I don't personally know anyone from Australia, but I have met people from there. Also, I'm friends with people who have relatives there too. At this point (11/5/03), I can't really say much about the Australian people.
"Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia about 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James COOK took possession in the name of Great Britain. Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The new country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major contribution to the British effort in World Wars I and II. In recent decades, Australia has transformed itself into an internationally competitive, advanced market economy. It boasted one of the OECD's fastest growing economies during the 1990s, a performance due in large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s. Long-term concerns include pollution, particularly depletion of the ozone layer, and management and conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef."
" AUSTRALIA (ANS) -- With Australia celebrating its National Day next Tuesday (January 26, 2010), a 98 downloadable slide presentation, “Understanding Our Christian Heritage” is now available online from the Christian History website (www.chr.org.au).
It details many of Australia’s European founders as well as institutions, documents and events in early Australian History at www.chr.org.au/fpbooks/Our%20Australian%20Christian%20Heritage.pdf.
You can view the presentation in just one hour or one week, depending on time available to see the many hyperlinks with extensive information.
We need to reflect on our foundations and recognize the hand of God in the commencement of a Christian nation in the Pacific within reach of the great Asian nations.
While many Australians look to a convict past with its fear of authority and feeling of inferiority, rejection, isolation and loneliness, there is history being discovered, that of our Christian forefathers and their faith and their contribution to the kingdom of God -- a positive affirmation of a nation with a providential destiny. .."
"...in May and June 1942 the war was brought home to Australians on the east coast when the Japanese attacked Sydney Harbour from the sea...
In the late afternoon of 31 May 1942, three Japanese submarines, I-22, I-24 and I-27 each launched a Type A midget submarine for an attack. more ......
On September 3, 1939 Australia declared war on Germany and entered the war in Europe to aid its Allies in the United Kingdom.
In 1940 and 1941, Australian troops saw action in the Middle East and North Africa. In January 1941, Australian troops helped capture Bardia and Tobruk in Libya.
Soon the war would come closer to home. On December 8, 1941, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Australia declared war on Japan.
The Japanese offensive in New Guinea was the most direct threat Australia faced. Fortunately, the Americans staved off a naval attack on Australia at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942.
The Japanese Army then attempted to reach Port Moresby, New Guinea, by land. This led to the bloody battles at Gona and Buna.
By the end of the war, Australia had lost about 30,000 men and women...
Battle of Coral Sea Part 8 of 9
"Fought between May 4 May 8, 1942. Each side was fairly matched in numbers for this battle. The US had 2 fleet carriers Yorktown and Lexington. Japan had 2 fleet carriers ( Zuikaku and Shōkaku) and 1 light carrier (Shōhō). Each side had 9 cruisers. The Japanese had 15 DD, which were 2 more than the US had. The US had 118 carrier aircraft and Japanese had 139. Each side had a small number of support ships.... Battle of the Coral Sea
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought between May 4 – May 8, 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States (US) and Australia. The battle was the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other. It was also the first naval battle in history in which neither side's ships sighted or fired directly upon the other.
In an attempt to strengthen their defensive positioning for their empire in the South Pacific, Imperial Japanese forces decided to invade and occupy Port Moresby in New Guinea and Tulagi in the southeastern Solomon Islands. The plan to accomplish this, called Operation Mo, involved several major units of Japan's Combined Fleet, including two fleet carriers and a light carrier to provide air cover for the invasion fleets, under the overall command of Shigeyoshi Inoue. The US learned of the Japanese plan through signals intelligence and sent two United States Navy carrier task forces and a joint Australian-American cruiser force, under the overall command of Frank Jack Fletcher, to oppose the Japanese offensive.
On May 3 and 4, Japanese forces successfully invaded and occupied Tulagi, although several of their supporting warships were surprised and sunk or damaged by aircraft from the US fleet carrier Yorktown. Now aware of the presence of US carriers in the area, the Japanese fleet carriers entered the Coral Sea with the intention of finding and destroying the Allied naval forces.
Beginning on May 7, the carrier forces from the two sides exchanged airstrikes over two consecutive days. The first day, the US sank the Japanese light carrier Shōhō, while the Japanese sank a US destroyer and heavily damaged a fleet oiler (which was later scuttled). The next day, the Japanese fleet carrier Shōkaku was heavily damaged, the US fleet carrier Lexington was scuttled as a result of critical damage, and the Yorktown was damaged. With both sides having suffered heavy losses in aircraft and carriers damaged or sunk, the two fleets disengaged and retired from the battle area. Because of the loss of carrier air cover, Inoue recalled the Port Moresby invasion fleet, intending to try again later.
