Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Home : Travel Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

 

 

 

THE DUBROVNIK

THAT SNARED BRITT LAPTHORNE

When I took off with my young brother Perry and friend David Hudson for Europe in 1977, places like Dubrovnik were not swarming with backpackers. Eastern Europe was dreary and Croatia, consumed within the political entity of Yugoslavia was equally as sombre. Yet, ironically it was in 'free' France while hitch-hiking from Monaco that Perry and I tasted the jackboot of the law. Asked to take a spot in a police van I summoned enough defiance to tell a couple of coppers to fuck off and hand back our passports. It wasn't amusing.

When Australian backpacker Britt Lapthorne went missing in Dubrovnik in September 2008 I thought about the place I'd visited all those years ago. David Hudson still talks about it being grim and unfriendly. As beautiful as Dubrovnik was, we didn't find the people engaging. And so, what about Britt? Has she suffered what so many women experience, violence at the hands of a man?

 

The beautiful Dubrovnik.

With my great friend David Hudson in Dubrovnik in 1977. David managed the left-wing International Bookshop in Melbourne for many years.

What happened to young Britt Lapthorne?

If Britt Lapthorne died at the hands of someone, it must surely have been a man or men who killed her. Raped and murdered? Reduced to a possession or commodity to be abused then dispensed with once the exploitation had been completed?

Or did she simply fall from a cliff, drunk and disoriented, her face battered and her limbs partially severed as she crashed into the cliff face on her descent into the sea?

Whatever has happened, it's a reminder of how vulnerable women can be. Even if it were an accident, every man knows it could so easily have been rape and murder. What men know is that rape is an every day occurrence and that Britt was in the right place to be a victim of this male aberration. .

Dubrovnik from the city wall. Britt Lapthorne would have walked these paths and marvelled at the views and the tranquility.

 

The lanes of Dubrovnik before the Balkans War.

 

Yet another lane.

 

Our hostess in Split

 

How beautiful?

 

 

 

 

 

 


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