Another delay in verdict of Greste case

Australian journalist Peter Greste says he and two colleagues will not be truly free until a Egyptian court exonerates the trio of terrorism-related charges.

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Mr Greste and his Al Jazeera colleagues, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy, were dealt another hiccup on Sunday when the verdict in their retrial was adjourned to August 29.

It was the latest set back in a prolonged case that has attracted the criticism of press freedom advocates worldwide.

Mr Greste said although they are all physically out of prison, until the whole mess was over they couldn’t get on with their lives.

“I guess the main message for us is even though the three of us are physically out of prison, until this whole mess is over, until we are fully exonerated of all of the charges, none of us are really truly free,” he told AAP.

Mr Greste and his colleagues were jailed last year for spreading false news and supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood during their coverage of the turmoil following the ousting of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

An appeals court ordered a retrial and, after more than 400 days in jail, the three journalists were released.

Mr Greste was deported and his colleagues were freed on bail.

Mr Greste couldn’t return to Egypt without violating his deportation order and is being tried in absentia.

The verdict in their retrial was due last Thursday but the hearing was adjourned, with no reason given.

On Sunday Mr Greste had been very hopeful he would finally see a verdict.

However it seemed one of the judges was sick and the replacement judge wasn’t there, he said.

While Mr Greste is home in Australia, Mr Mohamed and Mr Fahmy go to court not knowing if they will see their family again.

“Every time they go they have to hug and kiss their families not knowing if they are going to see them again and that is tough,” he said.

Fahmy criticised the delay.

“Verdict postponed until August 29th The audacity & continuous disrespect to our rights is unprecedented!” he tweeted minutes after the judge postponed the verdict.

Resilient miners sober about future

Even the most enthusiastic chief executives are likely to give a sober assessment of the mining industry at this year’s Diggers and Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie.

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Weak commodity prices have hurt company share prices and led to mass job cuts over the past 12 months, but the pain may not be over yet.

A report from Newport Consulting recently showed almost 80 per cent of mining leaders are reducing capital expenditure and thousands more mining jobs could be shed this year.

In the face of the doom and gloom, companies such as Newmont Mining, Australia’s largest gold producer, believe they can ride out the volatility through better productivity and efficiency.

Newmont’s Asia Pacific Senior Vice President Tom Palmer, a speaker at Diggers, has said his company has “a few plans” up its sleeve if the gold price falls again.

Mr Palmer’s optimistic outlook is mirrored by home grown iron ore miners such as Atlas Iron and mid-tier producer Fortescue Metals Group, which have both had to make deep cuts and changes to cope with weak prices.

“Fortescue is completely safeguarded by the fact that its operating costs in the very long term have become so competitive,” Fortescue Chairman Andrew Forrest said last week.

Other executives with a glass half full approach will welcome the results of a new report which shows the value of Western Australia’s top 100 companies has almost trebled in the past 15 years.

Consulting firm Deloitte released the report to coincide with the start of the annual Diggers and Dealers gathering.

It shows the biggest WA listed companies have grown almost four-fold in a decade and a half to be worth $132 billion.

“Despite some of the challenges faced in the WA economy over the past 15 years, market capitalisation growth of our top companies as demonstrated by the Deloitte WA Index has been phenomenal,” Deloitte Clients and Markets Partner Tim Richards said.

“This outstanding growth aside, FY15 has still been a challenging year.”

Deloitte’s WA index lost more than 11 per cent over the past year, driven by an overall slowdown in WA’s mining sector and weaker commodity prices.

To kick of proceedings at Diggers, former White House adviser Gene Sperling will join the likes of Newmont’s Tom Palmer and Rio Tinto’s Director of Australasia exploration Ian Ledlie.

Untested NZ chase netball World Cup

Strengths and weaknesses are clearer, but the Silver Ferns are still an unknown quality under pressure, coach Waimarama Taumaunu believes.

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The 12-strong squad leave for Sydney and the netball World Cup on Monday, looking to wrest the title off Australia for the first time since 2003.

After a couple of warm-up matches against Australia under-21, they begin their campaign with low-key pool matches against Barbados on Friday and Trinidad and Tobago the next day, before meeting defending champions Australia next Sunday.

It will be the first time New Zealand’s new-look shooting circle has faced any sort of opposition, with walkover victories against Fiji and South Africa last week offering minimal chance to test combinations under defensive pressure.