Although a tactical victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk, the battle would prove to be a strategic victory for the Allies for several reasons. Japanese expansion, heretofore seemingly unstoppable, had been turned back for the first time. Even more importantly, the two Japanese fleet carriers were unable to participate in the Battle of Midway which took place the following month, ensuring a rough parity in aircraft between the two adversaries and contributing significantly to the US victory in that battle. The severe losses in carriers at Midway prevented the Japanese from reattempting to invade Port Moresby from the ocean. Two months later, the Allies took advantage of Japan's resulting strategic vulnerability in the South Pacific and launched the Guadalcanal Campaign, which along with the New Guinea Campaign, eventually broke Japanese defenses in the South Pacific and was a significant contributing factor to Japan's ultimate defeat in World War II."
-Documentaries Battle of the Coral Sea, from youtube.com
Battle Of The Coral Sea - Original Trailer 1959
"Although the actual battle of the Coral Sea does not begin this standard wartime drama, there is plenty of action and suspense as the preparation stage of the battle is carried out. A submarine captained by Jeff Conway (Cliff Robertson) successfully scouts the location of enemy installations, ships, and subs and then starts to head back to friendly waters. Before chugging very far in that direction, the submarine is spotted and captured by the Japanese. The crew members are taken prisoner by an even-handed Commander Mori (Teru Shimada) and held on the Japanese forces' island base. ..."
"A man's ministry in Australia to the aboriginals and more"
Prophecy - Girl Delivered From Spirit of Death
"In this video a lady is set tree from the spirit of death giving her thoughts of suicide, death and depression. She was attending a crusade in Australia where she was set free. She gives testimony about having The Holy Spirit sets her free through Prophet TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations Lagos Nigeria. (www.Scoan.com)"
*see Ministry: Delieverance, a personal site
Australia, from The Official Website of Arthur Blessitt
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Movies: The Passion, Crucification, Easter, Resurrection, etc.. "..1976: The island continent of Australia is often referred to as 'Down Under' yet when you are there, it's the other world that seems down under. This land has such a vast outback it attracts the truly rugged independent type person. I found great welcome among these people who were always stopping along the roadsides to check on me, or drop off food and drinks.
Australia has wide-open spaces, fabulous ocean water, and splendid cities and one of the highest qualities of life of any nation.
I carried the cross along Highway #1 on the east coast part of the famous Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sydney to the capital Canberra and on to Melbourne.
I preached in some wonderful churches in Australia. So many homes were open and great love poured out to us. All Glory to God.
There were many people who stopped to talk, pray and to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. Australians love travel and adventure. The walk fit their interests. But the cross was a bit of a problem. Ha. Many would ask about the trip around the world and try to ignore what I was carrying but of course I would always get to the greatest thing about the walk...Jesus! And the Cross!
I had some wonderful encounters with the wild animals of Australia. Truly do love the koalas. ...
James Kelly ran a massage parlor called "The Gentle Touch" in Melbourne's Saint Kilda Road area. Newspapers called it one of the most exclusive among the city's estimated 120 such parlors. Tastefully furnished with antiques and subtle lighting, The Gentle Touch employed about twenty girls and catered primarily to businessmen and apparently offered much more than massages.
The moment I saw the sign out front, with a man and woman sitting together in a tub with soap bubbles floating in the air, I knew that this was a place in which Robin Kerr and I must witness.
Robin, a student from the Baptist Bible College in Brisbane, had come to Melbourne to train in Christian outreach and work with me for two weeks. My walk with the cross in Australia included spending many evenings witnessing to people in bars and nightclubs. Robin and I would spend hours in the Saint Kilda Road area, presenting the gospel, sharing Christ, bringing dancers and patrons to the Lord.
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Issues: Sex
Australia (2008) Movie Traile
"..Nicole Kidman as Lady Sarah Ashley, an English aristocrat who inherits the cattle station Faraway Downs in Australia.
Hugh Jackman as an Australian drover who helps Lady Sarah Ashley move the cattle across the property.
Essie Davis as Katherine
David Wenham as Neil Fletcher, a station manager who plans to take Faraway Downs from Lady Sarah Ashley.
