet, as much as I hate people talking about needing to move forward even when people have experienced such unfathomable grief, I did want to mention a life raft.

That many victims of horror, actually turn their grief into good. Change for the community. That doesn’t lessen their loss.  However, it does put them more in the driver’s seat, instead of under the truck. Here, they’re much better placed to process what’s happened and what they can do. It seems to be quite a natural desire to help prevent others from doing through their pain and they go on to make an incredible contribution for good. That good might not undo evil but hopefully it can ultimately triumph over it. Show that such acts are unacceptable and that goodness will fight back!

Our Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, became a fierce and unstoppable campaigner against Domestic Violence after her son’s father murdered him with a cricket bat. She has managed to break down barriers, red tape and people’s attitudes towards Domestic Violence in a way experts could not. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t grieve but she has salvaged good from horror and is helping countless others.

Meanwhile, I send my love to the family and friends of Karlie Pearce-Stevenson and her daughter, Khandalyce and to the Police who have worked tirelessly on an incredibly heartbreaking case with such love and compassion. I also feel for the people of Wynaka where she was found and took Khandalyce into their hearts.Your love knows no bounds.

I leave you with one of my favourite quotes:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Edmund Burke

May we each try to do our own little bit to lessen the real horrors of humanity and make our world a safer, happier place for all.

Love and Blessings,

Rowena

Source

http://www.news.com.au/national/crime/unidentified-girl-in-suitcase-begs-the-question-how-many-other-girls-have-we-lost/story-fns0kb1g-1227493896617