Taumaunu says that first game against the Diamonds, while not hugely vital in terms of the overall result, presents something of a step into the unknown.

The Silver Ferns have been working hard to bed in an up-tempo, fear-free game plan aimed at getting the most out of an athletic, unpredictable shooting circle.

Against less-ranked teams – Fiji are seventh in the world, and South Africa sixth – the Silver Ferns have looked impressive.

But whether they can replicate that form against top-line teams like England, Australia or Jamaica remains to be seen.

“I think they are going to be up to it, but we won’t know until it actually hits,” Taumaunu admits.

The emphasis building towards the World Cup has centred on getting the ball, and not being afraid of making mistakes. To be successful, it requires an effective, hard-working defence generating a consistent supply of turnover ball.

“For us to be able to do that in tough games, we’ve got to be practising it in games where it’s easier,” Taumaunu said.

“We need to not be afraid of taking risks, and work hard in building understanding, so that when we’re putting the ball into space and into the air, it’s being well-read and shooters are taking it with some comfort.”

Bailey Mes has cemented herself as New Zealand’s No.1 goal shoot in recent outings, with spectacular elevation, quick hands and feet, and impressive rebounding skills.

But her accuracy can fluctuate, and the Silver Ferns will be relying on a strong through-court defensive effort to supply enough turnover ball for that not to matter.

To some degree, Taumaunu says, that means it’s not really relevant who the opposition is.

“We are very focused on ourselves, putting out our best performance, meeting our own targets and doing that as the competition ratchets up.”

Horton to spearhead Aussie pool charge

He is considered by swimming great Grant Hackett as Australia’s next Olympic 1,500m freestyle champion.

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But teenager Mack Horton appears intent on rekindling another Aussie tradition in the pool when the world titles start in Kazan, Russia on Sunday against Olympic 400m freestyle champ Sun Yang.

Horton has already been anointed by comeback king Hackett as the next to revive Australia’s long tradition of 1,500m freestyle champions after making his first world titles team.

However, world No.1-ranked Horton sounds primed to renew Australia’s glory days in the 400m freestyle despite the presence of the controversial Sun.

Not since Hackett first retired in 2008 and Ian Thorpe’s prime has Australia been able to hit the ground running at a world titles meet by enjoying 400m success.

Fittingly, childhood Hackett fan Horton looks ready to change all that even with Sun back from a doping ban.

“Everyone is beatable so we have to wait and see what happens,” said Horton of his Chinese rival.

The lanky, bespeckled Victorian is ranked No.1 in 400m and 800m ahead of the eight day titles held at a converted football stadium.

However, he sounded like someone with still plenty to prove in Kazan after some team selection near misses despite clocking 2015’s pace setting 400m time of three minutes, 44.28 seconds – more than a second ahead of Sun, the world No.4 (3:42.84).

“I missed the London (Olympic) team by I think 1.5 seconds,” Horton said.

“I also missed worlds in 2013, just got touched out (at selection trials) so yeah, it’s great to finally be at a world championships.

“I’ve done a fair amount of international racing, but I haven’t had the whole field there racing.

“It’s pretty exciting to have such a strong field … to push me and just see where I can go.”

World champion Sun is at Kazan after serving a three-month doping last year – albeit one that was kept secret until he returned to racing at last September’s Asian Games.

“I actually spoke to him for the first time yesterday,” Horton said of the Chinese champion on Friday.

“He came up and introduced himself to me and that was the first time we have spoken.

“He seemed pretty friendly, which was good.

“He’s posted some incredible times so it will be good to see what he can get out of me.

“The 400 will be just get out there and see where I’m at and see what I can do and just get comfortable in the environment.”

Another huge day one medal chance is the Australian women’s world record setting 4x100m freestyle team led by No.1 ranked Cate Campbell and sister Bronte.

The men’s 100m relay team is missing dual world champion James Magnussen (shoulder).

Tedesco glad he’s still at the Tigers

Despite the Wests Tigers’ lowly position on the ladder, James Tedesco says he’s glad he back-flipped on his decision to join Canberra last year.

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Tedesco will be back to haunt the Raiders next Monday when the Tigers travel to the nation’s capital fresh off restoring some pride to their season with a drought-breaking 34-16 win over Melbourne.

The star fullback went to yet another level against the Storm at Leichhardt Oval on Friday night when he orchestrated one of the upsets of the season.