Jack Thompson as Kipling Flynn, an alcoholic accountant who enjoys a luxurious lifestyle.
Bryan Brown as King Carney, a cattle baron who owns much of the land in northern Australia.
Brandon Walters as the drover's assistant Nullah, a young boy who helps drive the cattle for Lady Sarah Ashley.
David Gulpilil as King George, a magic tribal elder.
Yuen Wah ..
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Native Indian-Aborigines-Indigenous
Hillsong United - Mighty to Save - With Subtitles
" Hillsong United - Mighty to Save - With Subtitles - Mighty to Save DVD
Everyone needs compassion,
Love thats never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Well everyone needs forgiveness,
Kindness of a savior
The Hope of the nation
Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is mighty to save,
He is mighty to save
Forever, author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave
So take me as you find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything that i believe in
Now i surrender (and i surrender)
Shine your light and let the whole world see
We're singing, for the glory of the risen king, Jesus
Shine your light and let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen king, Jesus
Shine your light and let the whole world see
We're singing, for the glory of the risen king, Jesus
Shine your light and let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen king, Jesus
hillsongunited hillsong united mighty to save mightytosave with subtitles subtitled worship lord god jesus lyrics "
All I Want by Planetshakers
"All That I Want is the seventh album produced by PlanetShakers. In January 2004, PlanetShakers recorded their inspirational brand new live CD and DVD called 'All That I Want' at their conferences across Australia. Featuring six brand new songs and seven incredible live versions of songs from their studio album Rain Down, this new album showcases the musical and vocal talents of the PlanetShakers team blended with the God-inspired lyrics of this fantastic collection of soon to be worship classics"
Aussie fires kill scores
"CNN's Hugh Williams has the latest on the fast-moving fires that have devastated Victoria, Australia."
"SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (ANS) -- In the midst of the horrific reporting of Australia's worst national disaster, Victoria's bushfires of February, 2009,the death toll is expected to pass 200, with 5,000 homeless. From the township of Marysville, Victoria, comes a report that the Evangelisation Society of Australia (ESA) Camp Site, 959 Buxton Rd, Marysville 3779, has been largely destroyed. “Only lodges 2, 4 & 5 and 2 staff houses have been left standing."
ESA campsie showing burnt buildings
Previously, the campsite comprised of
• Conference/Seminar/Lounge Room. Capacity for 200 people. TV, Video,DVD and Stereo, OHP, Whiteboard.
• 5 Lodges: each with 5 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms and a lounge room with reverse cycle air conditioning, and a deck.
• Large Dinning Room, capacity for over 150 people.
• 24 hr Coffee Bar.
• Large Sports Building for Basketball etc.
• Wheelchair Access/Facilities.
• All buildings are heated (except Sports Building).
An official statement claims: “Staff are safe – they were evacuated to Alexandria."
ESA Camping and Conference Centre;
email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.esa.org.au/index.html
Meanwhile, Mobile Mission Maintenance (MMM) Australia has suffered extensive damage to its National Headquarters at 870 Whittlesea Yea Road, Whittlesea, Victoria. Normally MMM assists others to rebuild or carry out repairs, but now it’s their turn!
-The Administration Centre and Conference Centre have been destroyed completely
-Three housing blocks, which would house at least 12 families have been destroyed
-Vehicles have been destroyed
-30 cattle have been lost
-12 small housing units have been destroyed
However, one housing block remains, which could house three families and also provide space for an Administration Centre.
Tim Cranna - National Director - MMM Australia
Phone +61-3-5786 5432; Fax +61-3-5786 5219; Mobile +61-438 058 236; Email: email@example.com
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities ravaged by these devastating events." We say, "Amen!"" Australian Wildfires Called 'Mass Murder' After 173 Killed
Monday, February 09, 2009 (foxnews.com) "WHITTLESEA, Australia — Suspicions that some of Australia's worst wildfires ever were deliberately set led police to declare crime scenes in incinerated towns on Monday, and a clearly emotional prime minister likened the alleged arson to mass murder. The death toll stood at 173...
The scale of the carnage, growing daily, has shocked a nation that endures deadly firestorms every few years. There were no quick answers, but officials said panic and the freight-train speed of the firefront probably accounted for the unusually high toll.
President Obama has sent his prayers and condolences to victims of the wildfire. Immediately after his first prime-time news conference Monday night, he telephoned Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama and Rudd talked about the fires raging across Victoria state. Obama offered U.S. assistance to help with the fires.
