Media and Events

CNN, BBC, ITN London, Ch4 UK, Today Show (US & Aust), ABC Insight, KMIR 6 Palm Springs TV with Gino LaMont, Ch 7 Sunrise, 7Pm Project, ABC Australian Story,  Ch9 A Current Affairs, Good Morning Australia, 9am with David and Kim... and international radio; including B105 FM, Radio National, 4BC Radio Drive Program, Triple M Radio, 6PR Howard Sattler, 2UE Steve Leibmann, 3AW Derryn Hinch,  ABC Richard Fidler, Margaret Throsby, Madonna King, Michael Smith, Barry Lynn 'Culture Shocks', Joey Reynolds NYC...... and countless Magazines and Print media including; Women's Day Magazine, New Idea Magazine, Marie Claire, WHO Magazine, Madison, Time Magazine, Soldier of Fortune, Fairfax and News Limited papers  ...


Updates

23 May 2017 Hostage to Humanitarian Presentation (Rotary)

11 March 2017 Super Women's Conference
As part of 2017 Queensland Women’s Week hosted by Madison Birtchell. Guest speakers: Kay Danes, OAM, The Hon. Yvette D'Ath State Attorney General and Minister for Justice, The Hon. Ros Bates MP Qld Shadow Child Safety Minister, Mr Bert van Manen MP Federal Member for Forde, Professor Ruth McPhail - Head of Department of Employment Relations & Human Resources Griffith University, Mr Matt McEachan MP Member for Redlands, Cr Julie Talty (Redlands Council). 

08 March 2017 Bond University Conference-  Resilience of Women (Click)

26 January 2017 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

24 October 2016 Induction into Golden Key International Honours Society (Click here)

12 October 2016 Take 5 magazine (3 page) Feature Story

21 July 2016 Former political prisoner Kay Danes hopes to inspire others with her story; Ellen-Maree Elliot, Quest Newspapers. Click here

05 August 2015
Interview New Zealand National Radio with Kathryn Ryan... Click here

06 July 2015
Interview 612 ABC with Sarah Kanowski ... ten years on... Click here

15 June 2014 Gold Coast Writer's Festival Luncheon with Kay Danes Click here

26 May 2014
Blank Gold Coast Magazine Interview;
Click here

30 May 2014 Australian Women and Leadership Symposium Women Who Dare.

08 Apr 2014 Women's Skills Bureau Interview; (Pdf page 7 & 8) Click here

04 Feb 2014 Laos Social Justice Advocate Kay Danes appointed to the Order of Australia. ABC Interview;  Click here for full story

26 Jan 2014 Interview on Queen's Birthday Honours - Kay Danes, OAM
Listen to interview
612 ABC

27 Jan 2014 - US Former National Security Advisor congratulates Kay on OAM. Click here



Some Coming Events

2017 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards 26 Jan 17 (click here)

2016 Australian Annual Rotaract Conference (Brisbane) 15 Oct 16

Conference Program (Click here)

2016 Australian Bravery Association (Qld) Annual Dinner (Gold Coast) 15 Oct 16
Surfers Paradise RSL.

2015 ANNUAL STATE CONFERENCE
“INSPIRATION, PASSION & EMPATHY”

Guest speakers Pip Courtney & Kay Danes OAM who will inspire you with their passion and life experiences! The Alliance of Celebrants Queensland Inc extends an invitation for you to attend -

Sunday 23 August 2015
New Inchcolm Hotel, 73 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane
REGISTRATION: 7.45am for 8.00am start rounding off the day at 4.15pm

http://acq.org.au/…/up…/ACQ-2015-Conference-Registration.pdf


What's ON in...September 2015

QUOTA INTERNATIONAL OF JIMBOOMBA Facebook Group Link:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1662580047308238/

A brief report on the District Conference in Goondiwindi - See more at: http://portal.clubrunner.ca/9826/Stories/a-brief-report-on-the-district-conference-in-goondiwindi#sthash.spILPn0Q.dpuf

2015 REPORT FROM ROTARY CONFERENCE 9640

A brief report on the District Conference in Goondiwindi
Posted by Franz Huber on Apr 20, 2015

Well, this is not going to be easy... I'm not Bryce Courtenay - I wish I was, so I could accurately describe the general mood of some 400 people listening to Kay Danes as she described her experiences of being captured, together with her husband Kerry (a SAS soldier) in Laos. Geneva Convention? Laos may have signed it, but they certainly had not told their internal security forces about it...  So, after being subjected to detention without charge, physical and mental violence, where would a nice young lady go next?  To Afghanistan to teach young girls...  Sorry you have missed it. You should have been there.  

Other Past Events

‘Women who Dare in Human Rights’,
Australian Women Leadership Symposium. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Presentation.


{C}{C}Sunshine Coast Regional Child Protection Week "Keeping Children Safe from Silent Predators. Forum Presentation. (Source)

Brisbane Writer's Festival. Session Villains or Heroes.
State Library of Queensland. Former hostages Nigel Brennan and Kay Danes, along with Canadian journalist Jay Bahadur, discuss captivity. Who are the heroes and who are the villains? Is it possible to be both?

 

ZONTA Club of Southern Gold Coast Tweed Inc Conference:
Advancing the Status of Women World Wide. Guest presenter Kay Danes.
(Source)

 

The Leukemia Foundation of QLD expressed its appreciation to Kay Danes for her presentations (inclusive PowerPoint) in support of the Foundation's “Mission to Care and Vision for Cure” campaign.

A brief report on the District Conference in Goondiwindi
Well, this is not going to be easy... I'm not Bryce Courtenay - I wish I was, so I could accurately describe the general mood of some 400 people listening to Kay Danes as she described her experiences of being captured, together with her husband Kerry (a SAS soldier) in Laos. Geneva Convention? Laos may have signed it, but they certainly had not told their internal security forces about it...  So, after being subjected to detention without charge, physical and mental violence, where would a nice young lady go next?  To Afghanistan to teach young girls...  Sorry you have missed it. You should have been there.  
- See more at: http://portal.clubrunner.ca/9826/Stories/a-brief-report-on-the-district-conference-in-goondiwindi#sthash.spILPn0Q.dpuf

A brief report on the District Conference in Goondiwindi
Well, this is not going to be easy... I'm not Bryce Courtenay - I wish I was, so I could accurately describe the general mood of some 400 people listening to Kay Danes as she described her experiences of being captured, together with her husband Kerry (a SAS soldier) in Laos. Geneva Convention? Laos may have signed it, but they certainly had not told their internal security forces about it...  So, after being subjected to detention without charge, physical and mental violence, where would a nice young lady go next?  To Afghanistan to teach young girls...  Sorry you have missed it. You should have been there.  
- See more at: http://portal.clubrunner.ca/9826/Stories/a-brief-report-on-the-district-conference-in-goondiwindi#sthash.spILPn0Q.dpuf

AUSTRALIA DAY HONOURS 2014

Kay Danes - A passion for social justice

By

KAY Danes, of Wellington Point, has been honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community through promoting social justice and human rights.