Twice the Tigers were asked to come from behind and twice it was Tedesco that came up with the decisive plays as he scored two tries and set up another two.

His demonstrated a full array of skills – burning Marika Koroibete for pace with his first. He showed great vision to run a lovely line off a Mitchell Moses short ball for his second. While he displayed a swift set of hands to set up Kevin Naiqama in the shadows of halftime.

The injury-prone 22-year-old – who has twice had his season ended due to knee injuries – sent a shiver through the Tigers camp in the second half when he went down clutching at his leg.

However he was quickly cleared of an ankle issue and will be fit for a tense clash with Canberra at GIO Stadium next week.

Raiders fans would have been ruing Tedesco’s decision to stick with the Tigers after watching him pick apart the Storm.

The Tigers have had little joy this year, winning just six games however Tedesco said he had no regrets, insisting progress was being made.

“Even though we’re not where we want to be ladder-wise, I’m glad I could stay and happy to be playing for the Tigers,” Tedesco said.

“We still enjoy each other’s company, enjoy coming to training and we’ve stayed positive through these tough times.

“If we keep this group of players it’s going to be good times ahead.”

Tigers skipper Robbie Farah, who helped convince Tedesco to stay at Concord, described him as the kind of player they could build a team around.

“He’s a special player and I’d hate to think how we’d be going if we didn’t have him this year,” Farah said.

“He’s only going to get better and in my opinion he’s already one of the best fullbacks in the competition.

“He’s going to be pushing for higher honours next year.

“He’s been outstanding for us this year and I’m glad he’s still at the Tigers.”

GWS aim to bury Perth hoodoo in AFL

GWS coach Leon Cameron says the time for excuses are over, declaring he won’t accept another walloping in Perth.

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The Giants will be fighting to claw their way back into the top eight when they take on Fremantle at Domain Stadium on Sunday.

The Perth venue has proven to be a graveyard for the Giants, who have lost all five of their AFL matches there by an average of 96.4 points.

In round five this year, GWS were being talked up as a top-four fancy before suffering a humiliating 87-point loss to the Eagles.

Cameron said his charges are still stinging from that defeat, and also the ones before it.

“It’s very hard to put it out of your mind, because it’s a bad experience,” Cameron said on Saturday.

“They’re very keen to atone for the experiences they’ve had here.

“I could understand the (big defeats) in the first couple of years, because of the infant stage of the club’s existence, and the youth.

“Most players were probably 18, 19 years old, and probably played 10 or 20 games. But now there’s no excuse.

“Guys like Heath Shaw, Ryan Griffen, Joel Patfull, Phil Davis really want to make a strong statement tomorrow that we’re here and we can play some really good footy against a top side.”

Fremantle’s hopes of finishing in the top two were given a major boost when Richmond stunned Hawthorn on Friday night.

If the Dockers win on Sunday, they will be three wins clear of third spot with just five games remaining.

Fremantle will be without star midfielder Nat Fyfe (groin) against the Giants, but David Mundy is expected to recover from a migraine in time to play.

Lachie Weller has been named for his AFL debut, while veteran defender Zac Dawson will play his first AFL game of the season after recovering from groin/thumb injuries.

GWS have been boosted by the return of co-captain Phil Davis, but Devon Smith (knee), Zac Williams (hamstring), Nick Haynes (groin), and Rhys Palmer (hamstring) are all injured.

Haddin omission hardest decision of my career – Lehmann

The 37-year-old Haddin asked to be stood down for the second test at Lord’s because his daughter was sick and was not recalled for the match at Edgbaston for which understudy Peter Nevill retained his place.

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Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden labelled Haddin’s axing as ‘outrageous’ but Lehmann said the decision was taken because the wicketkeeper was out of form with the bat.

“Let’s make it perfectly clear. Brad has been a fantastic cricketer for Australia for a long period of time and that would be the hardest decision I have had to make as a coach, or even as a player,” Lehmann told reporters after England won by eight wickets on Friday to take a 2-1 series lead.

“I know there has been a very unbalanced view from a lot of people. We certainly care about Brad and his family. We had to make a decision on what we thought was the best 11 for this particular game.”

Haddin had a poor game in the first test in Cardiff, scoring 29 in two innings and dropping centurion Joe Root before he had scored on the first morning when England had lost three wickets with only 43 on the board.

Australia handed Nevill a test debut at Lord’s and he made a good impression with seven catches and a knock of 45.