Earlier Monday, Rudd, visibly upset during a television interview, reflected the country's disgust at the idea that arsonists may have set some of the 400 fires that devastated Victoria state, or helped them jump containment lines.
"What do you say about anyone like that?" Rudd said. "There's no words to describe it, other than it's mass murder."".... Suspect charged over deadly Australian bushfire
Victoria man accused of arson is kept in secure location for his own safety,
* Ellen Connolly in Melbourne
* guardian.co.uk, Friday 13 February 2009 12.19 GMT "Australian police charged a man today over one of the country's deadly bushfires and have moved him to a secret, maximum security location amid growing concerns of vigilante attacks.
The 39-year-old allegedly started the Churchill-Jeeralang bushfire in the LaTrobe valley region of Gippsland, south-east Victoria, in which at least 21 people perished.
Police applied in court to have his identity suppressed. The man is local and there are serious concerns for his safety and that of his family.
He was charged with one count of arson causing death, which carries a maximum 25-year jail term, and one count of intentionally starting a fire, which carries a 15-year term.
He was also charged with possessing child pornography.
Earlier this week the prime minister, Kevin Rudd, called those responsible for the devastating bushfires "mass murderers". Robert McClelland, the attorney general, vowed to pursue murder charges.
The fire, which is still burning out of control, was one of hundreds that swept across the state of Victoria last weekend, killing at least 181 people and leaving 7,000 homeless.
The suspect did not attend this afternoon's remand hearing at the regional Morwell magistrates court, although he was in the court building at the time.
"The accused is in a fragile mental state," his lawyer said. "He should be seen to by a doctor."
The suspect did not apply for bail and was remanded to appear at Melbourne magistrates court on Monday.
After the hearing, the man was escorted to a secret location. Several local men screamed and chased after the vehicle.
Dannye Moloney, the Victoria police assistant commissioner, appealed for calm in the community. He said was well aware of the community anger that one of their own had allegedly lit one of the fires.
"It is very, very important for the community, especially around the Gippsland area, for a clear understanding that the charges relate solely to last Saturday," he told reporters.
Detective Sergeant Adam Shoesmith of the newly formed arson squad told the Melbourne Age that the suspect was arrested in a public place and "went without a fight".
Earlier this week a local resident, Janice Michelsson, whose house burned down in the Churchill fires, wrote a letter to the newspaper: "You bastard. You are a fire terrorist. You are a murderer. You have taken my neighbours, my friends. You have taken my home. Do you hate people so much that you really want to see this misery?"
The arrest comes as Christine Nixon, Victoria's police commissioner, expressed concern that copycat arsonists were at large.
Firefighters are still battling to contain 31 fires, ahead of extreme temperatures and hot northerly winds forecast for next week that could prompt more fires." Australian churchgoers mourn wildfire victims
By TANALEE SMITH, Associated Press Writer Tanalee Smith, Associated Press Writer – Sun Feb 15, 9:43 am ET (news.yahoo.com) "WHITTLESEA, Australia – Australians mourning the lives lost in horrific wildfires last week sought comfort at churches Sunday even as firefighters continued to battle a dozen blazes still burning in the state.
Fire engines raced past the small, 140-year-old Christ Church in Whittlesea while the Archbishop of Melbourne was leading a service, their sirens briefly drowning out a song....
Across the 1,500-square mile (3,900-square kilometer) fire zone, residents and friends gathered at church services to pray for the dead. The scene was repeated at churches across the country.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd attended a service in the town of Wandong, where he joined residents in placing leaves and flowers into a bowl of water in a symbol of remembrance and rebuilding.
In Whittlesea, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of the state capital of Melbourne, Governor General Quentin Bryce joined about 200 people who overflowed into Christ Church's yard for an hourlong service.
"You could feel the togetherness there," Bryce said. "It will give people support and comfort in their grief."...
In Whittlesea, volunteer firefighter Jeff Rowden, 45, said Sunday's church service brought solace to his brigade.
"I think it's good to be around people who shared the same thing and know what you've been through, so we can get back to our normal lives," Rowden said."
Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Deploys to Australia as Fire Casualties Mount-
Deployments also Taking Place in Missouri, Kentucky and Oklahoma Following Natural Disasters
By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
Monday, February 16, 2009 "CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA (ANS) -- Crisis-trained chaplains have been deployed to Melbourne, Australia at the invitation of local churches in response to the wildfires that have brought extreme devastation to the continent.
