Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges stands with Somali community - Arabic electoral video and reminder to report hate crimes

Minneapolis is now a Somali enclave.

This is its Mayor, Betsy Hodges au naturale above and in her Arabic Muslim-friendly Somali electoral video below.


A couple of days ago, Mayor Hodges tweeted the apparently obligatory "I stand with" message of support to the Somali community.


The link she attached to her message resolves to this: 

Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights

The mission of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) is to enforce Minneapolis Code of Ordinances Title 7 (non-discrimination);  and to promote understanding of civil rights among residents, businesses and government. The Department will carry out this mission by:

And the feature item therein:

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The next day Mayor Hodges tweeted this:

Well might she say "the fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk should not have happened" - but she wasn't shot with a body camera holding a pistol.

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Pistol - nil.

5159 Officer Mohammed Noor - nil.

Shot by Somali officer without apparent justification - nil.

But body camera - 19.

Any takers on the hate crime offer?

Congratulations Tony Abbott, Jim Molan and democracy supporters in the Liberal Party

The factions that Malcolm Turnbull argued don't exist have been stared down by Tony Abbott and team.


And here's Malcolm Turnbull in the raw.

Newly installed back-room-deal PM lectures NSW Libs about backroom deals. They laughed. Loudly.

In this short clip, newly installed Prime Minister Turnbull courteously delivered 3 pieces of what seemed to be news to the NSW Liberal Party.

  • We are not run by factions
  • We are not run by big business
  • We are not run by back room deals

There was something about the first 12 excruciating seconds of being laughed at that Malcolm missed.

Leaders either back up controversial statements or graciously accept a hostile audience's feedback.

First Turnbull tried to wave the laughter away.   Then, as if he was desperate to prove suspicions about his arrogance, he said "You may dispute that, but I can tell you from experience, we're not run by factions".

The message was received loud and clear.    Malcolm knows things other people don't.    Malcolm has experience beyond the reach of mortals.  And Malcolm doesn't need  feedback from you lot thank you very much.

He lost them at "I can tell you from experience we're not..." but Chairman Mal's arrogance dial was set to 11 and he ploughed on.

The former Chairman of Goldman Sachs told the newsagents and chemists their party was not run by big business.   That changed the mood from mockery to something much darker.   Even Malcolm felt it, right in the nose (about 20 seconds in)

Why on earth did he bother proceeding to point 3?   

Just weeks after stitching up a backroom deal befitting a factional-number-crunching-merchant-banker-from-the-big-end-of-town, the deal-personified told them their Party was not run by this sort of rubbish (courtesy of the Australian Financial Review)

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Chairman Mal's party relies on the ideas, and the energy and the enterprise of its membership.

That would be the people right there Mal, right in front of you.  


Hey Scott Ludlam!!! Got a spare $6.6M for me?

Reader Michael G writes with this captivating news!

I am hoping there will be a huge number of "any persons".



Penalty for sitting when disqualified

Until the Parliament otherwise provides, any person declared by this Constitution to be incapable of sitting as a senator or as a member of the House of Representatives shall, for every day on which he so sits, be liable to pay the sum of one hundred pounds to any person who sues for it in any court of competent jurisdiction.


He's right!  There it is, still unrepealed in the constitution - penalty payable to anyone who sues, 100 pounds.

Here's the Reserve Bank official calculator

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Now how many sitting days has Scott Ludlam up for?

Here's the chart with Senate sitting days over the past few years - let's average at say 50 days per year.

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He sat from 2008 to 2017 - 9 years at say 50 sitting days per year - 450 days.

450 days times $14,757.13 for each day


Happy days for everyone but Scott and Larissa!

Well not quite.

The old "Until the Parliament otherwise provides" kicker strikes again!

Always back self-interest, at least you know they're trying!


Penalty for sitting when disqualified

             (1)  Any person who, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, has sat as a senator or as a member of the House of Representatives while he or she was a person declared by the Constitution to be incapable of so sitting shall be liable to pay to any person who sues for it in the High Court a sum equal to the total of:

                     (a)  $200 in respect of his or her having so sat on or before the day on which the originating process in the suit is served on him or her; and

                     (b)  $200 for every day, subsequent to that day, on which he or she is proved in the suit to have so sat.