He also kept tidily at Edgbaston and scored a patient 59 in the second innings — occupying the crease for 147 balls, the most of any batsman in the match.

“The cold hard facts were that he’s (Haddin) played the last 12 test matches, made 250 runs at 15, 16 (average). It gets down to performance. I know there has been a big hoo ha about family first,” Lehmann added.

“Pete did a good job at Lord’s. Very hard to change that side and did a really good job in this game.

“A really tough decision to make and one that everyone’s going to have different emotions with it. That’s part of professional sport.”

Lehmann said Haddin had been “fantastic” in accepting being left out.

“I can’t speak highly enough of how good he’s been with Pete,” he said.

“He’s taken over the wicketkeeper coaching role as well as trying to do his own stuff to keep ready… one of the best blokes I’ve ever coached.”

(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

Cats belt Brisbane by 56 points in AFL

Josh Walker bagged a career-high five goals and won the praise of coach Chris Scott as Geelong crushed bottom side Brisbane by 56 points at Simonds Stadium on Saturday.

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Ever since James Podsiadly left for Adelaide two years ago, the Cats have been searching for a consistent foil for spearhead Tom Hawkins.

The 22-year-old Walker looked very comfortable in the role on Saturday, marking strongly and kicking four of his five goals in the first half as the Cats won 17.11 (113) to 8.9 (57) to improve their win-loss record to 9-7 ahead of a season-defining clash against Sydney next weekend.

“In my view he is an AFL key forward,” said Scott of Walker, who was playing his 28th senior match.

“There aren’t many spots in teams for those players and next to Hawkins they look like a pretty powerful combination.

“We were really impressed with Josh and I am confident he is going to be a very good AFL player.

“Josh has felt a little bit of pressure as well and he has probably played his whole career that way but I think he feels more settled now.”

Walker was pleased to have made a significant contribution after being quiet in last weekend’s victory over GWS.

“I know I can do it and it’s there for the taking so I have just done my best to help Hawk out,” said Walker.

“He understandably gets a lot of attention every week so if we can take some attention away from Hawk and give him a chop-out that is a huge bonus for the team.”

In a match which never threatened to reach any great heights, the Cats increased their lead at every change, with Steve Johnson chipping in with three goals to move to third spot overall on the club’s all time goalkicking list.

As poor as Brisbane were for much of the day, it was still the first time in five matches where they had kicked more than seven goals.

The Cats had most of the dominant midfielders on the ground, led by Cam Guthrie, Josh Caddy and skipper Joel Selwood, while Brisbane ruckman Stefan Martin was among the Lions’ best players.

Former skipper Jed Adcock played a lone hand up forward for the visitors with four of their eight goals as they slumped to a 10th straight loss.

“It’s a familiar story,” said Lions coach Justin Leppitsch.

“There’s moments within our game – kicking 1.5 in the second quarter probably demoralised the group a bit, we didn’t maximise our chances from our inside 50 dominance.

We just weren’t clean enough to do it and there were a lot of errors too.”

Brisbane onballer Allen Christensen was a mostly peripheral figure in his first match against Geelong since his off-season move to the Lions.

TOP GEELONG GOALKICKERS:

* 1021 – Gary Ablett senior (1984-96)

* 834 – Doug Wade (1961-72)

* 443 – Steve Johnson (2002-)

* 441 – Billy Brownless (1986-97)

* 429 – Lindsey White (1941 and 1944-50)

We can win without Anderson, says Cook

Alastair Cook insists England can retain the Ashes at Nottingham next week despite the absence of Jimmy Anderson.

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Trent Bridge is Anderson’s favourite Test ground and he boasts a fantastic record there with 56 wickets in eight matches at an average of just over 19.

His loss is a huge blow for the home side, who took a 2-1 series lead with an emphatic eight-wicket win at Edgbaston in front of a raucous home crowd who delighted in their side cruising to a three-day victory on Friday.

Mark Wood is likely to come in for Anderson after missing this match with an ankle injury and although he admits losing the leader of his attack is a blow, the resurgence of Steve FInn, who was named man of the match, is a huge bonus.

“Jimmy and Woody are quite like for like,” Cook said.

“It is disappointing. Jimmy’s record at Trent Bridge is brilliant.

“I said at the beginning of the week we have an opportunity at 1-1 to do something really special in the next three games.

“Now it is an opportunity for someone lucky enough to replace Jimmy to do something very special.”

