Monday, February 5, 2018

Clive Hamilton's Silent Invasion: How China is influencing Australian politics

Hardie Grant Books has acquired world rights to Clive Hamilton's controversial book, Silent Invasion.
Publishing immediately in Australia on Friday 2nd March 2018, Silent Invasion detail evidence showing how various Chinese Communist Party agencies have sought to extend Beijing's influence in Australia for strategic and political gains. Thoroughly researched and powerfully argued, the book is a sobering examination of the mounting threats to democratic freedoms Australians have for too long taken for granted. Yes, China is important to our economic prosperity, Hamilton says; but, he encourages readers to ask, how much is our sovereignty as a nation worth?

A professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Hamilton received an Order of Australia for his contribution to public debate.  He has previously published seven books with Allen & Unwin, who were originally scheduled to publish Silent Invasion in early 2018.
Allen & Unwin abandoned publication plans late last year with Robert Gorman, Allen & Unwin chief executive officer, stating in an email to Clive "potential threats to the book and the company from possible action by Beijing" as the reason for the decision to delay the publication at least a year. Unwilling to wait, Hamilton requested the rights for the book to be returned, and looked for another publisher, only to be turned down by other publishers citing the same fear.
In order to minimise the legal risk, Hamilton rewrote the book. "I can't stop an authoritarian foreign power using vexatious litigation by its proxies to suppress a book criticising it," Hamilton said. "Thank God there is one publisher in Australia willing to stand up for free speech."
The abandonment of Hamilton's book and the reluctance of other Australian publishers to take it up brings into focus urgent questions about academic freedom and free speech in Australia.
"I'm not aware of any other instance in Australian history where a foreign power has stopped publication of a book that criticises it," Hamilton said. "The reason three publishers refused to publish this book is the very reason the book needs to be published."
Hardie Grant chief executive officer, Sandy Grant is no stranger to this situation, having successfully fought the British government's attempt to ban the publication of the 1987 book Spycatcher.
Grant said, "Hardie Grant was clear Silent Invasion needed to be published. This is substantive research bringing to light a concerted effort by the Chinese Communist Party to gain influence in a covert manner. Having gone through Spycatcher, it's my experience that governments will try to prevent things from getting into the public domain that may damage their perceived interests.  We value freedom of speech ahead of those interests."

Early Praise for Silent Invasion:

"Anyone keen to understand how China draws other countries into its sphere of influence should start with Silent Invasion. This is an important book for the future of Australia. But tug on the threads of China's influence networks in Australia and its global network of influence operations starts to unravel."
Professor John Fitzgerald, author of Big White Lie: Chinese Australians in White Australia
Title: Silent Invasion: China's Influence in Australia
Author: Clive Hamilton
Formats: paperback, ebook
Publication Date: 2 March 2018
RRP: AU$34.99/ NZ $39.99

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

THE LEBS: A confronting new novel from SWEATSHOP director Michael Mohammed Ahmad

Michael Mohammed Ahmad is an Arab-Australian writer, editor, teacher and community arts worker and the founder and director of Sweatshop, a literacy movement in Western Sydney devoted to empowering culturally and linguistically diverse artists through creative writing.

This March, Hachette Australia is thrilled to be releasing a new fictional work from him, titled THE LEBS.

A novel that is in turns confronting, heartbreaking and illuminating, THE LEBS is in the vein of Maxine Beneba Clarke's FOREIGN SOIL and Peter Polites' DOWN THE HUME, voices from diverse backgrounds, telling the untold stories of their generation.

THE LEBS is based on Mohammed's own experiences as a young Arab-Australian Muslim from Western Sydney who attended the notorious Punchbowl Boys High School, the primary setting of the novel.  THE LEBS takes us inside the mind of Bani, a young man coming to terms with his place in a world of hostility and hopelessness – with the dream of having so much more.

This is the latest installment in a wave of powerful new novels and literary voices from minority Australian writers, Michael Mohammed Ahmad offers new and unique insights into a largely misunderstood and poorly represented new Australian community.