             (2)  A suit under this section shall not relate to any sitting of a person as a senator or as a member of the House of Representatives at a time earlier than 12 months before the day on which the suit is instituted.

             (3)  The High Court shall refuse to make an order in a suit under this Act that would, in the opinion of the Court, cause the person against whom it was made to be penalized more than once in respect of any period or day of sitting as a senator or as a member of the House of Representatives.

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Government of Turnbull and Harvard - randomised hiring study find systematic gender bias in APS

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Malcolm Turnbull's department hosts the Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA).

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BETA was asked to find out why the Australian Public Service discriminates against Victims of Misogyny (VOM).

There's proof everywhere - read Clementine Ford's tweets, listen to PM Gillard's speech in support of Peter "Mussels" Slipper or scan reports from old white men on Sarah Hanson Young's child-minding and Catacean fact finding.

BETA starts out well by thanking two women -  Professor Iris Bohnet (Harvard Kennedy School) and Kate Glazebrook (The Behavioural Insights Team).

But their balance didn't last.  Here's the heresy in their own words:

The aim was to assess whether de-identifying applications would, by eliminating the effects of explicit or implicit bias, help promote gender equality and diversity in hiring at senior (executive) levels.

What we found is that de-identifying applications at the shortlisting stage of recruitment does not appear to assist in promoting diversity in hiring. In fact, in the trial we found that overall, APS officers generally discriminated in favour of female and minority candidates.

Career limiting move BETA.  Give the data driven insights away guys and go with the vibe.

With Team Turnbull the truth can set you free.  From a job.

Just ask Tony Abbott.


Thanks to Tim Andrews for the tip!

Why is it fine for Richard Dawkins to criticise Christianity but not fine for him to do the same to Islam

If you believe in free speech and human progress through the exchange of ideas this should frighten you.

Richard Dawkins is a well known atheist, debunker of myth and promoter of the scientific method.

He has a new book to sell and is embarking on a promotional tour of the United States (I've reprinted Amazon's review of his book below).

He was to speak at an event hosted by a Californian public radio station - Berkley's KPFA.

A couple of days ago KPFA cancelled his presentation, apologised for inviting him and sent an email to ticket purchasers along with the refund of their money.


Their decision had nothing to do with science, nor with his book, nor with his proposed presentation.

Dawkins had criticised Islamism.

In the so-called free West that renders him persona non-grata.

It's not too hard to join the dots from a societal black-ball today - to the Sharia's punishment for that offence.


Quincy McCoy is KPFA's general manager.

I'm sure Quincy would love to hear from you.

Quincy McCoy, General Manager, q@kpfa.org



Michael Smith bexleyborn@gmail.com

6:23 AM (0 minutes ago)
to q
Dear Quincy,
I am shocked at your decision to cancel Richard Dawkins appearance at your 9 August event.
You tell us you'd invited him to speak solely because of what he's written in his new book, to quote you "an excellent new book on science".
In the same sentence and without a hint of irony you dismiss the worth of his "excellent new book on science" because separately he's criticised Islam.
What precisely has Mr Dawkins said about Islam that renders him persona non grata with you?
What is wrong with drawing attention to some of the odious practices within Islam's immutable eternal nature?
How do you propose society advances if it's impossible to criticise the imposition of death by beheading for disbelief in a particular philosophy?
Yours sincerely,
Michael Smith

Here are some alternative emails for KPFA which is doing without Quincy for a short while - no doubt on a radio perennial, the "well-earned break".


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The legendary biologist, provocateur, and bestselling author mounts a timely and passionate defense of science and clear thinking with this career-spanning collection of essays, including twenty pieces published in the United States for the first time.

For decades, Richard Dawkins has been a brilliant scientific communicator, consistently illuminating the wonders of nature and attacking faulty logic. Science in the Soul brings together forty-two essays, polemics, and paeans—all written with Dawkins’s characteristic erudition, remorseless wit, and unjaded awe of the natural world.