An author and humanitarian, Kay has been living between Australia and the Middle East for two years, as her husband Kerry, a member of the Australian Defence Force, is on deployment in the Middle East.

She has worked tirelessly for many years in Australia and overseas, raising awareness of human rights and social justice, having experienced the violation of her own human rights 13 years ago when she and her husband Kerry, while working for a security company in Laos, were unlawfully detained over a dispute between the Laotian Government and one of their clients. They spent almost 12 months in a prison in Laos, where they were tortured and interrogated before diplomatic efforts secured their release, and a pardon was given by the President of Laos.

Among the many projects on which she has worked, Kay, who is completing her master’s in human rights, has helped create greater safety for Australian travellers by helping to educate the community about not expecting to find in other countries the same judicial processes as those found in Australia, and has run campaigns to improve health and education for people who live in poverty and those affected by war zones and conflict.

In Australia, she also campaigns to improve literacy among indigenous Australians and supports the Soldier On charity, which assists Australian soldiers who were wounded in Afghanistan.

She has helped renovate a women’s prison in Afghanistan, and has also been a volunteer consultant to the National Human Rights Commission of Australia, the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties and the Secretary to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.

Kay is currently starting a project called Blankets and Books, which aims to supply orphans in Jordan with care packages containing books, a blanket, small toys, crayons, pyjamas and more.

She said receiving the OAM didn’t “seem quite real”.

“It’s hard to describe the feeling, but I’m really proud that whoever nominated me and whoever selected me thought me worthy of this award,” she said.

Kay attributed her drive to help others to her parents, who were self-funded missionaries in the Philippines.
 


Southeast Asia Globe Magazine

“I provided a map of the prison to the CIA so they would know where to start looking for other Hmong”

Australian Kay Danes suffered unlawful imprisonment and torture in Laos at the hands of communist officials back in 2000, but came out of the ordeal with a message for the world. Now, she has been honoured with the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia for her social justice and human rights work

By Jemma Galvin

How do you feel about receiving the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)?

I feel very humbled to be acknowledged in this way by the Australian people. It is an incredible honour. The award is the most prestigious means of recognising outstanding members of the community in Australia. The Queen of England established itand it is an honour not bestowed lightly, nor can it be awarded to anyone who has a criminal conviction, even those pardoned. The fact that I have been awarded an OAM speaks volumes. It not only restores my dignity and reputation, it renews my commitment to continuing to strengthen human rights throughout the world as imperative to civil societies.

What was the most terrifying part of your ordeal behind bars in Laos?

Watching my husband being tortured and not knowing if he would survive; being separated from my three children; and witnessing the torture of fellow prisoners every day. I can still hear their screams. Then there’s saying goodbye to a child who is to be executed for simply wanting democracy. How could anyone say
this is humane?

How did being tortured affect your outlook on life and humanity?

I was literally sickened by what I saw, particularly the persecution of Hmong who were subjected to the worst treatment. The military moves them from camp to camp every four years or so, to keep their whereabouts a secret. Many are trucked under canopies to the northern camps. Authorities say they don’t kill people, but when you don’t allow families to bring in food and medicine, then how is a human meant to endure? I saw how cruel some Laotians can be, but they don’t represent the majority. Freedom for me now comes with a responsibility to act and to question Laos’ continued denial of human rights violations and torture.

What is your opinion on the disappearance of Sombath Somphone? 

Laos is run by an authoritarian communist government that opposes any idea of innovative leadership. Sombath encouraged freethinking and for the youth to be “drivers of change and transformation”. He said this in a public address to the Asia-Europe People’s Forum just two months before his disappearance; less than this would have seen him arrested. If he has survived, I personally believe he may be in the most secretive political prison in Laos that is reserved for the most dangerous political activists. The prison is not far from the famous Vieng Xai Caves of Sam Neua. Years ago, I provided a map of the prison to the CIA so that they would know where to start looking for other Hmong who had vanished. The Laos government denied their arrest, despite confirmation from reliable sources.  It is possible that Sombath is still alive. Political prisoners have been known to turn up in Thailand and elsewhere.

What are the most worrying human rights abuses that are occurring in the world today?

The atrocities committed against women and children are particularly abhorrent. It is most worrying that these abuses continue in countries such as Laos, and no one pays any mind to it because it doesn’t rate highly on the world’s political radar. In Laos, anyone who speaks out against corruption can disappear. The great super powers do nothing and continue to give billions of dollars in foreign aid to the regime.

Original story: Click here
 


Jailed, lauded, striving for change | Kay Danes

Blank Gold Coast Magazine

In 2001, Kay Danes and her husband, Kerry were jailed in Laos for 10 months falsely accused of gemstone smuggling and only released following Australian Government intervention. Despite her ordeal and suffering post traumatic stress disorder after her release, Kay Danes has since worked as a human rights advocate, and this year received an OAM for her work. She is a Patron of the Gold Coast Writers’ Association, and will be a keynote speaker at their Literary Luncheon in June.



Congratulations on your Medal of the Order of Australia. Can you tell us about your humanitarian work that led to this honour?

I was awarded the Medal for the many years I have worked in Australia and overseas, raising awareness of human rights and social justice. I have always held a strong interest in assisting vulnerable communities, particularly where the rights of women and children are at risk. I have participated in numerous development projects based on the UN Millennium Development goals (promoting gender equality, improving global health standards and education, eradicating poverty and infectious diseases.)

I was recognised for my contributions to social justice, particularly in relation to raising awareness about issues concerning political prisoners, victims of extra-judicial abduction, forced disappearance and torture. I also campaign to improve literacy among Indigenous Australians, and I contribute to Defence and Defence related charities to support soldiers affected by Post Traumatic Stress.

How did you come to be patron of the Gold Coast Writer’s Association?

I first came into contact with the Association as a guest speaker at one of their monthly meetings. At the time, I was speaking at quite a few GC events promoting various humanitarians causes. The GCWA gave me tremendous support as a writer and from there our relationship grew. I haven’t lived on the GC for a number of years but I have a property at Tallebudgerra  which I hope one day to return to. Being named a Patron of such a premier association is a real honour: they have a wealth of talented writers and the committee are fabulous. They have created a professional environment for writers to harness their creativity, exchange ideas, broaden their horizons and explore a range of opportunities that exist in the ever-changing world of publishing.

You are currently living in Saudi Arabia while your husband Kerry is on deployment there with the Australian Defence Force. What projects are you involved in whilst there?