Mohammed's essays and short stories have appeared in the Sydney Review of Books, The Guardian, Heat, Seizure, The Lifted Brow, The Australian and Coming of Age: Australian Muslim Stories. His debut novel, THE TRIBE, received a 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelists of the Year Award. Mohammed also adapted THE TRIBE for the stage with Urban Theatre Projects in 2015, which received the 2016 FBi Smac Award for Best On-Stage Production. Mohammed received his Doctorate of Creative Arts at Western Sydney University in 2017.

Monday, December 25, 2017

The 'end game' bucket list

Extreme skiing in Wyoming.

Cliff camping.

Skywalking in the Alps.

Climbing Redwoods. 

Sitting on the Trolltunga rock in Norway.

Jumping on the Trolltunga rock in Norway.

Rock climbing in South Africa.

Ice climbing a frozen waterfall.

Extreme picnicking.

Skywalking on Mount Nimbus in Canada.

Tree camping in Germany.

Just having a look around.

Extreme kayaking at Victoria Falls.

Diving 30 meters through a rock monolith in Portugal.

Climbing Mt. Wellington.

Standing on the Edgewalk in Toronto.

Cycling in Norway.

Sitting around at Yosemite.

Walking over a crevice.

Glacier boarding anywhere.

Biking on the Cliffs of Moher.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I’ve Come to say Goodbye: A Memoir of Friendship, Love and Loss

I've Come to say Goodbye is the story of an incredible friendship between two unlikely people, a 50-something artist and a 32-year-old Indian spice merchant named Tarun. Over a ten-year period the author traveled back and forth to India spending time with Tarun in Udaipur, Rajasthan. She became part of his family and he became like a brother. Through his eyes, she saw and fell in love with India. It is a story that you will fall in love with too.
Written in a warm, conversational style as if the author is sharing a cup of chai with the reader, Barbara's stories are based on years of journeys to India, and diaries of her travels that include sketches and photographs. The author is an artist, and hopes to evoke the same images with her words, as she would with her brush. This is evident in her writing, as she captures the colour, chaos and light of India, creating an image in the mind of the reader.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Autropolis: Driverless cars are here now.


‘Launch of Autropolis: The diverse mobility revolution’

The next ‘big thing’ according to eminent economist and future strategist, Brian Haratsis, is the autonomous vehicle (AV). It will change not only the way we move about, but where we live, how we shop, property values and employment opportunities.

AVs are the future and the future is here now, says Haratsis, who will launch his book, ‘Autropolis, the diverse mobility revolution’ at the 2nd International Driverless Vehicle Summit 2017 in Adelaide on Thursday November 16.

Mr. Haratsis, who is a co-chair of the Policy and Risk Committee for the Australian Driverless Vehicles Initiative congratulates South Australia who are leading the country in the push toward self-driving cars. South Australia was the first state to allow on-road trials of driverless cars and is currently working with a number of partners on a expanding a range of AV services.

Bigger than PCs and bigger than smartphones, the mobility revolution of autonomous vehicles has already been set in motion within Australia, and is set to revolutionise the world as we know it. Autropolis is a key first step in understanding and learning how to harness the great benefits this new technology holds.

Autropolis outlines the opportunities and benefits that are likely to result from a well-considered introduction of autonomous vehicles, , along with providing a rich context and rationale for the accelerated introduction of AVs.

“The book is about understanding how autonomous vehicles can be managed, controlled and utilised in the context of social, economic and environmental outcomes because if we don’t do it that way we will run into another freeway building era,” says Haratsis.

“Business opportunities will be revolutionised, particularly within the property, IT telecommunications, retail, finance, car sales and parking industries,” says Brian. This book is a must read for urban developers, engineers, architects, planners, business owners and the general community to understand, participate in and influence this potentially cataclysmic upheaval of personal lifestyle and business practices.

“AVs will deliver new jobs as well as high levels of productivity. They are a critical component and facilitator of Australia’s emerging global service economy and changing industry structure. Australia will participate in a new globalised car industry. If Australia can achieve an early mover advantage, this will mean around 16,000 new jobs and up to 15 billion dollars’ worth of private investment per annum. What this will do for Australia is position us as a global leader in the development of tech cities post 2030.”

