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Giselle Wakatama
Giselle Wakatama

Giselle Wakatama

Newcastle, NSW

Giselle Wakatama is a senior broadcast journalist and has been reporting for the ABC since 2000. Follow Giselle on Twitter: @gisellewak

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Latest by Giselle Wakatama

Man and woman found drowned at nearby Moonee, Birdie beaches north of Sydney

There has been a double drowning with a second body pulled from the water today off the Central Coast, north of Sydney.
An unpatrolled beach.

Properties deemed unsafe as swimming pool-sized sinkholes open up

Dozens of sinkholes have appeared in the rural Hunter Valley community of Broke in the aftermath of flooding rains, filling up with the suffocating stench of sewage.
Sinkholes around a house.

Daniel Johns avoids time behind bars, sentenced to intensive corrections order in the community over drink-driving crash

The former frontman of the now-defunct Australian band Silverchair, Daniel Johns, has been sentenced to a 10-month intensive corrections order to be served in the community over a high-range drink-driving car crash.
Posted Updated
Daniel Johns leaves court after his drink driving sentencing.

Man alleges girlfriend inflicted severe injuries on her baby he's accused of killing

A court has heard 31-year-old Jie William Smith, accused of the murder of a six-month-old boy, allege the child's mother injured her own baby, but admitted to police he had also dropped the child.
Posted Updated
Man with earring in basketball singlet.

'I don't feel like the same person', long COVID sufferer says

Ballooning waiting lists at Sydney's long COVID clinic sparks calls for the state government to roll out treatment centres across NSW.
Posted Updated
Before and after pictures of a woman with COVID.

Catholic Church deliberately kept paedophile priest Vincent Gerard Ryan's death a secret, survivors say

Abuse survivors have lashed out at the Catholic Church, claiming they were not told about the death of a paedophile priest and only found out weeks after he died.
Posted Updated
Vincent Ryan holds a balloon and poses for a photo with a statue of Ronald McDonald.

Jury finds 'psychotic' man guilty of murdering teenage girlfriend he believed had cursed him

A Supreme Court jury rejects a New South Wales man's defence that he was mentally impaired when he strangled his girlfriend because he believed she had turned into a "demon".
Posted Updated
A young woman with long hair and a nose earring.

Federal Court intervention sought to refloat offshore gas plans sunk by former PM

A company is hoping to refloat plans to tap into offshore gas supplies between Newcastle and Sydney, after the proposal was sunk by former prime minister Scott Morrison.
Posted Updated
Protesters at the beach hold up a banner that says "Protect our coast from offshore gas"

'It's a market-wide issue': Eraring power plant running out of coal

Australia's biggest power station running out of coal at a time when a Hunter mine expansion has been recommended for approval.
An aerial view of a power station with two large smoke stacks

'Unfinished business': Victims furious as notorious paedophile priest dies with holy orders

"They still support him, even in death," says a victim of Vince Ryan, whose attacks on at least 37 victims in the Newcastle area were key to exposing a church cover-up.
Posted Updated
Vincent Ryan

Diver found dead among cocaine bricks in Newcastle confirmed as 31-year-old Brazilian national

Police believe drug smugglers hired Bruno Borges, a professional diver, to retrieve a load of cocaine worth an estimated $20m from a ship in Newcastle.
A young man, shirtless and tattooed, wearing dark sunglasses and smiling as he stands with his back to the ocean.

Another inquiry into Kathleen Folbigg's four convictions for killing her children announced

NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman says he can understand why people "will roll their eyes" as he announces plans for another inquiry into Kathleen Folbigg's convictions for killing her four children.
Posted Updated
Composite of Patrick, Laura, Caleb and Sarah Folbigg

Police hunt for South American wanted over deadly Newcastle cocaine shipment

Police say Jhoni Fernandes Da Silva, 32, may be able to help them piece together what happened to the diver who was found dead in Newcastle last week.
Posted Updated
A smiling man wearing a cap and standing outside a large hotel.

Norm nearly missed his 91st birthday lunch because his wheelchair taxi didn't come

Norm Edwards was dressed and ready to go, but the cab his daughter had booked a week in advance never arrived. Other Newcastle locals have reported similar issues with wheelchair-accessible maxi taxis.
A woman embraces her father.

MP blames port security workforce cuts in wake of Newcastle cocaine haul

But Australia's border force denies that the death of a scuba diver during a suspected cocaine operation in Newcastle is due to gaps in the port security workforce.
Posted Updated
Police officer unload oxygen tanks and scuba diving gear on the side of a wharf.

Search for extra 200kg of cocaine underway after diver 'left to die' in Newcastle

Police say they only found "a portion" of a cocaine shipment they estimate has a street value of $120m near the body of a diver on the banks of the Hunter River.
Posted Updated
A close up of a body wrapped in tarp with a man wearing blue gloves hold a brick wrapped in yellow.

Prison guards who assaulted Indigenous colleague in his home at night spared convictions

Two Cessnock prison guards have been given good behaviour bonds and spared convictions for assaulting a First Nations colleague.
Posted Updated
Two men standing a small distance apart on the steps of a court house, looking serious.

Federal leaders told to do more as housing crisis worsens domestic violence situation

Support services say both major federal parties need to step up with too many women staying in unsafe homes and fearing poverty if they flee domestic violence.
A woman in a park being interviewed for TV

Elderly man dies during nap after 4WD crashes into house near Maitland

A 74-year-old man was asleep in the front room of the house when the LandCruiser crashed into it.
Posted Updated
red and yellow tape around a large black car crashed into a house

Mother of boy with autism angry that teen who allegedly bashed son is not charged

A Newcastle woman whose son was allegedly bashed by a group of boys is calling for a rethink on cautions given to young offenders.
Posted Updated
A boy with bruised face lying down.

Forced into retirement aged 18 months, Becky is one of the lucky chooks

A chicken rescue group in NSW says it has taken in more than 50,000 former egg layers in the past five years — and needs to adopt out more — as hens are deemed no longer profitable.
Hens in a backyard.

Daniel Johns charged with high-range drink driving after head-on smash

The former Silverchair frontman says he has checked himself into a rehabilitation facility after a crash on the Pacific Highway.
Posted Updated
A black and white photograph of Daniel Johns sitting on the ground.

'I've been bashed': Heartbreaking text sent by 12yo autistic boy to mum

Police say they're investigating an alleged group attack on Damien in broad daylight in Newcastle, which his mum says has left him "broken".
A boy wearing a hoodie hugs a kitten.

NSW man gets eight years for hitting and killing love rival with four-wheel drive

Hunter Valley man Joshua Walker Smith will spend at least the next three years in jail for running down Ewan Sams, 36,  in his Cessnock backyard.
Close-up shot of Scales of Justice statue in Brisbane CBD on August 1, 2018.

'I don't know how we'll fill the gap': Two more aged care homes to close, leaving 68 residents stranded

A month ago more than a third of all residents in Bulahdelah's only aged care home had COVID, today residents were told their home was one of two to close in the NSW Hunter region by provider Anglican Care.
Posted Updated
A brick aged care facility.

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