When I first arrived in Saudi three years ago, I was contracted as a Human Resources Manager for a British agency until their staff member arrived. When that contract concluded I was offered a contract as a Special Projects Officer with an Australian agency. I made a decision to leave the workforce in favour of focussing on completing my Masters degree in Human Rights (International Affairs) online through Curtin University (WA), and to take advantage of the travel opportunities of the middle-east region. This allows me to broaden my understanding of middle-eastern cultures, language and human rights in the region. There have been some significant developments in human rights here and its very exciting to be in a position to witness it first hand. I also contribute to local aid initiatives, mostly in support women and children.

While Kerry was on a tour of Afghanistan, you travelled through the war torn countryside and the result was the book Beneath the Pale Blue Burqa. Tell us about the plight of Afghan women and girls then, and what the future holds for these women.

DSC00149 WEBIt was an amazing experience travelling throughout Afghanistan with our team of Rotarians delivering humanitarian aid, food supplies and learning materials to people who were completely devastated by war. We helped build learning centres, drinking wells, conducted health and education seminars and developed small projects designed to build sustainable income for Afghan families. Despite all its shortcomings, Afghanistan is a promising country with an abundance of good people. Education is the key and there has been significant change there when you consider that in the early 1990s less than 1 million children had access to education – mostly boys. Since then around 6 million are now in school, 36% of students are girls. Gender inequality remains a concern for many but Afghan women are courageous and resilient. Much of their hope lies on getting a government that will be more willing to embrace change. For the first time, a woman, Habiba Sarobi, is running for Vice-President. This has given many Afghan women a great deal of hope for a better future.

How does this compare to the future for women in Saudi Arabia?

I find it quite exciting to observe the ongoing discourse between the Saudi Human Rights Council and the Saudi Government. There is a real willingness to exchange ideas and there have been modest reforms that have impacted on women’s rights. For years the west has been saying women in the middle east need liberating because of the way they dress but many Saudi women have told me that the focus should be on creating opportunities to advance their social status, which relates to everything other than dress. Many are active participants in areas of government and private enterprise. Women here are involved in development issues relating to gender equality, furthering the discourse on family, safety and education. When one focuses on the issue of how a woman dresses then other vital conversations are diminished. As for other life achievements, there have been many Saudi women breaking the glass ceiling. In 2013, a Saudi woman became the first woman in her country to climb Mt Everest. Earlier this year, the Government granted permission for the very first Saudi women’s law firm, to represent women on issues relating to labour cases and business disputes. Saudi women work as cashiers in shopping malls now which is a significant step and 39% of women are government employees. The Princess Noura University is one of the biggest all female universities in the world covering 800ha of land, offering free education to all who attend. It has state of the art facilities, a solar farm, and even its own 4.5km campus monorail system with free wifi.

You work with post traumatic stress disorder support groups for defense members and families through organisations such as Soldier On. How can Australia improve its support for returned servicemen and women?

A complex question which requires an in-depth response but the short answer lies in the way in which soldiers are treated following diagnosis. Those subjected to forced medical discharge often struggle with this transition. Many feel completely isolated from mates and a familiar environment. A forced medical discharge may also prevent later service in the Defence Force Reserves, once a return to health has been established. Creating a transition that maintains a soldier’s dignity and allows them to remain useful, even after service, is critical. Soldier On aims to help wounded soldiers find meaning in their lives, to help reconnect them during this often difficult transition period but they need funding to establish recovery centres nation-wide. Recognition for service is important too which is why I continue campaigning to seek official recognition to honour fallen soldiers and have raised over 32,000 signatures to support a proposal to support that initiative.

You must have suffered immense trauma whilst in Phonthong Prison in Laos in 2001. How did you and Kerry deal with that trauma upon your return to Australia?

It took me quite a few years to recover from our ordeal having been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and chronic depression. I found myself on a slippery slide of prescribed medications. Eventually I turned towards alternative treatments: meditation, fitness training, counselling. I found these worked better for me and eventually recovered. It helps to have a good network of supporters, family and friends in place because the effects of post traumatic stress can be exhausting. Sometimes life throws us challenges that we think are unbearable. There is no magic formula to surviving adversity and it may sound cliché I know, but you really just have to keep fighting to get up whenever life knocks you down.

How did you come to support Gold Coast woman Shapelle Corby in Kerobokan Prison, Bali?

I do a great deal of social justice advocacy with the Foreign Prisoner Support Service and it was through this that I first came into contact with the Corbys. I tried to offer advice to Schapelle’s legal team in the hope of impressing upon them some of the challenges they would encounter dealing with a foreign jurisdiction. Many other academics and legal human rights experts also with experience and runs on the board, tried to give their best advice but none of it made any impression on the Corbys. They wanted to do things their way which is their right but my advice for anyone who intends to travel overseas is that they need to know that they leave behind their country’s legal support systems. If arrested overseas, regardless of innocence or guilt, you should engage experienced legal representatives who can offer sound legal and media strategies combined with diplomatic solutions to secure best outcomes. Amateur online campaigns, fist waving and sensational media exclusives do nothing to improve a prisoner’s situation.

Does the Foreign Prisoner Support Service work with Queenslander and Al Jazeera English journalist Peter Greste, while he is in prison in Egypt?

Our advocates continue to support this campaign in the hope that concerted efforts will achieve a good outcome for Peter and his family but such issues are complex and in this case, highly political. It is important to allow the judicial process to play out and for everyone to make sure their comments are not inflammatory.

What does the future hold for Kay Danes?

This is my final year of living in the middle-east and I’m not sure what I will be doing when I return to Australia but I aim to continue advancing the human rights conversation, particularly in the hope that it can become a normative element of our school curriculum. Human rights are the foundation of civil societies and set the guidelines on how we ought to act towards one another. I hope that my experiences abroad will value add to those conversations and benefit our community in some way!

- – - – -
Read about Princess Naura University at pnuproject.com/.
Read about Soldier On at soldieron.org.au.
Get informed about Peter Greste’s case at tinyurl.com/blankGRESTE or at the Free Peter Greste FB page.
See Kay Danes at the Literary Luncheon on 15 June. Visit goldcoastwritersfestival.com.au for all the details.

 


Interview: 'Hostage to Humanitarian' with Kay Danes. 

 
Interview: 'Aid Work in Afghanistan' with Kay Danes


Interview: 'Families Behind Bars' with Kay Danes



Kay Danes on Perth Radio
Howard Sattler
Audio Pt1
- Audio Pt2

 

Kay Danes speaking at Conrad Jupiter's
26 October 2010

25 October 2010
Australian Federal MP Andrew Laming acknowledges Kay Danes in Parliament (about 4mins into clip).

CNN Interview 2009
Death Penalty Case in Laos

14:23 mins into video
New evidence proves Danes innocence


Breakfast with Spencer Howson (Jan 2014 Honours Award)

Listen to Interview


Australians In Overseas Prisons
Radio National 30 June 2014
Download
 

Kay Danes announced as "Australian of the Year" State finalist (2012)

ABC Gold and Sunshine Coast story:

"I am truly honoured to have been nominated alongside the likes of Cadel Evans and Daniel Morcombe's parents for this award and when they announced the Morcombe's as the winner I was so thrilled for them as they are such inspirations to Australians everywhere." Kay Danes
 
http://www.australianoftheyear.org.au/recipients/?m=kay-danes-2012

Kay Danes appeared at the Brisbane Writer's Festival

Saturday 10 September 2011

Newsflash: Kay Danes was watching with interest when news emerged of the final fate of terror leader Osama bin Laden.Courier Mail May 6, 2011 Bin Laden Slept here

Special May Feature:  Rotarian Life Magazine (May 2011) See pages 22 & 23

Special Feature Story: Australian Peacekeeper Magazine (Winter 2011). In this month's edition (page 16 & 17) Australian Author Kay Danes featured - Lighting the Way for Afghanistan. Click here
 
Special August 2011 Feature: Mayoral Prayer Breakfast with Kay Danes Read story here.
 