News reports indicate that more than 1.1 million acres of land have burned and casualties could reach 300. Thousands more have been left homeless. In the small town of Marysville, located approximately 60 miles from Melbourne, it is reported that 100 of the 500 residents may have perished. ..."
YWAM Australia staff care for refugees of arson-induced fires
By Peter Wooding
Special to ASSIST News Service
Monday, February 16, 2009 "...Emergency appeal
YWAM Australia’s mercy ministry, Australian Relief and Mercy Services (ARMS), has launched an emergency appeal to help get volunteers into the bush fire areas to assist in clean-up operations. Funds raised through this appeal will help pay for teams to deploy and stay in the affected areas. Excess funds will be donated to the Salvation Army bush fire relief efforts.
Donations to the appeal can be made through the ARMS website at www.arms.org.auby by credit card or PayPal. Those in the US or Canada who want a tax deduction can just click on the appropriate flag to find out more.
Please pray for the people of Victoria at this critical time. "
Cities Wikipedia "The area was first colonised by Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, who arrived between 40 000 and 65 000 years ago, according to various dating methods. Later, Queensland was made a British Crown Colony that was separated from New South Wales on 6 June 1859, a date now celebrated annually as Queensland Day. The area that currently forms Brisbane was originally the Moreton Bay penal colony, intended as a place for recidivist convicts who had offended while serving out their sentences in New South Wales. The state later encouraged free settlement, and today Queensland's economy is dominated by the agricultural, tourist and natural resource sectors."
*met Jodie (Sunday, October 13th of 2007) Wikitravel "is the capital of the state of Queensland. It has a population of about 1.8 million people, and is the third-largest, and fastest growing, city in Australia."
Christchurch Earthquake - A Divine Shaking or God's Judgement?
Major church leaders in Christchurch refused to respond to a request to gather to thank God and praise Him that in the first earthquake, no life was lost (even though they were not asked to foot the bill). That no life was lost in the first quake was dubbed a miracle. Now another quake has hit, wreaking devastation.
Amos 3:6 If a trumpet is blown in the city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in the city, will not the LORD have done it?
The cross and steeple was ripped off the Christchurch Cathedral.
Is this a prophetic sign that God is going to shake a complacent and lukewarm church? Hear the inside story.
If the church doesn't know why these things are happening, could it be that the church has lost touch with Almighty God?"
"Best Film, Best Actor and Best Cinematography for the 2006 Ignite Film Festival in Sydney, Australia.Produced by Ben Field and Bruce van Niekerk, Directed by Ben Field, DOP Magdalene Phillips"
"(CNN) -- More than 170,000 homes are without power in Queensland after a massive cyclone slammed into the already flood-ravaged northern Australian state, according to the emergency services minister. Some areas could be without power for weeks.
Neil Roberts told CNN that said that no serious injuries have been reported since Tropical Cyclone Yasi roared ashore, but emergency crews are still working their way across the affected region.
So far, the worst-hit towns seem to be in an area roughly 90 miles (150 kilometers) south of Cairns, he said.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh described conditions for local TV networks, and said that many coastal cities are enduring power outages. In Cairns, only 34% of homes had electricity. Townsville, south of Cairns, only has power in about 15% of homes. Farther down the Queensland coast, electricity is out in half of Mackay and Proserpine, and the entire town of Ingham was without power...
The cyclone threatens more devastation for Queensland, where 20 people died and thousands of homes were wrecked in severe flooding in January, which affected 3.1 million people.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a one-off tax aimed at helping to for pay the estimated AUS $5.6 billion (US $5.58 billion) in damage caused by that flood.
Powerful cyclone strikes Australia's northeast, By KRISTEN GELINEAU, Associated Press Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press – 35 mins ago news.yahoo.com "CAIRNS, Australia – A massive cyclone struck northeastern Australia early Thursday, tearing off roofs, toppling trees and cutting electricity to thousands — the most powerful storm to hit the area in nearly a century.
The eye of Cyclone Yasi roared ashore at the small resort town of Mission Beach in Queensland state, battering the coast known to tourists as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef with heavy rain and howling winds gusting to 186 mph (300 kph).
"Vegetation has been reduced to sticks," said Sgt. Dan Gallagher, Mission Beach officer in charge.