England’s performance was in complete contrast to their 405-run hammering at Lord’s two weeks ago and Cook praised his players for the manner in which they bounced back to dominate Australia from day one.

“I can’t really talk about it in terms of what I have done, it was down to the other guys who played,” he said.

“Ten other guys have put in a performance of really high quality.

“Every single one of them can be very proud of the character they have shown. There was a lot of negativity about our performance at Lord’s, which was justified and then to bounce back and play as well as that is down to character and good skill.

“I am very happy.”

Hopes confirms future, back for BBL05

The Brisbane Heat’s squad for the fifth edition of the Twenty20 Big Bash League has been boosted, with club stalwart James Hopes re-signing on a one-year deal.

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Hopes, the Heat’s foundation captain of four seasons, will step away from a leadership role for the Heat to concentrate on his on-field performance.

The 36-year-old will enter his 15th season with Queensland this year, set play his 100th first-class games for the Bulls.

A veteran of 84 one-day and 12 T20 internationals for Australia, Hopes was the Heat’s second-highest wicket-taker and finished with the team’s best economy rate in BBL04.

He is also coming off back-to-back Sheffield Shield seasons as the Bulls’ leading wicket-taker.

Having also stepped down as Queensland captain, Hopes has entered 2015-16 pre-season training, looking forward to working with and developing the next crop of Heat stars.

“Captaining your club and state is obviously a huge honour and privilege, but it was definitely my time to hand the reins over to someone else. Being able to concentrate purely on training has been a different feeling to recent seasons, but it has allowed me to prepare with a sense of freedom I haven’t had for a while.

“The body is feeling really fresh after a restful off-season, and I’m looking to pressing my case for selection across all formats and, hopefully, pushing for trophies with both the Heat and Bulls.”

New Heat coach Daniel Vettori said re-signing Hopes had been one of his priorities since taking charge, paying tribute to the positive influence his former teammate would have on younger members of the squad.

“I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of with James over the last few seasons as part of the Brisbane Heat. On the field, he has the kind of cool head needed to be a good T20 player …”

The Heat begin their BBL05 campaign on Saturday December 19 against the Melbourne Renegades at the Gabba.

Fans come out in force to stand with Adam Goodes

He was nowhere to be seen, but seemed ubiquitous as references to him were everywhere, as the Swans hosted the Crows.

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From Swans chairman Andrew Pridham in his pre-match address, describing the events of the past week in which Goodes chose to take a break from the game following persistent vilification by opposing fans, to moments before and during the game.

Many banners at the ground bore messages of support for Goodes, mentioning him by name or guernsey number.

A video package featuring Goodes played in the last 60 seconds before the first bounce, produced loud cheers from Sydney supporters, with Adelaide fans showing their support by waving an indigenous flag.

Once the game started, it took just 54 seconds for an indigenous celebration.

Lewis Jetta, who performed a war dance in support of Goodes after kicking a goal against West Coast last Sunday, did another celebratory dance after splitting the posts on the run from 52 metres.

The Swans’ other indigenous star Lance Franklin goaled from each of his first three kicks in the first half, but was content with a more-conventional arm raised-type celebration.

One Sydney player who unsurprisingly drew some boos from Adelaide fans was former Crow Kurt Tippett, who kicked three first-quarter goals in his first appearance against his old club.

Acknowledging Goodes’ guernsey number of 37, Sydney fans stood and cheered at the seven-minute mark of the third quarter.

Before the game, Pridham described Goodes as a great leader, educator and philanthropist and said Sydney’s games’ record holder had been subjected to relentless booing because he was Aboriginal and had the courage to stand and speak about matters close to his heart.

He compared Goodes’ stand to that of legendary American civil rights activist Rosa Parkes and slammed media pundits who refused to view the booing of the Sydney star as racism.

“I believe that the events of the last week are a seminal moment in our history – perhaps it was a moment that our nation needed to have,” Pridham said.

“Adam did not choose any of this to happen to him.”

“Adam did not choose to be called an ape.

“Adam could not analyse in a matter of seconds whether the person who called him that was 13 years old; he couldn’t analyse in seconds that the security guards may have been overzealous in her ejection; he couldn’t analyse her family background.

“Adam did not choose to be Australian of the Year.

“His football brilliance has thrust him into the national spotlight.

“Adam has achieved great things and today we have seen he has shaken the nation’s conscience.