 
Women's Words of Wisdom, Power & Passion

by Karen Phillips

Featuring 50 of Australia's most influential women ... Kay Danes, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Miranda Kerr, Olivia Newton-John, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Terri Irwin, Kasey Chambers, Tara Moss, Karni Liddell ... 'Women's Words of Wisdom, Power and Passion' Women's Words Website


Women on Top … against the odds

by Terri M Cooper and Sally Healey
Foreward written by Kay Danes

This book is the first in a series, profiling the inspirational Australian women who have overcome obstacles or personal challenges and sometimes made gut-wrenching choices in order to follow a dream. The stories are diverse and compelling, and resonate with honesty, heart and humour.
 

"I was truly honoured to have been invited to write the Foreword for this book
and to attend the launch on 14 June 2011 with well over 170 people" - Kay Danes
 
 
Sunday Mail Special Feature
November 2010


Lifting the Veil on a Country in Crisis
by Darly Passmore

Read full article Here

 
Freedom Fighter

The Danes spent almost 11 months illegally detained in a prison in the Lao capital of Vientiane 2000 - 2001
IN the cramped confines of the 3m x 3m cell she shared with five other inmates for almost 11 months is a sewage tank stamped with Kay Danes' footprints.

Day after day, week after week, month after month, and despite the foul vapours it emitted, this grubby tank was Kay's form of escape.

"God, did it stink?" she recalls, this time speaking from the more expansive surroundings of her and husband Kerry's Wellington Point home. The living room is tastefully decorated with artwork from Thailand, Laos and Afghanistan, the centrepiece a glorious rug once the property of an Afghan warlord.

"I'd jump on the tank for an hour every morning and another hour in the afternoon and I'd run on the spot, always visualising myself in another place," she continues. "I could tell you exactly the journey I was running, the people and the places I could see along the way.

"We knew we were innocent and the Australian Government knew we were innocent. That's why foreign minister Alexander Downer sent a task force over to negotiate our release, the first time an entire government had been activated in such a high-level way to get its citizens home.

"Yet for all that there was no concealing how dismal the situation was. Both Kerry and I had been unlawfully arrested and detained, then wrongfully convicted and sentenced to seven years in that place ... in that place.

"So I ran on the spot on that sewage tank to maintain my sanity and to build up my physical fitness because, if our government couldn't get us out, couldn't find a way around the Lao government's need to save face, there was no way Kerry and I were staying there.


Click Here to Read Full Story

 
Zonta Club of Southern Gold Coast Tweed

From our initial email right through to our Zonta International Women’s Day Breakfast, Kay Danes would have to have been the most willing and helpful guest speaker that we have ever had the pleasure to organize.  Kay helped contributed enormously to the breakfast by contacting many media avenues such as newspapers and radio stations – not to mention her connections with Rotary and other notable charities. These actions, on her behalf, certainly boosted our guest numbers on the day.

Kay spoke both personally and professionally and was a natural at captivating her audience. After the breakfast Kay remained to talk with guests and personally sign books for them, for which they were ever so grateful. We can confidently recommend Kay as a key note speaker for any such occasion.


On behalf of ZONTA Club of Southern Gold Coast Tweed Inc
Carolyn Gilmore
 
 Click here for full story and photos

Kay speaks on Aussie to face execution in Kabul?
 2UE | 27 January, 2010

Former Australian soldier Robert Langdon has been sentenced to death in Kabul for murdering an Afghan security guard. Human Rights activist Kay Danes talks to Steve Liebmann on the chance of an act of grace release.

Kay Danes addresses US National Press Club on Secret Prisons in Laos
12 August 2009

Kay Danes speaking at April 2009 National Policy Conference on Laos held at the National Press Club in Washngton, D.C.

'I would like to raise my continued growing concerns for the three U.S. Citizens that went missing in Laos August 25th, 2007, following arrest,” said Kay Danes, Advocate, with the Foreign Prisoner Support Service. “These men have not returned to the United States, to their families.”

(live-PR.com)


Australian Kay Danes, an author and human rights advocate, has issued an appeal regarding her concerns about prisoners still jailed in harsh conditions in the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR), including three St. Paul, Minnesota Americans. The three, including Hakit Yang, are United States’ citizens of Lao Hmong descent.

Danes has also raised concerns about the case of United Kingdom (U.K.) citizen John Watson who was moved to an unknown prison in Laos recent for allegedly helping fellow-prisoner Samantha Orobator, also a U.K. citizen.

Mr. Hakit Yang, Congshineng Yang, and Trillion Yunhaison, all Hmong-American citizens from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, were arrested and imprisoned by Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) military and security forces in August of 2007 after traveling from St. Paul as tourists seeking potential business investment opportunities in Laos.

Ms. Orobator was recently released from horrific prison conditions in Laos, from Laos’ notorious Phonthong Prison in Vientiane, after a major diplomatic effort was undertaken by the U.K. government to help negotiate her release.click here

‘I would like to raise my continued growing concerns for the three U.S. Citizens that went missing in Laos August 25th, 2007, following arrest,” said Kay Danes, Advocate, with the Foreign Prisoner Support Service. “These men have not returned to the United States, to their families.”


Click Here for complete story
Childlight Foundation DVD 2008
If you have a few moments please view my amazing trip to Afghanistan as a team member of the Childlight Foundation for Afghan Children. See the incredible things we are achieving through our registered Charity called the Childlight Foundation, and the wonderful people we have met along the way.

Your support is most welcome as we continue to help thousands who would otherwise struggle!

Childlight Foundation for Afghan Children
www.childlightfoundation.org

Click Here for Video Part 1 - Click Here for Video Part 2
Kay Danes on Radio National - 20 July 2009
Kay Danes, survivor of a Laos prison

20 July 2009

In 2001 Kay and her husband Kerry were jailed in Laos accused of embezzlement. They have alleged that they were abused, tortured, threatened and attempts were made to extort them into confessing. Kay Danes has just written an account of their saga in a book: "Standing Ground". She told Phil Kafcaloudes that the process of telling the story has been emotionally mixed for her.

