Madeleine Coorey

Australia’s koalas extinct within a decade?

Extreme drought, ferocious bushfires and urban development are killing Australia's koalas and could push the species towards extinction within a decade, environmentalists are warning. Alarms about the demise of the iconic and peculiar animal, which sleeps about 20 hours per day and eats only the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, have been raised before.

Passion and freedom recipe for top chef’s success

His eponymous Sydney eatery is regularly named among the world's best and boasts a weeks-long waiting list, while his blend of Japanese and French cuisine has won him the respect of chefs across the globe. Modesty leaves Tetsuya Wakuda struggling to define why he has become one of the world's top chefs, but a glimpse into his office and into his past offers some answers.

Australian fires leave trail of environmental damage

Tens of thousands of iconic Australian creatures, including koalas and kangaroos, may have died in fires that swept through vast tracts of southern Australia this week, environmentalists say. The blazes have devastated thousands of hectares, razed clusters of homes and claimed one life since they began earlier this month.

Australia captivated by sex and dating blog

At 22, Sam Brett is one of Australia's most widely read writers. But it's not her insights into politics, the economy or even sport that have her readers hooked. The pithy columns on Brett's blog are far more personal, delving instead into the intricacies of sex and relationships in the cyber-age. One day's talking point will be why men cheat; another's whether office relationships always end badly.

Aboriginal mythology debuts on silver screen

The subject matter was untested, the actors almost naked and the whole movie was to be made in a language spoken by only a tiny group of people -- but to film executive Brian Rosen, funding Australia's latest international film success, Ten Canoes, was a ''no-brainer''.

Solomons hope to promote World War II tourism

Anderson Dua likes the way his collection of World War II aircraft lies exposed to the elements, kept almost exactly as they were when downed or abandoned in the battle of Guadalcanal. Pounded by the blazing tropical sun on the jungle's edge outside Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, the planes have been pierced with bullet holes. Dua doesn't believe in repairing them. "It's not interesting," he says.

New twist for Australia’s macho men

Increasing numbers of Australia's famously macho men are showing surprising metrosexual tendencies, ditching competitive exercise for the meditative calm of yoga. ''We are getting the rugby players, the body builders, the gym junkie guys,'' says yoga teacher Duncan Peak, a former parachute officer and first-grade rugby player.

How an Australian town could die of thirst

Sports fields too hard to play on, gardens that have dried up and plumbing so bereft of water that every bathroom smells -- this is the reality of drought in Goulburn, on track to be the first Australian city to die of thirst. Four years into the country's worst drought in 60 years, the historic township in inland New South Wales is now so dry that its water supply will only last about eight months.

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