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27 August - 2 September 2013 Issue: 478

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n Tony Abbott has laid out his plan for a coalition government, should it win power on 7 September.

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has appealed to Labor and Australian Greens voters to give his team a chance to form government, saying Labor doesn’t deserve the nation’s trust. Mr Abbott was addressing the Liberal and Nationals party faithful at the coalition’s official election campaign launch in Brisbane on Sunday. He promised that if elected on 7 September the coalition would be a competent and trustworthy “no surprises, no excuses government”. “I won’t let you down. This is my pledge to you,” Mr Abbott said. Within ten years Australia would have lower taxes and there would be two million more jobs in manufacturing, agriculture, services, education and the resources sector. By the end of its first term the budget would be on track to a “believable” surplus. This promise extends the timeframe the Labor government has set for a $4 billion surplus in 2016/17. Within a decade the budget surplus would be one per cent of gross domestic product, Mr Abbott said. “And each year government will be a smaller percentage of our economy.” Mr Abbott again pledged to abolish the carbon and mining taxes, cut company tax and business red tape and shift the industrial relations pendulum “back to the sensible centre”. He highlighted his signature plan

DOUBLE TROUBLE Aussie comedians storm Soho Theatre | P8 to give working women six months parental leave at their full pay, prompting a loud round of applause from the party faithful. “I want our workers to be the best paid in the world and for that to happen, we have to be amongst the most productive in the world,” Mr Abbott said. Mr Abbott announced a number

of new initiatives totalling more than $300 million, including plans to index eligibility thresholds for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card so more self-funded retirees had access to cheaper medicines. A coalition would also commit an additional $200 million to dementia research and give young trade apprentices access to HECS-style,

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interest free $20,000 loans to help pay for their training from next year. “This is a hand-up – not a handout – for people who will meet our skills needs for the next 40 years,” Mr Abbott said. Mr Abbott promised progress on

Indonesia slams Abbott boat buyback OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott’s plan to buy boats from Indonesian fishermen to prevent the vessels being used by people smugglers has been slammed by Jakarta as unfriendly and an insult to Indonesia. The buyback plan has met with heavy resistance in Jakarta, with a senior member of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s ruling coalition saying it showed Mr Abbott lacked understanding of Indonesia, and the broader asylumseeker problem. Mahfudz Siddiq, the head of Indonesia’s parliamentary commission for foreign affairs, said on Monday that it was Mr Abbott’s right to suggest the policy but warned that it had broader implications for the relationship between Jakarta and Australia. “It’s an unfriendly idea coming from a candidate who wants to be Australian leader,” Mr Siddiq told AAP. “That idea shows how he sees things as (an) Australian politician on Indonesia regarding people smuggling. Don’t look at us, Indonesia, like we want this people smuggling. “This is really a crazy idea, unfriendly, derogatory and it shows lack of understanding in this matter.” Mr Abbott, who has previously ...continued on p3

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2 | News

27 August - 2 September 2013

Down the barrel of a gun

Why Christopher Lane’s death matters

n OPINION | In the aftermath of 22-year-old Australian Christopher Publisher: Bryce Lowry Editor: Alex Ivett Production/Design: Jackie Lampard News Editor: Paul Bleakley Business Editor: Sepi Roshan Contributors: Georgia Dawes, Phillip Browne, Michael McCormick, Erin Somerville, George Katralis, Jacqui Moroney, Will Fitzgibbon, Chris Arkadieff, Kiel Egging, Daniel Shillito, Mat Lyons, Sandra Tahmasby,

Tyson Yates, Jennifer Perkin, Charlie Inglefield, Thomas Jones, Alistair Davis, Will Denton, Chloe Westley, Bonnie Gardiner, Michaela Gray, Marian Borges, Haylee Slater, Emma O'Neill, Ally Juchnevicius, Courtney Greatrex, Poppy Damon, Kris Griffiths, Kristy Kenny Directors: P Atherton, J Durrant

Additional content: Who are we? Australian Times is written and compiled by young Australian journalists living in the UK. Contributing on a volunteer basis, they are uniquely placed to reflect the interests, opinions and attitudes of our community. If you would like to join us, contact info@australiantimes.co.uk Address: Unit 7C, Commodore House Battersea Reach, London SW18 1TW Tel: 0845 456 4910 Email: info@australiantimes.co.uk

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Lane’s murder in the US, PAUL BLEAKLEY explores the different relationship Australians and Americans have towards firearms, and what we need to do to make sure murders like this do not happen.