Listen to the Show - Download the MP3
Radio Podcasts in May 2009:
Monday 4th May 2009 - 11:30am [EST] on ABC's Mornings with Leon Compton in 'The Guestroom' click here

Tuesday May 5th - on 2st Radio Nowra at 10am with Murray " Musty " Peters Mornings On The Coast 10am - 2pm - click here

Thursday, 7 May 2009 at 9pm (LIVE) with Steve Austin on popular Brisbane radio 612 ABC click here

Kay Danes, Sheng Xiong to Speak About Laos, Hmong Human Rights Issues

"The current plight of the Laotian and Hmong people, both in Thailand and Laos, continues to alarm many in the international community," said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C. "Kay Danes new book "Standing Ground' and her visit to Washington, D.C. and the United States to address U.S. policymakers about current issues in Laos comes at a very important and pivotal time," continued Smith.

(Media-Newswire.com) - Washington, D.C., April 16, 2009 - The Center for Public Policy Analysis ( CPPA ) will sponsor a National Policy Conference and Press Conference from 8:30 A.M.-11:00 A.M., on Thursday, April 16, 2009, at the Zenger Room of the National Press Club ( 529 14th Street N.W., Washington, DC 20045 ).

The National Policy Conference and Press Conference will be organized in a panel discussion format and is entitled: "Laos, Hmong Crisis: Refugees, Political Prisoners and Human Rights Violations in Thailand and Laos."

"The current plight of the Laotian and Hmong people, both in Thailand and Laos, continues to alarm many in the international community," said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C. "Kay Danes new book ‘Standing Ground' and her visit to Washington, D.C. and the United States to address U.S. policymakers about current issues in Laos comes at a very important and pivotal time," continued Smith.

"The health and well being of Hakit Yang, and the two other Hmong-American citizens from St. Paul Minnesota that he was traveling with in 2007 when they were arrested by Lao military and security forces, continues to remain an issue to their families and many in the Lao Hmong-American community," Smith stated. "Like Kay Danes, they were jailed and tortured in the notorious Phongtong Prison in Vientiane, Laos, by the Lao government while the outside world ignored their terrible fate."


Click Here for full story


 

 

Australia’s Kay Danes will be participating in 8 sessions at the 61st Conference on World Affairs and 1 Concurrent Event sponsored by the Law Club.

(Panelists are generally placed on sessions according to their expertise but there are also a couple of sessions where they may be placed outside their field of expertise.)

An Australian First; Aussie Author speaks at US Conference on World Affairs


 Australian author of the best selling work 'Families Behind Bars', Kay Danes, has officially been invited to be a panelist at the 61st Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado USA. The event runs over five days from April 5 - 10, 2009 and attracts audiences of more than 75,000. Previous guest speakers have included Eleanor Roosevelt and current Vice-President elect Joe Biden.

Recognised as one of Australia's Top Social Justice Ambassadors', Kay Danes will be sharing her own inspirational survival story as a former prisoner.


Only a select few are invited each year to speak at the US Conference on World Affairs that was founded in 1948 as a forum encompassing the arts, media, science, diplomacy, politics, business, human rights, and so on. Roger Ebert, who has participated in the CWA for thirty-eight consecutive years, refers to the CWA as “the Conference on Everything Conceivable.”

Kay Danes will be the first Australian to have attended this prestigious event. Her personal survival story is inspirational. Her continued motivation to help others endure their own struggles is moving. Her diplomatic and volunteer efforts have earned her the respect, and the ear of, some of the world's most prominent individuals and government figures.

Australians can be proud of this courageous young woman who continues to try and make the world a better place.


About the CWA:
...click here - Past Participants: ...click here

Kay Danes speaks on National Radio
Tonight at 8:30PM [Sydney Time] or 7:30pm Brisbane time.....
Sunday 30, November 2008

Kay Danes will be appearing on Australian radio - 2GB (873) programme 'Sunday Nights with Rev Bill Crew'. Talking about the plight of families behind bars and the challenges they face when there is seemingly little hope in an otherwise desperate situation. The programme has consistently been the highest-rating Sunday night radio show in the Sydney market, with an audience of 100,000 listeners.
click here

The programme will be available on podcast for those who are unable to listen live: click here


Kay Danes Speaks at the Villa Club

 Patsy Rowe invites you to join her on friday 22nd August 6:45am at The Villa Women's breakfast.

The guest speaker will be Kay Danes, who with her husband Kerry, was arrested and thrown into a filthy, rat-infested Laos prison where she languished until the Australian government negotiated her release.

Click Here to view flyer

 

 


KAY DANES INTERVIEW

Date Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 10:36PM

We catch-up with Kay Danes ...who was working as a security advisor in Laos in 2000 when her husband was abducted from his office by secret police. She fled with her two youngest children to the border but was intercepted by the same police, separated from her children and sent to an undisclosed location.

Held hostage for 10 months, Kay and her husband endured torture and ill treatment, and witnessed unspeakable human rights violations. Kay drew on the strength of her husband Kerry (held in a cell only metres away), and the spirit of her fellow political prisoners, in order to survive while the Australian government tried desperately to have them freed.

On November 9, 2001, Kay and Kerry returned home to their children. It’s a miracle they survived. ..


Why and how were you and your husband arrested in Laos in the first place?

In December 2000, in defiance of international law, my husband Kerry, the Managing Director of a British security company based in Laos, was abducted from his office by secret police. He was taken to an undisclosed location where interrogators tried, unsuccessfully, to make him sign a false statement against one of his clients, to support their legal nationalisation of Gem Mining Laos, a US$2 billion sapphire mining company.

When all attempts failed, I was detained. The Laos police thought this would coerce my husband into signing. Little did they know Kerry had spent the last 20 years in the Australian Special Forces, the elite Special Air Service Regiment (SAS).

The Lao police told the media that we were detained for 'investigation over missing gems' but this was merely a smokescreen to buy them more time to nationalise Gem Mining Lao. No gems were ever missing and in fact, the 1.7 tonne of saphires our company directed, by the Lao government to safeguard during its investigation of our client, was handed over to authorities three weeks prior to our unlawful detainment.


Nothing was missing. Nothing was stolen. Our reputations were ruined because the media didn't know what was going on and their headlines perpetuated a lie put out by the Lao secret police. Thankfull the Australian Government knew the truth, which at the time was all that mattered to us anyway!


How old were your children when you were captured in 2000?

Sahra 11, Nathan 7 and Jessica 14?


What happened to your children when you were detained?

They returned home to Australia to my parents [Ernie and Noela Stewart of Birkdale Qld]. The Australian Embassy secretly evacuated them from Laos on Christmas day.. my mum’s birthday. I was taken to the prison that afternoon when the Laos police learned that the children were gone.

How did you deal with the separation from your children, and were you able to see or communicate with them during that time?

