VC hero’s ‘perfect’ proposal to new love
After finding a second chance at love, Daniel Keighran didn't hold back planning the perfect surprise proposal for partner Casey Nixon.
Last year in his book Courage Under Fire the decorated Queensland soldier opened up about fears that being awarded a Victoria Cross might have cost him parts of his life, with burnout contributing to the breakdown of his first marriage.
But in late 2019 he met Nixon at a work Christmas Party, asked her on a date and they moved in together a week before the COVID-19 March lockdown last year.
Last month Keighran got down on one knee at the Magic Millions Raceday on the Gold Coast in front of both of their children - his son Jack, four, and Nixon's daughter Isabelle, three.
"From the moment we started dating, we spoke about getting married and blending our families," Nixon said.
"It was absolutely amazing for him to be able to surprise me and to have our family with us."
Dressed in their racing outfits to watch Nixon's racehorse Danzel on track, Keighran asked her mother to take a family photo.
"Initially this caught me by surprise because Dan never asks for photos," Nixon laughed.
"As I was getting ready for the picture, Dan dropped to one knee next to me and pulled out the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. It was perfect. I don't think he got the words out because I started crying.
"Jack was so sweet, standing, smiling and watching the entire thing while my dad chased after Isabelle who was more interested in the horses than what was going on."
"We went home to a house full of our closest friends to celebrate; it was honestly a perfect day."
The couple will tie the knot at Summergrove Estate in the Tweed Hinterland later this year in front of 70 of their closest friends and family.
"We are not having a bridal party as we are really focusing the wedding on bringing our blended family, Isabelle, Jack, Dan and I, closer together," Nixon said.
A TOP END DREAM
Performing as part of iconic Australian band Midnight Oil was not something Leah Flanagan ever thought she'd achieve growing up in Darwin.
Next Sunday the singer as well as Brisbane's Troy Cassar-Daley will perform supporting sets for the band as well as join them on stage at their Makarrata show at Sirromet Wines, Mount Cotton - the first of five shows around the country.
"I'm excited to be performing with and in Midnight Oil. It's something I never thought I'd be able to say in life," Flanagan told Confidential.
"They are the soundtrack to my childhood growing up in the Northern Territory."
"So many of their songs have such a strong influence on me … I think every time you turn the radio on in Darwin it's still Beds Are Burning."
"You grow up and learn they are singing about the struggles of your family and putting it on the stage and I think it's incredibly admirable to have the dedication to make sure indigenous stories are heard."
After almost a decade living in Sydney, Flanagan relocated back to Darwin early last year before releasing her third studio album, Colour by Number, in October through her indigenous owned label, Small Change Records.
For the first time through her music, Flanagan's album addresses her thoughts on belonging and the prejudice she faced as a bi-racial woman, with Aboriginal, Italian and Irish heritage.
"It (the album) is my artist statement," she said.
"A lot of the times throughout my life I've been picked apart about who I should and shouldn't be … rather than letting me be. It feels like that paint by number game of people making that decision for you."
SNOOP DOGG AMBITIONS
Gold Coast's DJ Highup admits his relationship with Snoop Dogg is happening a little backwards.
Highup, aka Mitch Woodward, has released a track with the American rapper despite the pair having never met.
The new song, called Party, which Highup released with DJ Aryue and which features Snoop Dogg, has already notched up close to 800,000 streams around the world.
"Sony had the vocals of Snoop and hit me up for it and I teamed up with Aryue and we just started writing something," Highup told Confidential.
"It was a bit of a shock … it was right time, right place."
"It was a lot of back and forth from there. Snoop's actual team had to sign off on (the final track)."
On what it was like to release a track with someone he'd never met, Highup said: "It's really weird, but the main thing is if it goes really well, there could be future things, maybe a music video."
"I have been (a fan) for ages. I had all his albums when I was kid."
The 35-year-old, who returned to his DJ career five years ago after a switch to fitness, hopes the exposure helps him attract a global audience.
"Highup means high on life and up from here. It was just my calling to get into it and I haven't looked back," he said.
"I have a couple of big tracks in the next couple of months as well."
He will perform a gig in Mount Isa next week.
YOUNG ROCK SOARS
Queensland-made series Young Rock was a hit with US audiences when it premiered last week.
Following a social media push from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Young Rock debuted to 5 million viewers on NBC on Tuesday in the US, helping the broadcaster top the ratings in prime time.
It was also the best comedy launch on all of broadcast in the 18-49 demographic in two years.
Johnson said he was "gobsmacked" at how the show had been "enormously and overwhelmingly embraced".
Young Rock, supported by the Federal and Queensland Government, wrapped in Brisbane this month after four months of filming in and around the city.
The Queensland Art Gallery and Redcliffe's Dolphin Stadium doubled for the University of Miami, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre became Madison Square Garden and Gold Coast beaches replicated Hawaii.
Because the show is for American network television, any Australian fan hoping to watch the series needs to download and subscribe to an Express VPN before being able to stream the series on NBC's streaming platform, Peacock.
THREAD OF HOPE
Some of Australia's top fashion brands have donated to a mobile wardrobe van set to open in Brisbane this week.
Charity Thread Together has partnered with Anglicare Queensland to bring the service to Brisbane, launching at St Andrews in Indooroopilly on Tuesday, offering new clothing, shoes and accessories to Queenslanders in need.
Nationally more than 8 million dollars of clothes have been donated from brands such as Seafolly, P.E Nation, Camilla & Marc, Specialty Fashion Group, The Iconic, General Pants and Bendon and the service has reached more than 150,000 people across Australia.
The service priorities those who are homeless, at-risk young people, indigenous communities, survivors of domestic violence, refugees and long term unemployed.
10 QUESTIONS WITH.... Amy Shark
1. Who was your teen idol/ crush? Josh Hartnett
2. Who are your three ideal dinner guests? Adele, Jim Carey, and Julia Roberts
3. What's your worst date experience? There's actually none worth remembering really … they were THAT boring.
4. What's the movie that made you cry? My Girl (1991).
5. Which song do you sing in the car? At the moment, it's Body by Megan Thee Stallion.
6. What's your favourite movie or TV series you never admit to loving? Dawson's Creek but at the moment my guilty pleasureis Cobra Kai on Netflix.
7. What's the most sentimental thing you own? A necklace my nan gave me.
8. What was the last thing you Googled? How big is the js200 gibson guitar.
9. What's your most embarrassing moment? I called our ex-prime minister Ron Howard instead of John Howard… to his face.
10. What's on your bucket list? I want to play at Red Rocks (Colorado's iconic entertainment venue).
Queensland singer Amy Shark's latest single Love Songs Ain't For Us, co-written with Ed Sheeran and featuring Keith Urban,was released on Friday. Shark will also perform live at Cairns Summer Sounds at The Cairns Performing Arts Centre this Fridayand Saturday.
EVENT OF THE WEEK:
Stars of Brisbane's screen and airwaves mingled at a drinks party at Emporium South Bank's luxury Parklands Suite penthouse on Thursday night, touring the four-bedroom rooftop residence and enjoying drinks and canapes overlooking the Brisbane CBD.
GUESS WHO DON'T SUE: If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about a picture on a dating app? A certain actor who was photographed kissing a new partner on a romantic Valentine's Day date last Sunday was spotted with an active profile on a discreet celebrity dating app two days later. The relationship has only been public for a short time, so maybe it's not as locked in as social media let on.
Originally published as VC hero's 'perfect' proposal to new love