CHRISTOPHER LANE had everything going for him. The 22-year-old from north Melbourne was a rising baseball star, selected to play by an American college on scholarship. He had just returned to the United States of America with his girlfriend after taking her on a four-week tour of Australia to meet his family. By all accounts he was a dedicated sportsman, a loving boyfriend and wise beyond his years. All of Christopher Lane’s promise and potential ended with a bullet. Police in the small town of Duncan, Oklahoma, believe that Christopher was the victim of a random, senseless drive-by shooting. They say that the three youths arrested in conjunction with his murder were on their way to commit another, with no motive other than making a name for themselves. Christopher’s death has provoked a considerable response in Australia, with public outrage that one of our country’s bright lights could be snuffed out so violently. Unfortunately, in America, Christopher is simply a statistic, one of around 10 000 gun-related homicides each year. Tim Fischer, a prominent former deputy Prime Minister of Australia, has called for a boycott of the US. He says that Australians should not travel to the United States in order to put pressure on the American government to strengthen gun control legislation and put an end to senseless crimes like Christopher’s murder. Mr Fischer called Christopher’s death the “bitter harvest and legacy of the policies of the NRA” – a reference to the National Rifle

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On: YOU tell US! What are your favourite Asian restaurants in London?

East Street provides a great mix of Asian food including Malaysian, Thai and Japanese. Be sure to try the Tahu Goreng. Delicious! Tara

The most charming Indian place is the lovely Malabar restaurant near Notting Hill tube station in Holland Park. They have a good website with recipes too. Gorgeous pumpkin curry available as I remember. Doyle

On: Why Christopher Lane’s death matters

“The New South Wales Opposition today proposed legislation that would allow police to search individuals without a warrant

? What’s your view

Association, a powerful American gun lobby. The NRA have fought for years in defence of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which they claim gives American citizens the right to bear arms. The text of the Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” America’s ‘founding fathers’ drafted the country’s constitution in the aftermath of a brutal and prolonged guerrilla war against Great Britain. The importance of a wellregulated militia is, in that context, undoubtedly important. One has to wonder, however, when a “wellregulated militia” turned into three would-be thugs taking pot-shots at innocent civilians in broad daylight. One of the most significant (and unrecognised) initiatives of the Howard government was the implementation of strict gun control in Australia after the devastation of the Port Arthur massacre. John Howard defied his traditional conservative support base to impose gun control legislation that would keep the country safe. The challenge faced by the American government in implementing gun control legislation is a different beast to that encountered by the Howard government in 1996. The American people have a special relationship with firearms. For an American, the right to bear arms is a metaphor for the existential concept of ‘freedom’ rather than a practical political issue.

While the American people debate whether people should be required to have background checks before purchasing a firearm, Australian authorities continue to crack down on the rising trend of gun crime down under. The New South Wales Opposition has proposed legislation that would allow police to search individuals without a warrant under a Firearms Prohibition Order. New South Wales Opposition leader John Robertson dismisses the American emphasis on ‘rights’ and ‘freedom’. He said: “As far as I am concerned, the day you choose to join a criminal gang and carry a firearm is the day you lose your rights.” The difference in approach between Australia and the US is clear, clearly demonstrating that Australians may never truly understand the intricate relationship between Americans and their guns. The debate over gun control will rage on, however none of that will help Christopher Lane. The fact remains that a young Australian with the world ahead of him was brutally gunned down as he went on an afternoon jog. His family, friends and girlfriend must now mourn him because a weapon purposefully designed to kill fell into the wrong hands. Christopher’s death cannot be in vain. It can be an opportunity for Australians to recommit to the fight to prevent the proliferation of firearms on our streets. The alternative would be another Christopher Lane – another innocent Australian gunned down in a random, senseless act of violence.

under a Firearms Prohibition Order” So much for Aus being a free country. Don’t propose laws like this then criticize us for our gun laws. These kids were already breaking several laws.