Yasi compounded the suffering for Queensland, waterlogged by months of flooding that killed 35 people and inundated hundreds of communities. It struck an area far north of the flood zone, but the Bureau of Meteorology said its drenching rains could cause floods in new parts of the state.
The extent of property damage across Queensland was unknown just before dawn because it was still too dangerous to venture very far outside homes and evacuation centers, with strong winds and torrential rain continuing to batter towns.
No deaths or serious injuries have been reported.
About 175,000 people were without power, and restoring it would be a major priority when the storm had fully passed, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said.
"This has been ... a terrifying experience, but this morning because so many of them did take precautions, it seems that we certainly kept people safe in those centers and I'm very pleased about that," Bligh said. "The early news is not anything like I expected to hear this morning. ... I do stress in many cases we are yet to see any assessments."
More than 10,000 people fled to 20 evacuation centers in a danger zone stretching 190 miles (300 kilometers), amid strong warnings in the past two days. Many others moved in with family or friends in safer locations. Still, authorities prepared for the worst, including serious damage devastation and possible deaths.
Witnesses reported roofs being ripped off, buildings shaking and trees flattened under the power of the winds. Officials said the storm surge would flood some places to roof level.
"This is a cyclone of savagery and intensity," Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a nationally televised news conference as the storm moved toward the coast. "People are facing some really dreadful hours in front of them."
The storm's front was about 300 miles (500 kilometers) across, with the worst of the winds expected to lash the coast for up to four hours, although blustery conditions and heavy rain could last for a day.
"It's such a big storm — it's a monster, killer storm," Bligh had said Wednesday, adding that the only previous cyclone measured in the state at such strength was in 1918. "This impact is likely to be more life-threatening than any experienced during recent generations."
In the city of Cairns, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Mission Beach and about 1,700 miles (2,730 kilometers) north of Sydney, guests at a waterfront hotel took cover in the central ballroom as lights flickered. Staff members handed out flashlights and pinned curtains shut over windows in danger of shattering.
Tourist Barbara Maskei, 49, of Germany, lay on the ballroom floor under a sheet reading a book, as her 20-year-old daughter, Annette, and husband, Peter, dozed beside her. For her, there would be no sleep. "I like to keep my eyes open," she said as the wind roared outside.
The staff distracted people from the storm by playing the movie "Music and Lyrics" on a giant screen. Some tried to sleep through the noise of the movie, wailing children and loud conversations.
In Innisfail, a town about 55 miles (90 kilometers) south of Cairns that was nearly in the direct path of the storm, Mayor Bill Shannon said he saw the roof torn off near the local government building where about 500 people were sheltered.
"We're just hoping and praying we can all get through the night," Shannon said.
In nearby Tully, resident Ross Sorbello described feeling his house shake from the wind.
"The wind and rain outside are howling; it's a horrible sound," he said.
Storm surges of at least 6.5 feet (2 meters) were likely and would almost certainly cause coastal flooding, forecasters said, adding that up to 28 inches (700 millimeters) of rain could fall within hours in some areas.
At highest risk was an area about 150 miles (240 kilometers) long between Cairns and the sugar cane-growing town of Ingham, the bureau said. The storm was forecast to continue inland at cyclone strength for two days and gradually weaken. It was unclear what the damage to the Great Barrier Reef would be, experts said.
State disaster coordinator Ian Stewart said just one emergency call had been received — from six people in their 60s who feared their apartment in the resort town of Port Hinchinbrook would be swamped by the storm surge. They were told to wait it out because it was too dangerous for emergency workers to try to reach them, Stewart said, and they were reported safe Thursday morning.
Queensland officials warned people for days to stock up on bottled water and food, and to board or tape up their windows. People in low-lying or exposed areas were told to evacuate.
Warnings stretched as far away as Townsville, which is slightly larger than Cairns and about 190 miles (300 kilometers) to the south, and Mount Isa, about 500 miles (800 kilometers) inland.
Australia's huge, sparsely populated tropical north is battered annually by about six cyclones — called typhoons throughout much of Asia and hurricanes in the Western hemisphere. Building codes have been strengthened since Cyclone Tracy devastated the city of Darwin in 1974, killing 71 in one of Australia's worst natural disasters.
Bureau of Meteorology: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/index.shtml
upstream youth ministry
"this is a picture of the friday night youth ministry at LifeHouse Church in Coffs Harbour, Australia..."
World Youth Day 2008
"World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney Australia: The youth of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the world"