“Some find his message and actions confronting.

“The issue of racism is so deep-seated, nothing short of confronting can change the tide of generations of prejudice – some disgraceful media commentary from people of some profile either seeking ratings or relevance; taking the contrary view for the sake of it even though the contrary argument is hopelessly outdated and flawed.”

‘Cliffy’ back to add heft to Wallabies pack

Now 33, the number eight will have to get used to having his workload managed as he enters a 10th season of international rugby, a test career that has been frequently interrupted by injury and earned him only 54 caps.

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“Oh, just old man problems,” Palu grinned on Friday when asked why he had been rested for wins over South Africa and Argentina that set up next week’s Rugby Championship decider against the All Blacks in Sydney.

“I’m pretty lucky to get the opportunity to add to the group, I think the boys have been doing pretty good.”

It was a typically self-deprecating comment from a man whose powerful 115kg frame reflects his Tongan heritage but inaccurate in as much Palu’s rest was planned and all about getting him right for some tough contests that lie ahead.

Next week’s match against the All Blacks will be his 12th and having won only two and drawn a couple more of those contests, Palu is under no illusions about the challenge that lies ahead.

“I think they probably lift for us, and they’re the world champs and for us to beat them we’ve got to go to another level, you know,” he said. “Hopefully come next week we can do that.”

Coach Michael Cheika likes big men to give his team early “go forward” with the ball, establish a presence at the breakdown and build a platform from which his backs can attack.

Unfortunately for the Wallabies coach, a former number eight himself, Australia has far more skilful backs than it does hulking forwards.

That is why Palu and lock Kane Douglas, who became newly eligible for Australia on Friday, were so important to Cheika at the 2014 Super Rugby champion New South Wales Waratahs side.

Cheika got Palu back into the best form of his career at the Waratahs and is clearly hoping to ease him through the early season as he looks ahead to a World Cup where England, Wales and Fiji loom in the opening round.

Quietly spoken, Palu prefers to express himself through his actions on the field but might have been talking about himself at his best when asked about the return of Douglas to the Wallabies fold.

“It’s good, I think he added a lot to us at the Tahs last year, so I think he’ll add a lot to the team,” Palu added.

“His physicality and his workrate, it’s probably something that the crowd won’t see a lot of, but when you play alongside him, you know how much he brings to the squad.”

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Reece Harding remembered as hero

Reece Harding died a hero.

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There are dozens of words that could describe the 23-year-old – joker, athlete, traveller – but for his family and friends, it is his legacy that must be carried on in the place of mere words.

His father Keith knew his son was adventurous years ago. As an 18-month-old, Reece scaled a ladder to join his father working on the roof of the family home.

It was Reece’s compassion and adventurous nature that drove him to travel to Syria to fight alongside Kurdish forces against Islamic State militants – a journey that ultimately ended his life when he stepped on a mine.

Before hundreds who gathered at The Dream Centre Christian Church to celebrate his life on Saturday, Reece was remembered as a man who lived more in his 23 years than most people do in a lifetime.

“I know, Reece, you can’t speak,” Mr Harding said.

“But we will speak for you and further the cause you were passionate about. I love you, son, and I am so, so proud of you.”

Reece’s mother recalled how her heart melted when he first smiled at her as a six-week-old baby.

“There are no words to explain the pain I feel at losing you,” she said in a message read out by her youngest son Jordan.

“I will always feel a piece of me died with you that day.”

The family grieves for the milestones they can no longer share together.

For Jordan, it is his first legal drink after his 18th birthday that was to be shared with Reece, or standing tall beside him at Reece’s wedding, or becoming an uncle.

“His death may have left a bruise on all of our hearts, but I can comfortably say that he was at peace when he died,” Jordan said.

“If I could grow up to be half the man Reece was, I will be proud and content with my life.”

Jordan’s promise is to live his own life the way his brother did.

Such is Reece’s legacy that his death has formed a permanent bond between his family and the community for which he sacrificed his life.

Deniz Ozer, on behalf of the Kurdish community, said there were no words to describe the admiration and love for Michele Harding – the mother of a hero.

But heroes, Mr Ozer said, should feel they can return to Australia safely.

The government has warned Australians they are committing a crime if they join the conflict, regardless of which side they fight on – a policy Mr Ozer said was ridiculous.

“Surely these ludicrous laws need to be changed,” he said, drawing applause.