Though it spans three decades, this book couldn’t be more timely or more urgent. Elected officials have opened the floodgates to prejudices that have for half a century been unacceptable or at least undercover. In a passionate introduction, Dawkins calls on us to insist that reason take center stage and that gut feelings, even when they don’trepresent the stirred dark waters of xenophobia, misogyny, or other blind prejudice, should stay out of the voting booth. And in the essays themselves, newly annotated by the author, he investigates a number of issues, including the importance of empirical evidence, and decries bad science, religion in the schools, and climate-change deniers.

Dawkins has equal ardor for “the sacred truth of nature” and renders here with typical virtuosity the glories and complexities of the natural world. Woven into an exploration of the vastness of geological time, for instance, is the peculiar history of the giant tortoises and the sea turtles—whose journeys between water and land tell us a deeper story about evolution. At this moment, when so many highly placed people still question the fact of evolution, Dawkins asks what Darwin would make of his own legacy—“a mixture of exhilaration and exasperation”—and celebrates science as possessing many of religion’s virtues—“explanation, consolation, and uplift”—without its detriments of superstition and prejudice.

In a world grown irrational and hostile to facts, Science in the Soul is an essential collection by an indispensable author.

Advance praise for Science in the Soul

“The illumination of Richard Dawkins’s incisive thinking on the intellectual world extends far beyond biology. What a treat to see so clearly how matter and meaning fit together, from fiction to philosophy to molecular biology, in one unified vision!”—Daniel C. Dennett, author of From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds

“I thank Thor and Zeus that in their infinite wisdom they chose to make the great wordsmith of our age a great rationalist, and vice versa.”—Matt Ridley, author of The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

“In this golden age of enlightened science writing, it is stunning that no scientist has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. It is time literature’s highest award be granted to a scientist whose writings have changed not just science but society. No living scientist is more deserving of such recognition than Richard Dawkins. . . . Science in the Soul is the perfect embodiment of Nobel–quality literature.”—Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, columnist for Scientific American, and author of The Moral Arc: How Science Makes Us Better People

Science in the Soul is packed with Dr. Dawkins’s philosophy, humor, anger, and quiet wisdom, leading the reader gently but firmly to inevitable conclusions that edify and educate.”—James Randi, author of The Faith Healers

Part Two - for Bob Kernohan - update on investigations and prosecution in The AWU Scandal


Recap on Part One

Gillard's private work for boyfriend Bruce and kingmaker Bill Ludwig

Part One described Gillard’s part in advancing Bill Ludwig and Bruce Wilson’s private ambitions to control the AWU - with Gillard giving legal advice and doing legal work for the Ludwig/Wilson private partnership since late 89 / early 90.

Gillard's propensity to perform under the table 

Former HSU general secretary Rob Elliot described Gillard’s propensity to “assist” union “reform groups” with fund-raising and legal advice along with political counsel.  He recalls Gillard offered a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" service, Labor mates helping mates.

Wilson's threats to Premier Carmen Lawrence

Former Western Mining Corporation chief executive Hugh Morgan described Carmen Lawrence’s propensity to bow to the will of Bruce Wilson because of his control of a voting bloc within the Labor Party.  Lawrence reversed government policy regarding 24 hour mining operations after Bruce Wilson’s threat to remove her from office (as running mate Bill Ludwig did with Hawke and Rudd).

“Bruce had done everything he could to avoid signing an (industrial) agreement,” he said. “But finally, we got him to sign. I went to Carmen Lawrence and she said to me very directly, ‘Hugh, I cannot fulfil that because Bruce has informed me that if I go ahead with that agreement he will ensure that I do not get my preselection for the next election’.

Lessons learnt from Norm Gallagher's holiday home

The long-running saga of former BLF supremo Norm Gallagher’s arrest, trial(s), conviction, appeals and jailing for receipt of secret commission payments from construction companies provided a stark delineation of the “traps” through which corrupt payments to union officials were detected and prosecuted.  The sham AWU Workplace Reform Association’s establishment and use by Ludwig/Wilson and Thiess are part of a deceptive and complex plan to conceal corrupt payments while protecting corrupted players from Norm Gallagher’s fate.