I was completely cut off from my children for three whole months. It was at a consular access meeting that we [Kerry and I] were taken from the prison to meet the Australian Ambassador Jonathan Thwaites. Jonathan smiled and handed me his phone. ‘They’ve given you permission … but only five minutes,’ he responded. My God, had it really been three months since I waved goodbye to them that day? Where had the time gone? And yet it felt to me as if a lifetime had passed as I endured each day without ever knowing if our kids were okay, truly okay. My hand shook as I took the phone from Louise. My heart pounded in my chest. My world spun as I heard our eldest daughter’s voice for the first time in months.

I listened to the heartbreak in my children’s’ voices as they took turns to tell me how they were. I listened and I cried because they cried. I wanted to tell my family everything I’d seen and endured. I wanted them to know that they locked us in cages, mocking us through the bars. I wanted to tell them that the blue sky shone above me when they let me outside my cell, but the birds that flew overhead only reminded me of how much I longed to be free. My seven-year-old son wailed my name in anguish when I spoke to him that very first time. I couldn’t reach out to comfort him. I wanted to tell him it had all just been a bad dream. But that was impossible. My son was thousands of miles away.


You ran an International Bodyguard business for expatriots when you were captured in Laos? Did this background work for or against you during your imprisonment?

It didn’t matter because the Lao police knew who we were and what we did. I think having a security background helped because I was conditioned to stay calm in difficult situations, even when terrified.


Have you ever feared for your life, either while imprisoned or throughout your working life?

Of course the security industry is a dangerous business and there were often times when I operated in very high risk environments but I have always been confident in my ability and the capabilities of my associates. Certainly in the prison I thought that I would be killed during interrogations and at other times feared for my life when the interrogators became frustrated that they could not force us to sign false statements against our client. I feared that there would be a fire too in our cell block and we would all burn alive. I feared that the mosquitoes riddled with dengue fever would infect me and I would die just like Mr. Kylie died [Sri Lankan], who was jailed because his friend skipped on a $200 dollar phone bill and the landlord paid police to put Mr. Kylie in jail. He died right in front of me when I was trying to save his life.


How have you managed to instill a sense of security, trust and freedom within your family since your return (from prison?)

We have all come through this ordeal tremendously. My children are of course our greatest inspiration. They never gave up and they always kept remarkable spirits.


How did your experience in Laos prepare you for your second book, Families Behind Bars?

As a recognised International Humanitarian and Author I am fortunate to have many opportunities that enable me to share my views on social justice and human rights worldwide, to make a difference to other people’s lives. I receive emails everyday from families all over the world; many of them have experienced the trauma of having a loved one detained in a foreign prison. I wanted to give them a voice, to share their real life accounts that are uniquely inspirational, shockingly heartbreaking and will make others appreciate how fragile our lives really are. We may, without any warning, be plunged into a rollercoaster of despair, at no fault of our own. I never gave much thought to the importance of our human and civil rights until ours were completely violated when my husband and I were subjected to unlawful detainment and torture. I strongly believe as a consequence, that we cannot assume that we are immune from human rights violations. We cannot afford to think that bad things happen only to bad people. After all, maybe one day something quite tragic, completely unexpected or unavoidable may happen to someone we love, as it did to my family.

I hope Families Behind Bars will encourage others to think outside their comfort zone and to think about the choices they make. A split-second decision or failure to really think about the consequences can change their lives forever. But I also hope to raise the level of empathy we have towards each other, in our communities, so that we truly grasp that humans inevitably make mistakes and the majority of us can and do learn from them. We can also learn to put our troubles aside for a moment and extend a helping hand to someone who is down on their luck or in way over their head. It makes the world not as cold and harsh as it sometimes seems. This book is about the resilience of families who endure despite the odds. I hope that these stories will help give courage to others so that they endure whatever struggles they too might be facing.

 





Brian Straker and Kay Danes - Redland Probus

Kay Danes, Andrew Laming MP and Olesja Laming Angus & Roberston Book store signing


Meeting comes six years after their ordeal

Kay Danes thanks Foreign Minister Alexander Downer (right) for bringing them home. She is pictured with her children (background) and Federal MP Andrew Laming (left).

IN an interview with the Bayside Weekly, Ms Danes said she was completely ‘overjoyed’ to finally meet Mr Downer.

"This is the first time I have met him face to face," she said."I have been waiting six years to meet him."
The meeting took place at the Icon Bar in Cleveland, where Mr Downer was meeting with Redlands residents as part of current Federal Member Andrew Laming’s re-election campaign.

When introduced, Ms Danes said she asked Mr Downer if he knew who she was.

"I was just overjoyed, it was very emotional, and I was extremely nervous," she said."

I told him I wanted to thank him from the bottom of my heart and he said he was so glad to be able to bring us back home."

While at the Icon Bar, Mr Downer addressed the crowd and said "Kay and Kerry Danes were completely innocent." Ms Danes said "For him to get up and say that and put it into words meant so much."

While in the Redlands with Andrew Laming, Mr Downer met with the media and local residents at Capalaba Park Shopping Centre.

He said it would be a ‘tough’ battle to hold onto the current Liberal seat of Bowman, and said it was not considered a ‘safe’ seat.

Bayside Weekly Magazine.


International Author and Human Rights Advocate Kay Danes presents awards to the winners of the 2007 'Most Outstanding Woman Making a Difference Award'.

Two of the Event's Award Winners Nominee Carolyn Santagiuliana [Left], Kay Danes [centre] and Category Winner Cassandra Steer [Right]
As the 2006 Inaugural winner of the Women Making a Difference Award and Category winner for Social Justice and Human Rights, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate all of the nominees for the 2007 Awards. The Redlands has a wealth of incredibly talented women who have an amazing ability of working harmoniously together for the betterment of our community and themselves. This is a valuable resource that we should all hold in the highest regard.

These women may be an executive sharing management skills with a community group, a retiree becoming a surrogate grandmother to local children who don't have grandparents living nearby, a mother who champions the cause of adoption, a wild life warrior, or a woman with no previous experience in running her own business but finds success with hard work and persistence.

I am honoured to stand alongside other women in the Redlands who genuinely hope to make our community a better place to live. Their success stories are incredibly inspiring and prove to us all that we can overcome the seemingly impossible tasks in everyday life.

Kay Danes

International Human Rights Advocate & Author
2006 WMAD Overall Award Winner
2006 WMAD Category Winner Social Justice/Human Rights
www.kaydanes.com

WeR1 Multicultural Social Group
'Bad things do happen to Good People' - we cannot take our freedoms for granted.

click to read


click to read

At our next meeting, 17th August 2007, Kay Danes will be talking about her experiences in Laos. Kay Danes is known throughout the world as an international humanitarian and best selling author of Nightmare in Laos, a novel based on Kay's own real life experiences as a woman unlawfully detained in a communist prison. Kay has appeared prominently throughout the world on numerous television and radio programs, media and magazine publications. Kay was twice a guest speaker at US Congressional Forums and has a distinguished public speaking portfolio. Her personal courage to survive adversity and injustice has given hope to many. Her journey will make you believe that you can achieve the seemingly impossible and overcome many of life's obstacles you encounter.