On: Essendon slams AFL after drugs scandal charges released

Countyline

There are people who believe that nobody has the right to self-defence. Those are the types who think that thugs and criminals should just run the world. Beekay

On: Poll shows Rudd could lose own seat of Griffith

Rudd requires a 8.5% swing against him in Griffith to lose the seat. That’s unlikely. These automated polls are predicting massive swings and are not anywhere near the results gathered by traditional polling methods. I think we can disregard them.

Essendon should not go into the finals. The AFL has gone soft again and has been persuaded that Essendon has some right to object to the charges that are already proven. As for the stunt by Hird, a typical case of all to gain nothing to lose by heading to the Supreme Court that only an AFL coach could afford. Demetriou has overseen the gradual dereliction of our game. It's time he was fired. Flipper

Recession may follow coalition cuts of $70bn says Rudd

This great country clearly needs a new, united and stable government and the Liberal Party has certainly presented itself as the more cohesive and professional team.

Alex

John

Share your comments on these and more stories online: AustralianTimes.co.uk

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Abbott announces $420m to stem refugee boats accused the Labor government of damaging Australia’s relationship with Indonesia, announced the buyback scheme last week as part of a new $420 million package aimed at stemming the flow of refugee boats to Australia. Under the plan, millions of dollars would be used to buy boats from Indonesian fishermen, many of whom are poor and who in recent years have been easy prey for people-smuggling syndicates that offer much more money for their rickety vessels than can be made by fishing. But Hikmahanto Juwana, an

international affairs expert from the University of Indonesia, has described the plan as “humiliating”, and says it shows the coalition has a poor understanding of its northern neighbour. Mr Juwana warned the plan would risk a deterioration in relations between Australia and its northern neighbour, adding that it suggested Mr Abbott viewed Indonesian fishermen as “mercenaries who did dirty jobs”. “I think the (Indonesian) government should voice protests to the coalition’s very insensitive plan which clearly shows their poor knowledge about the situation in

Indonesia,” Mr Juwana told The Jakarta Post newspaper. “The coalition wants to make Indonesia look inferior because they just want to provide money and ask Indonesians to get the job done for the sake of their interests.” He said buying the boats would just cause the fishermen, many of who are already very poor, to lose their livelihoods and warned it would lead to resentment and even risk conflict between the local population and foreigners. “The program could trigger vigilantism and (attacks) on foreigners …,” Mr Juwana said. Mr Abbott did not say how much

would be paid for each boat. “It’s much better and much more sensible to spend a few thousand dollars in Indonesia, than to spend $12 million processing the people who ultimately arrive here,” he told reporters. The broader plan announced by Mr Abbott in Darwin on Friday includes funding of $67 million to increase the presence of Australian Federal Police in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Close to another $100 million would be spent to boost the aerial surveillance and search and rescue capacity of Indonesian authorities and $198 million to boost interception and transfer operations. - AAP

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same-sex marriage and voluntary euthanasia. “We don’t believe you should compel people to vote against their deeply-held religious or other feelings one way or the other,” Mr Palmer said. But the Palmer United Party leader said he would not publicly state his position on any conscience issues, as he did not believe party leaders should “intimidate” other members. Asked whether his members would be able to vote as they saw fit on all legislation and motions, Mr Palmer said they would have to stick to party policy. Mr Katter said his party’s agenda would influence the way he and his members would vote, but they would not be a pushover for any future government. “I know how to play this game and we will play it with a fair degree of ruthlessness,” he said. Mr Palmer, a Queensland-based billionaire who is running in the seat of Fairfax, revealed he would oppose the coalition’s paid parental leave scheme if elected because it was “discriminatory”. His alternative plan would pay new mothers $50,000 for six months. - AAP

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PARTY leaders Clive Palmer and Bob Katter have left it open for their MPs and senators to vote with their consciences on social issues such as same-sex marriage. The next parliament could deal with a number of contentious issues, with a re-elected Labor government promising a bill on same-sex marriage and the Greens seeking laws to allow voluntary euthanasia. Members of Mr Katter’s Australian Party have quit over the issue of same-sex marriage. But two of his senate candidates, James Blundell in Queensland and Steven Bailey in the ACT, have gone public with their support for a change to marriage laws. Asked how he would approach the issue, Mr Katter said Mr Blundell and Mr Bailey had spoken out “courageously” and had the right to argue their case. But Mr Katter said he had 20 major policies to pursue, aimed at developing agriculture and manufacturing, and that would consume his party’s time and energy. “We don’t want to be fooling around with irrelevancies,” Mr Katter told the National Press Club in Canberra on Monday. “If you join our party this is what we’ve got to do.” Mr Palmer said his party members had the right to vote with their consciences on all social issues, including abortion,