“AVs will transform Australia in ways unimaged because AVs include not only passenger and freight vehicles but also terrestrial delivery vehicles and air based drones. AVs will also revolutionise the world not only in terms of physical connectedness but also through accelerated development of Artificial Intelligence. The challenge is to harness the AV revolution, to maximise the exciting and unexpected benefits for all Australians.

This was one of the key points driving Brian Haratsis to write Autropolis and why he is passionate about sharing it with businesses and the community alike.


Brian Haratsis is an economist and future strategist with over 30 years’ experience as an advisor, focusing on economic forecasting as it relates to private sector property, communities, tourism and social. He is the Executive Chairman of Macroplan Dimasi, current Chairman of the Australian Driverless Vehicles Initiative and is regularly asked to provide comment in the press.

Autropolis: How and When Automated Vehicles Will Transform Australia and Why it Matters is available for sale at for $39.95 for hardcopy - $9.95 for e-book.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Heidi Klum's Epic Halloween Accommodation

We have the inside scoop on Heidi Klum's Halloween Hideaway, because helped her behind the scenes! They offered her a home away from home on her favorite night of the year, Heidi was provided with the ultimate setting prior to turning heads (and breaking the internet) in her unexpected costume.

With all eyes on the celeb-sensation's famous annual party, Heidi has been forced to step up her game each time, and she wasn't afraid to go the extra mile for her celebrity-adorned bash this year. Seeking the perfect place to get ready for her big event, had everything the reigning "Queen of Halloween" required as she prepped for her much anticipated costume reveal – a modern, 3-bedroom penthouse in a SoHo Gallery Building with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline.

With its wide choice of incredible places to stay and unique properties – from villas and apartments to hotels – was Heidi's go-to site when booking her location for Halloween prep:

  • 94 Thompson Street not only afforded the high-profile privacy Heidi needed, but the grandeur that she loves
  • The property, which sleeps 10 and even has a glass-enclosed Zen garden in the living room, is $20,000 per night.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Lamborghini Looks Back on its First SUV: The LM002

Twenty-five years after the legendary LM002 ceased production, Automobili Lamborghini will launch the Urus on 4 December 2017 in Sant'Agata Bolognese, again creating a new class of Super SUVs. In advance of the Urus world premier Automobili Lamborghini looks back on its SUV legacy in order to recall an extraordinary automobile.

The black LM002 (chassis #12231) from the Lamborghini museum, entirely-restored by the classic department Lamborghini Polo Storico represents Lamborghini's original SUV creation: the LM002 is widely considered as the father of luxury SUVs. Turning heads in sophisticated city streets, the LM002 was equally at home in dirt, gravel and snow.

The LM 002's development started as a project to develop a high performance off-road vehicle for military use at the end of the 1970s, with the name of Cheetah. Lamborghini engineer Giulio Alfieri resurrected the project in 1981 with the LM 001: an innovative concept with a rear-mounted engine, followed by the LMA prototype with a front-mounted powertrain. The final production model of the LM002 was first presented at the Brussels Auto Show in 1986, consolidating the final design: the V12 engine from the Countach Quattrovalvole provided a 5,167 cc capacity and 450 hp at 6,800 rpm.

In an aluminum and fiberglass body, with four-wheel drive transmission, transfer case and three self-locking differentials, the SUV could exceed gradients of 120%. Reaching speeds of more than 200 km/h, the LM002 was equipped with specially-developed Pirelli Scorpion tyres, allowing 'floating' capabilities across soft surfaces such as sand, and highly durable in hot conditions. The production of the bodies started in a company near Bilbao (Spain). Then the semi- assembled parts were shipped to Sant'Agata Bolognese for completion with the powertrain, mechanical parts, finishing, testing and delivery. A luxurious interior matching the individual needs of the customer completed the LM 002.

The LM002 attracted significant attention when launched, as a vehicle unlike any other, with performance to match its super sports car stablemates as well as significant off-road capabilities and an imposing design and presence. A total of 300 were produced from 1986 to 1992.

Like the LM002, the Urus will create a new Super SUV class of its own, with exceptional power and torque, distinctive design and a very significant presence. The Urus assures exceptional road-going dynamics, performance and luxury and like the LM002, has exceptional capabilities on off-road terrains, including sand.

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