If you're interested in meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures then come along to WeR1. Supported by the Redland Community Centre, we welcome everyone - whether migrant or not. Our aims are to promote multicultural friendship and understanding and help newcomers.

WeR1 meet at the Redlands Community Centre, 29 Loraine Street, Capalaba each Friday at 10 am to noon. Light refreshments served.

The group also holds evening and weekend events, so if you are unable to come to the Friday morning meetings, but would like to be informed about other activities, please call Karen on 3286 4514 or Bernie or Ling on 3821 6117, or email bernie@writeon.com.au to receive the email newsletter.

 

Redlands Sunrise Rotary Club Breakfast ...
with Best Selling Author - Kay Danes

From left to right: Alison Blomkamp [Rotary President], Kay Danes [Author], Jim Bernard [Rotary Sunrise Club Sergeant]
Rotary Club President Alison Blomkamp invited Author and International Humanitarian - Kay Danes, to attend the Sunrise Club as guest speaker - 04 July 2007.

The Sunrise Rotary Club is locally based in the Redlands and is part of Rotary International, a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world.

Kay shared various aspects of her life as a former prisoner detained unlawfully by a communist state and the path that her life has taken her since.

 

 

Kay Danes Appearance on Chanel 10 Morning Program
Network Ten's morning program, 9am with David & Kim hosted by David Reyne and Kim Watkins.

International Human Rights Advocate, Kay Danes, will be appearing on the morning program with the father of an Australian teenager who rang her mother to say she was sleeping over at a friend's house when in actual fact, she was bound for Hong Kong. Rachel ended up in a nightmare that now finds her serving a prison sentence for drug trafficking. At her a trial, she pleaded guilty but there was evidence she'd got cold feet and wasn't going to swallow the 114 packages of heroin worth AUD$200 each. She was sentenced by the Hong Kong judge; 10 years, eight months.

Tune in Monday, 25 June 2007Video download here

Kay Danes to speak at Life in Australia Seminars

Est. France - 1973, U3A is a world wide educational institute.

Presenting a rivetting presentation

'Nightmare in Laos'

Come along to John Butter's 'Life in Australia Seminars' to hear Kay Danes, a famous Australian woman falsely captured and imprisoned in SE Asia, speaking on human rights and life.

When: 18th June 9:30am
Event will be held at the Donald Simpson Centre, Cleveland.
Includes morning tea.

E-Mail: info@redlandsu3a.com.au
Web: http://www.redlandsu3a.com.au/contacts.html
Contact John Butters

Annual International Women's Day March 8, 2007
Sponsored by Crest Club of Bayside (Inc) with Soroptimist International Bayside.
Crest Club of Bayside Inc is a women's community service organisation committed to serving the local community & promoting personal development to providing means of expressing the needs & opinions of women. Soroptimist International is a worldwide organisation for women in management and the professions, working through service projects to advance human rights and the status of women.

Opening remarks by Kay Danes:

"International Women's Day is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments. For us to look ahead - to find our 'invincible selves - to tap into our untapped potential and seek out the opportunities that await us in the future.

Click Here for More of Kay's speech & Photo Gallery of the event.


Redlands Women's Expo
"Celebrating Women's Lives" 28 April 2007.
The Governor of Queensland, Ms Quentin Bryce officially opened the RWIN Expo which was attended by over 400 local residents and guests including; Minister for Women, Hon Margaret Keech, Redlands Mayor Don Secombe and a number of Redland Shire Councillors, Members of Parliament including; Michael Choi, Andrew Laming, and Phil Weightman. Author and International Human Rights Advocate, Kay Danes, attended as 2006 RWIN Award Winner 'Women Making a Difference' and representative for the plight of Political Prisoners in Laos. Photo Left = RWIN Expo Governor and Kay
Governor of Queensland, Ms Quentin Bryce with 2006 Award Winner 'Women Making a Difference' - Kay Danes. [Background Mayor Don Secombe]
Photo Right = RWIN Expo Author Stand
Kay Danes representing the plight of the Political People in Laos

Kay Danes on Australia Talksback
Tuesday 20 March 2007 - Prisoner Repatriation Treaty

Indonesia and Australia are on the verge of sealing a prisoner repatriation treaty - but do 'high-profile' Australian prisoners like Schapelle Corby actually want to return to an Australian jail? Will there be implications for other Australians serving prison sentences overseas?

Australia Talks Back is a daily national talkback program. It's a forum for the discussion of a specific topic with the involvement of expert guests, Radio National specialists and listeners, who can call on the toll-free number 1300 22 55 76 (1300 CALL RN) . Listen Online - Click Here

Introduction begins with an Interview between Paul Barclay and Author of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' - Debbie Singh. The journey to bring her brother home from a Thai prison under the country's first Prisoner Transfer Agreement.

Expert Panel
Dr. Adrian Vickers
University of Sydney

Professor Tim Lindsay
Director, Asian Law Centre
University of Melbourne

Kay Danes
Former Prisoner in Laos, now a family advocate at the Foreign Prisoners Support Service & Author 
Brisbane

Presenter
Paul Barclay - Walkley-award winning broadcaster and journalist

Australia Talks Back is a daily national talkback program. - click here


Maverick House Best Selling Authors attract large crowd at Perth International Writer's Festival [Feb 2007] - Australia.
For the very first time, two International Authors from Maverick House Publishers [UK], Kay Danes and Debbie Singh, attended as guest speakers to the prestigious Perth International Arts Writer's festival on 25 February 2007 Words and Ideas Program.

ABC Presenter Bernadette Young [720 ABC Perth] acted as panel host to an emotionally charged session called 'Life Interrupted' - the remarkable real life stories of Kay Danes and Debbie Singh.

Kay Danes, an International Human Rights Advocate and author of Nightmare in Laos - shared her amazing story about her own personal survival and how she managed to endure the daily horrors of inhuman imprisonment in a communist prison. The audience were silently captivated as Kay relived aspects of a journey that few could ever imagine surviving. Clearly the audience was deeply affected, some were in tears, others shocked and many were left inspired by her courage.

Debbie Singh, the author of the memoir You'll Never Walk Alone, told the audience about her courageous struggle to have her ailing brother released from the notorious 'Bangkok Hilton' prison in Thailand. Debbie's quiet strength and obvious determination shone throughout her presentation and caused the audience to wonder if they could have endured similar against such insurmountable odds.

Following a bombardment of questions and answers from the audience afterwards, the authors were given a rousing burst of applause before finally heading downstairs to the scheduled book signing.

It was noted by all as an event well worth attending!