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recognising indigenous people in the constitution and said he would continue to spend a week each year in a remote indigenous community. This federal election would be the most important in a generation, he said. “It pits the Liberal and National parties’ positive plans for the future against more of the same from a confused and chaotic Labor Party,” Mr Abbott said. “We are a great country and a great people but we can’t afford another

three years like the last six.” Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Labor could not be trusted. He accused Labor of wasting money, hurting business and families, destroying confidence and running Australia into debt and deficit. “But the worst deficit is not the budget deficit but the trust deficit,” he said. “As you know from bitter experience, if you reward bad behaviour, you get more of it.” Mr Abbott reached out to Labor and Greens voters and those thinking of supporting independents. “Give my team a chance,” he said. - AAP

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4 | Election

27 August - 2 September 2013

A vote for policy, not personality

n OPINION | This election, make sure you cast your vote on the basis of a party’s policies, not their personalities, argues CHLOE WESTLEY. We all indulge in a bit of gossip here and there. Australian society loves to speculate about who is wearing what, which politicians don’t like each other and who insulted who on television. However you would expect during the election at least, the media would shift its focus from questions concerned with personality disputes to those concerned with party policies. This has hardly been the case. Recently I overheard two people on the bus complaining about

Rudd’s haircut, and then came home to see a story on the news about statements Mr Abbott made about a female candidate. This was followed by comments from a friend on Facebook outlining that they would vote for the LNP if ‘the mighty Malcolm was in charge!’ These are the kind of conversations that are being encouraged by the media in the lead up to the election, and it’s disconcerting to anyone who considers votes should be

allocated on the basis of policies, not personalities. I would like to make one thing clear. Australia is not America. We do not vote based on the personalities of the leaders of respective political parties. Saying you will vote for a party because you prefer a leader or what that leader says in a campaign is confirmation that you don’t understand the political system. It’s a party that gets legislation through parliament - not a person.

Laws can only be introduced or changed through the authority of federal parliament. When a Bill is approved by the House of Representatives, it is then sent to the Senate for approval. There are 150 MPs and 76 Senators, all of whom must vote in proceedings. When one Member of Parliament proposes to introduce or reform a law, this has little to no legitimacy without support from a dominant political party. When a leader of a political party promises to promote certain legislation, this is usually on behalf of dozens of politicians and has been agreed upon after extensive analysis by members of the political party. With this in mind, you would hardly comment that the Prime Minister is ‘in charge of the country’. Rather,

it is their leadership abilities that would or would not persuade his/her party to make informed and morally coherent decisions. Your vote should be in consideration of your local representative, and the policies their parties are proposing. Although the media may attempt to convince Australians they should be focusing on the charisma and charm of party leaders, I have faith that voters will see past the vacuous personality disputes and make an effort to understand what each political party is proposing to introduce into Parliament. Contrary to popular opinion, Australia is not a mini-American republic: it is a constitutional monarchy. Let’s keep it that way.

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By Alex Ivett POLLS have opened for the 7 September election at Australia’s largest polling station – Australia House in London. Australian citizens can attend Australia House in London from August 26 to 6 September to participate in pre-poll voting. Apart from Sunday 1 September, Australia House will be open for voting on most days from 11am to 7.30pm. Polls are not open on Saturday 7 September due to the time difference between London and the closing of polls at 6pm Western Australia time. Australia House is the largest polling station in Australian elections and Australians in the UK can vote in any electorate in Australia using the pre-polling facilities. President of ALP Abroad Paul Smith is encouraging Australians in

Monday 26 August 2013 11:00 – 19:30 Tuesday 27 August 2013 11:00 – 19:30 Wednesday 28 August 2013 11:00 – 19:30 Thursday 29 August 2013 11:00 – 19:30 Friday 30 August 2013 11:00 – 19:30 Saturday 31 August 2013 10:00 – 18:00 Sunday 1 September 2013 CLOSED Monday 2 September 2013 11:00 – 19:30 Tuesday 3 September 2013 11:00 – 19:30 Wednesday 4 September 2013 11:00 – 19:30 Thursday 5 September 2013 11:00 – 21:00 Friday 6 September 2013 11:00 – 21:00 the UK to make their vote count. “In a close election the votes cast by overseas election could make all the difference so Labor will be working hard to get overseas vote over the next two weeks,” he told Australian Times. ALP Abroad will have 40 volunteers working at the Australia House polling station over the next two weeks.