Gillard and Melbourne's legitimate Workplace Reform Association

Gillard was intimately involved with AMWU official Max Ogden’s Melbourne-based Workplace Reform Association Inc.  In February 1991 that association held a workplace reform conference in Melbourne attended by Prime Minister Hawke, ACTU officials and the who’s who of union and employer groups.   It demonstrated a legitimate purpose and was successful in receiving and spending money on "the promotion of workplace reform" etc.   Gillard's WA based AWU Workplace Reform Association’s objectives were modelled along similar lines to the AMWU and Max Ogden’s Melbourne entity - it was however a sham from start to finish.  Her admissions as to its true nature were revealed in 5 simple words recorded in her exit interview from Slater and Gordon and from the practice of the law.

"It was a slush fund".


Dawesville Channel Project

In May 1991 Bruce Wilson became AWU WA Secretary.  One of his first acts was to renege on AWU agreements with  Western Mining Corporation and the state government over industry reform - leading to bitter 10 week strikes, cancellation of multi-million dollar investments and significant damage to WA’s mining-reliant economy.

WMC did not make payments to Wilson slush funds.

By contrast those companies that paid money to Wilson like Thiess, Woodside and others were rewarded with industrial peace.

On 29 July 1991 Premier Carmen Lawrence took her Cabinet to Mandurah (adjacent to the Peel Harvey estuary and site of the Dawesville Channel to announce the project.  Her media release stated:

“Dr Lawrence said tenders for the work would be called in mid-September.  The Dawesville Channel is one of the biggest maritime engineering projects to be undertaken in Western Australia”.

In August 1991 Dr Lawrence delivered her government’s 1991-92 budget including line items for the project.  In September that year the government called for tenders for the work and WA archive files show an active and engaged cross section of industry players preparing competitive bids.

On 17 October 1991 a WA Government official gave evidence to a parliamentary committee confirming the tender process and timeline for delivery of the project.

Meanwhile Wilson continued to hold Western Mining Corporation to ransom.  Hugh Morgan’s comments about Premier Lawrence’s fears over Wilson’s threats to remove her if she failed to do his bidding relate to this period.  The WMC dispute was affecting the whole WA economy.

During this time Wilson aggressively lobbied the WA Government for Thiess to get the Dawesville contract.

On 25 November 1991 the Lawrence Labor Cabinet met and cancelled the the Dawesville tender process awarding a circa $60M contract directly to Thiess without competitive assessment.

Wilson and Thiess executive Nick Jukes hammered out an agreement during December 1991 through which a fixed monthly amount would be funnelled to Wilson’s control during the project 36 month life of the project.  These negotiations were conducted in secret and were concealed from the AWU and from workers on the project.  The arrangements were endorsed by Bill Ludwig and Thiess managing director Martin Albrecht at a dinner in Sydney in January 1992.

Wilson gave evidence to the TURC that he sought advice from his accountant and from Julia Gillard on the means by which he could receive the payments without alerting the AWU to the scheme. 

Helpfully, Julia Gillard describes her role in the matter, “I gave Bruce advice about the incorporation of an association”.  While she drafted the objects of the association (describing the purpose as workplace reform etc) she admitted to her superiors at Slater and Gordon that the entity was in truth a slush fund not under the control of the AWU but under the personal control of Wilson.

Ralph Blewitt recalls that  the entity to receive the corrupt payments must have the AWU name in its title - he states this was at Thiess's insistence.

Norm Gallagher’s then-recent prosecution highlighted the pitfalls for corrupt secret commission givers and receivers.  Corrupt and secret commissions are paid to individual(s) (in the law they’re called “agents”) who typically work for an entity like a trade union, local council or business (that entity is called the “principal” in the law). 

Gallagher’s case showed that the “principal” was the members of the union - not the Branch Committee of Management or Executive - rather his duty as “agent” negotiating deals was a duty directly to the members.

Gallagher’s scams were not sophisticated.  He’d go easy on construction companies who brought building supplies to his holiday home project on a block of land by the beach.  His crimes and the crimes of the corrupt payers were easily detected.