Sunshine Coast TAFE proudly presents Kay Danes

Sunshine Coast TAFE proudly presents
KAY DANES

From political prisoner in Laos to international human rights activist and author.

A powerful and passionate story that will invigorate your community work practice!

Kay (pictured top left) survived unlawful incarceration in a communist prison, overcoming the horrors endured and coping with the resulting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression. She has single-handedly pursued her goals both in Australia and at the United Nations to alert the world to the genocide in Laos, the plight of its people and political prisoners, and the violations of international law and United Nations mandates. Kay has appeared on television and radio programs and was twice a guest speaker at US Congress.

Her personal courage has given hope to many people.

  • Venue: Mooloolaba campus Lecture theatre
    Day: Wednesday 15 November (9:00am—12:00 noon)
    Seating is limited
    Register now to secure your seat!































  •  





 
Women in Business: A Sobering Affair

ARTICLE

click here
22 August 2006 - The Women in Business Luncheon is held every three months and never falls short of being a great opportunity for women to connect and promote their businesses surrounded by friendly faces, splendid food and gorgeous settings such as the Shangri La Gardens, Wynnum Road, Wynnum West. Equally important, is the guaranteed opportunity to laugh amongst friends.

Last Tuesday, 22nd August however, was a sobering affair as the women listened, captivated, to hear the words of what truly was an inspirational and emotional speech. Guest speaker, Wynnum born, Kay Danes, revealed herself to be a woman of amazing strength and courage having suffered and lived through the nightmare of one of Laos's secret gulags.

Click here to read full story

 
REAL MAGAZINE : Published fortnightly by Burda Media and is available for £1 from most bookstores and newsagents in the UK. REAL is unlike any other title in the UK magazine market. It is a magazine that is beautiful to look at yet relevant to women's lives. REAL deals with issues closest to women's hearts and events that could change their lives.
  • Kay Danes Website - http://www.kaydanes.com

    On Fri 6 April 2006, I was guest speaker to the Financial Planning Association [FPA] at the 'Chifley at Lennons' in Brisbane [Australia]. The FPA is the peak professional body for Australia's financial planners, representing approximately 12,000 individuals and businesses.

    The topic - 'One woman's courage to survive against the odds'.

    I really enjoyed presenting at this prestigious event. We shared some laughs and some tears as I took them on a journey back in time, when my life had been completely turned upside down. I shared the stories of those who gave me the courage to survive. Ultimately, my story of survival is a testament to those still struggling in Laos.
    Click Here For Website


    A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do

    On Wed 5 April 2006, I was guest speaker to the Working Network Australia [WNA] business luncheon at the Hotel Grand Chancellor [Brisbane City]. The topic was A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do -

    This was an amazing event where I met many wonderful women who are empowered through the WNA to reach their full potential in business. I was grateful to Lynette Palmen AM for allowing me the opportunity to share my story.

    At times I wonder how on earth I did survive the journey through the communist death camp. However, I know that in each and every one of us, there lies a will stronger than fear. We can overcome the seemingly impossible if we focus on where we want to be, in my case free, and then believe that we can achieve it.

    I have since become a member of the Working Network Australia and encourage you to become a member as well.
    Click Here For Website


    Gold FM Radio Interview

    On 25 Jan 2006, I was invited to appear on one of Australia's newest talk back programs on regional radio, hosted by Jonelle McKenzie.

    "International speaker for Human Rights and author of Nightmare in Laos, Kay Danes, will speak about her horrific experiences as a prisoner in a communist prison where she endured torture and ill-treatment as Laotian authorities sought to extract a false confession."


    Somerset Celebration of Literature March 8 - 11 2006

    I had a most wonderful time presenting at the Somerset College Celebration of Literature. This event is seen as one of the most significant writer's festivals in Australia. At the conclusion of my presentation, a woman approached me and revealed that her son Leon had too been a prisoner of Laos. I remembered his case well. It was when my husband and I were still under house arrest at the Australian Embassy in Laos. I was so glad to hear that he survived his own terrible ordeal and was reunited with his mother.It never ceases to amaze me how intrinsically our lives are often connected.

     

    Cultureshocks Interview with Barry Lynn

    Kay Danes in an Interview with American Radio Presenter, Barry Lynn on US Program 'Cultureshocks'.

    Topics include; execution of Californian Stanley Tookie Williams, nominee for Nobel Peace Prize, unlawful foreign investment nationalization of Gem Mining Laos, the Danes own death camp experience, execution of Tuong Van Nguyen in Singapore.


    ABC Australian Story

    "They said are you not afraid to die and I said of course I'm afraid to die but how can I sign a lie because for all I knew they were going to kill me anyway." - Kay Danes

    "If Kerry with all his SAS training is ever going to break ... it's going to be because he doesn't feel he can restore his good name and he has somehow been judged by his own people to be guilty of something that he absolutely didn't do." - Jonathan Thwaites, Australian ambassador to Laos

    Australian Story on March 18 has the exclusive "story behind the story" of Kerry and Kay Danes, the Australian business couple arrested and jailed in Laos and released at the end of last year [2001] after Federal Government intervention.

    http://www.abc.net.au/austory/transcripts/s496503.htm

    Forum Comments [On Their Honour]
    http://www2b.abc.net.au/austory/200203/


    The message Kay Danes took to US Congress from the Political Prisoners in Laos.

    PRESS RELEASE:
    Statement of Ms. Kay Danes
    Former Political Prisoner 2000-01
    Presented at the U.S. Congressional Forum on Laos
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, D.C.
    October 1, 2002
    "When we are beaten in the darkroom, left to die … we think the world will never know our suffering but now we have a voice … you! We have hope. When the screams are torn from our lips because we cannot keep inside the agony we must endure … we have hope, that we may live another day to see freedom. When our body lays broken and bleeding on a cold, dirty concrete floor … we pray that you will somehow know that we are cold, afraid and dying. When our spirit has left this hell … we have hope … that in a short time passing … you may find someone who knew our name and our fate … so that we might be remembered."


    Below you will find a list of some of the many appearances that Kay Danes has made

    Networking Business Luncheons The World Today ABC Radio
    Nelly At Night Gold Coast Radio ABC Radio Current Affairs
    Barry Lynn Show [United States] Good Morning Australia TV
    US Congress Washington DC  International Human Rights Day Conferences
    International Women's Day  International Foreign Affairs Forums
    SE Asia Human Rights Forum Rotary International Inc. Conferences
    The Lions Club Inc. Miss Personality Quest QLD
    Victims of Violence & Sexual Abuse Conference Redlands Human Rights Forums
    Boystown Leadership Conference Operation Care [Australia] Conference
    Universities (Various Australian/US) Schools Literacy Week
    Corporate Conferences New Idea Magazine 
    Woman's Day Magazine Good Weekend Magazine
    Time Magazine The Bulletin 
    Sydney Morning Herald New Castle Herald 
    The Age [Melbourne] Far East Asian Economic Review  

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