6 | UK Life

27 August - 2 September 2013

The real Aussie life in London

London’s other top ten n Forget

Big Ben, Camden Markets and cocktails in Soho, what Australians in London really love are also the things they’re too ashamed to admit to friends and family back home. PAUL BLEAKLEY explores our top ten UK guilty pleasures.

Honeymooning Nomad > Jacqui Moroney

The 17th of August marked the one year anniversary of our arrival in London. Half of our “tour of duty” is over and I can’t help but feel very sad. My recent article about ‘Aussie life in London: expectations v reality’ was a light-hearted look at my experiences in the UK so far. Despite exploring a few negative aspects of London life that some Aussie expats experience, I have treasured my time here and I am certainty not ready to go home. Our (mis)adventures around the world on our never ending honeymoon, specifically in the UK, are some of the best of my life. The English weather means that I don’t burn as easily, the tubes are fast and the people we have met are lovely, even if they do have a strange fondness for tea and queues. As a not-so-newly-wed couple with nothing tying us down I could not imagine being anywhere else. Where else in the world would I be looking forward to West End musicals, street carnivals, visits from friends and family, free museums, gigs by local and international bands, and the rugby league world cup (carn’ Australia!).

The friends that we have made here are life-long. The things we have seen and done are incredible. In a typical week I work my "9 - 5", write freelance, blog, travel and explore London's great treasures. Life is busy, but that is how I like it. My London life lives up to expectations. I travel as much as my annual leave allows me, I work hard but play harder, I spend my weekends exploring London’s markets and cultural sites and I have even explored some of the English countryside, with a trip to the Lake District and Midlands yet to come. When I am in London on weekends I catch up with new friends, I picnic in the city’s amazing green spaces, party at amazing venues, see great gigs, and, even though I most likely did catch the last tube home the night before, I am never too scared (or hung-over) to venture out to see the latest exhibit at one of London’s amazing museums or tourist attractions. I consider myself a ‘livein tourist’. As I have mentioned before, I am a true believer that travel is one of the only things in the world that you can buy that makes you richer, and I value every minute of our grown-up gap year here in London and Europe. To me, London is like a great book you can’t put down. I just hope everyone has their chance to turn a page.

There are so many things about living in the United Kingdom that seem designed to make everyone back home in Australia jealous. The requisite tourist picture of Tower Bridge or Big Ben seems purposefully designed to incite Facebook envy. When friends ask what your plans are for the day, you kind of relish saying that you might go for a walk down The Mall, or for a cheeky drink by the Thames. The funny thing is that those iconic London experiences are not the things that you miss the most when you go back home. I was home for a few months over the winter, and found myself pining to come back. I wasn’t pining for Buckingham Palace or Westminster Abbey, though. The things that I missed were far more common, and somewhat shameful. In honour of the things that we don’t want to admit that we will miss, Australian Times has compiled a list of the top ten guilty pleasures Australians have while living in the United Kingdom.

1

The humble ‘offie’ For a nation that often claims to be most adept at drinking alcohol, Australia just doesn’t do it as well as the Brits do. Sure, we have massive barn-like bottle shops dedicated to the sale of a range of ways to get drunk. But try walking into a bottle shop in Australia and finding a can of Polish beer that has 10% alcohol content. In Australia your bottle shop will always have your standard cases of Toohey’s and XXXX, however in London your local off-licence is like a mystery bag where you never know what you might find. We could all do with a little bit of the unknown in our lives.

2

Two words: Jeremy Kyle Most of us don’t have work organised when we first arrive in London, so before we get involved in the daily grind of life over here we typically end up becoming quite acquainted with morning television. There is one name in morning television that I miss when I am back in Australia: Jeremy Kyle. The British talk show host constantly seems to be brimming with unbridled rage and his acidic attacks on the lifestyle of his guests is a stark welcome to Broken Britain.