Thiess employed sophisticated managers, lawyers and IR professionals.  Thiess executives say “we thought we were dealing with the AWU directly” - however the creation of a paper trail does not of itself prove anything.  It's Thiess's conduct that should be reviewed and compared with the sham on-paper-only arrangements that should be put to a jury.


Next in Part Three Gillard's movements in Western Australia and Thiess's corporate manoeuvres over Bruce and Julia's slush fund.

New report details Islamic State bedding in to the Southern Philippines

This is an important report from Jakarta's Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict - it warns that the Mindanao region of The Philippines is now becoming an entrenched centre for Islamic State terror.


The May 2017 takeover of the southern Philippine city of Marawi by an alliance of pro-ISIS militants will have ramifications for the region long after the Philippines military retakes the city. These could include a higher risk of violent attacks in other Philippine cities and in Indonesia and Malaysia; greater cooperation among Southeast Asian extremists; and new leadership for Indonesian and Malaysian pro-ISIS cells from among returning fighters from Marawi.

The Marawi operations received direct funding from ISIS central and reveal a chain of command that runs from Syria through the Philippines to Indonesia and the rest of Southeast Asia. ISIS central seems to have been represented by Khatibah Nusantara, the fighting unit led by the Indonesian named Bahrumsyah and his associate, Abu Walid. Khatibah Nusantara in turn sent funding through Dr Mahmud Ahmad, a Malaysian who sits in the inner circle of the Marawi command structure. Dr Mahmud controlled recruitment as well as financing and has been the contact person for any foreigner wanting to join the pro-ISIS coalition in the Philippines. Tactical decisions on the ground are being made by the Philippine ISIS commanders themselves, but the Syria-based Southeast Asians could have a say in setting strategy for region when the siege is over.

The Marawi battle has lasted for two months as of this writing and defied all expectations of when it would end. It has lifted the prestige of the Philippine fighters in the eyes of ISIS central, although it has not yet earned them the coveted status of wilayah or province of Islamic State. It has inspired young extremists from around the region to want to join. In Indonesia it has helped unite two feuding streams of the pro-ISIS movement, inspired “lone wolf ” attacks and caused soul-searching among would-be terrorists about why they cannot manage to do anything as spectacular. All of this suggests an increased incentive for jihad operations, though the capacity of pro-ISIS cells for organizing and implementing attacks outside the Philippines remains low. That could change with a few fighters coming back from either Marawi or the Middle East.

While governments around the region and particularly the “front-line” states of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines recognise the need for greater regional cooperation, there remain formidable obstacles to working together. These include the deep-seated political distrust between the Philippines and Malaysia that impedes information sharing; concern from Indonesia and Malaysia police about mixed loyalties of local counterparts in Mindanao, especially given clan and family links; and institutional disjunctures that give the lead in counter-terrorism to the police in Indonesia and Malaysia but to the military in the Philippines. The unreliability of official Philippine statements on Marawi, whether on numbers of fighters, identities of those killed, or extent of military control, has not inspired confidence.

Donors need to give urgent attention to Marawi’s evacuees and to the city’s rebuilding to ensure that resentment over its destruction does not make it even more fertile ground for extremist recruitment. Sustained attention to the peace process and better governance remain crucial. But it is also useful to think of a few quick technical fixes that could help with immediate issues that the Marawi battle has thrown up. One is an up-to-date, integrated watch-list of extremists across the region – as of July 2017, for example, neither the Maute brothers, Dr Mahmud nor Bahrumsyah were on Interpol’s “Red Alert” list of wanted terrorists. Another is for a series of short courses for senior police investigators from the region aimed at producing a detailed map of cross-regional extremist links and better knowledge of the groups in each others’ countries. A third is a program to understand and prevent campus-based recruitment and funding.

In this report, IPAC examines how support for ISIS and an “East Asia Wilayah” came about, how the Marawi siege has affected the two main networks of pro-ISIS supporters in Indonesia, and what might happen next. It is based on research in Mindanao in February and April 2017.



[Jakarta, 21 July 2017] The battle for Marawi in the southern Philippines is likely to have long-term repercussions for extremism in Southeast Asia. The ability of pro-ISIS fighters to occupy an entire city and hold the Philippine armed forces at bay for almost two months has already inspired violence elsewhere in the region and may lead to more attacks in the region’s cities; a more coordinated regional strategy among extremist groups; and strengthened capacity among pro-ISIS cells in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The impact of Marawi on the region and especially on Indonesia is analysed in Marawi, the “East Asia Wilayah” and Indonesia, the latest report from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC).

“The risks won’t end when the military declares victory,” says Sidney Jones, IPAC director. “Indonesia and Malaysia will face new threats in the form of returning fighters from Mindanao, and the Philippines will have a host of smaller dispersed cells with the capacity for both violence and indoctrination.”

The report has extensive new evidence on how the chain of command functioned between Syria and Marawi, with a crucial role played by the Malaysian professor Dr Mahmud Ahmad. All foreigners wanting to join the East Asia Wilayah – as the command structure in Marawi refers to itself – had to go through Dr Mahmud. He also arranged for ISIS funding for the Marawi operations to be laundered through Indonesia, using operatives of Jamaah Ansharud Daulah (JAD).

Governments need to be thinking now about the role that key Southeast Asians in ISIS, including Dr Mahmud but also the Indonesians in Syria, might play in a post-Marawi scenario; who is most likely to take their place if they are arrested or killed; and whether a new regional ISIS centre could emerge, in the Philippines or elsewhere in the region.

The new report examines how the two main ISIS networks in Indonesia became involved in Mindanao and were eventually forced to cooperate in sending what is now estimated to be about 20 fighters to the Marawi front.  Some were from JAD but some were from a little known group called al-Hawariyun whose leader, Abu Nusaibah, was arrested in November 2016 for trying to cause violence during the mass street protests against Jakarta’s then governor. The links through Dr Mahmud to Bahrumsyah in Syria mean that a few of these Marawi veterans, if and when they return, could not only train Indonesia’s extremist to a higher level of competence but become the instruments for the implementation of a regional ISIS strategy.

IPAC notes that despite the calls for more regional counter-terrorism cooperation in light of the Marawi siege, there are formidable political and institutional obstacles at work, including Philippine-Malaysian distrust that inhibits information-sharing. Nevertheless there are some quick fixes that could be easily put in place across the region, such as a better integrated watch-list of terrorist suspects.

The Philippine government and the donor community also need to give urgent attention to Marawi’s evacuees and to the city’s rebuilding to ensure that local resentments do not make the area even more fertile ground for extremist recruitment.  

Download article:

Fixed up your national service back home Comrade?


"According to Article 988 of the Civil Code of the IslamicRepublic of Iran:

"Iranian nationals cannot abandon their nationality except on the following conditions:

1 - That they have reached the full age of 25.

2 - That the Council of Ministers has allowed the renunciation of their Iranian nationality.

3 - That they have previously undertaken to transfer within one year from the date of the renunciation of Iranian nationality, by some means, the rights that they possess 0r may acquire by inheritance, on landed properties in Iran, to Iranian Nationals (Even if Iranian laws may have allowed the possession of the same properties by foreign nationals).The wife and children of the person who renounces his/her nationality, according to this Article do not lose their Iranian nationality, whether the children are minors 0r adults, unless the permission of the Council of Ministers allows them to renounce their nationality.

4 - That they have completed their national military service."


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Comrade, Sam Dastyari invites you to his book launch at the NSW ALP Conference. Yours in Labor!

From: "Dastyari, Sam (Senator)" <Senator.Dastyari@aph.gov.au>
Date: 19 July 2017 at 5:47:05 pm AEST
Subject: Invitation to Sam Dastyari's Official Book Launch
Reply-To: "Arthur, Sharnelle (Sen S. Dastyari)" <Sharnelle.Arthur@aph.gov.au>


Attached is an invitation to my official book launch that’ll be held as a fringe event at NSW ALP Conference next Saturday.

Hope to see you there.

Yours in Labor,


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