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A kebab by any other name… To be honest, when an Australian visits their first kebab shop in London they are usually dumbfounded after receiving their order. What is this madness? Why is this

kebab not wrapped and seared under a grill? Why is there a whole chilli just sitting there in the Styrofoam container? Over time, however, you get used to the practicality of the British kebab: you undoubtedly get more food in the Styrofoam, and you aren’t as likely to drizzle tahini down your shirt at 3am.

4

No designated drivers The London Underground system is a wonderful creation for so many reasons: despite the Tube map looking like a bowl of spaghetti, it is actually quite simple to navigate and get anywhere in Greater London. It is a guilty pleasure for one reason in particular, however: you can drop into the pub any time and not have to worry about who is going to drive home. Whereas drinking must be planned in advance in public transport wasteland of Australia, an impromptu session can take place in London whenever the mood strikes and we have the Tube to thank for that.

the Royal fever. There is something embarrassing-yet-satisfying about losing yourself in the flurry of excitement outside Buckingham Palace, or joining the seething masses on the street to watch a royal procession. The Royal fever is the perfect excuse to embrace your inner lameness.

8

Taking liberties When you are living in the UK, the people that you meet will turn into your family. You would do anything for them because you are all in the same boat, on the other side of the world without family to fall back on. As with your real family, however, living in the UK gives you full permission to take liberties with friends. Need somewhere to crash for a few days, maybe a week? It is a London rule that your friend has to get the couch ready. Need someone to help carry your luggage to the airport? London rule, you have to do it for your friend. Short on cash and can’t buy a beer? London rule, front your mate the cash. Living in London is one of the few times in life that we can take liberties with our friends as if they were family, because for that moment? They kind of are.

5

9

6

10

The British tabloid press In Australia, journalists are told that objectivity is one of the key ethical considerations of their profession. In the UK, it seems that the opposite is true. The British tabloid press are brilliant in the way that they can turn the most horrible of real-world situations into a soap opera that is played out in print on a daily basis. British newspapers have no qualms about taking an opinion on the news of the day, taking aim at those that are out of favour in a concerted effort to destroy their reputation. It is a terrible form of journalistic practice, but as popcorn entertainment it is the best.

Snakebites I can’t believe that I am even saying this. The Snakebite is one of the worst forms of alcohol you could possibly indulge in, a sickening and often warm mixture of cider, beer and flavouring. It is always too foamy and on more than one occasion I’ve seen bartenders make them from the dregs of a drip tray. The Snakebite is not a guilty pleasure because it tastes good: it is symbolic of the cheap, drunken shenanigans that often take place as a part of London life. The Snakebite is nostalgia in a glass.

7

The Royal fever No matter what your personal opinions are, it is considered kind of lame in Australia to be excited about the Royal family. As recent events surrounding the birth of Prince George demonstrate, in the UK it is perfectly acceptable to catch

Primark You wouldn’t make a special trip to go to Lowes or Crazy Clarks in Australia would you? There is something alluring about the bargain pricing of things at Primark. They are often poor quality and never last more than a few wears, but there is no going past the range of things you can buy for a fiver in ‘Primani’. I know full well that my two quid pair of thongs will wear away within a week of wandering around London, however I also know that when they do eventually break I will be back in queue at Primark buying the exact same thing. The anonymity The Australian community in London is completely debaucherous. We all know it; it is just that some of us aren’t willing to admit it. The reason that we have a free pass to be so debaucherous is the anonymity that London provides. At home, you might be afraid of bumping into people you know, or burning bridges with people that you are forced to be friends with. Here? You can reinvent yourself on a weekly basis if you wanted to. There is always a new bar to go to, a new boy or girl to flirt with and new friends to meet. Anonymity is power in London. What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to living in the UK? Is there anything you will be ashamed to miss when you go back home?

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Food & Wine | 7

AustralianTimes.co.uk

Aussie chef to offer high-end Japanese at Kurobuta

Image by Georgia Glynn Smith

Australian chef Scott Hallsworth is set to achieve his dream of taking high-end Japanese flavours and making them accessible

to all with his latest London venture, Kurobuta. Kurobuta is modelled in the style of an izakaya, a traditional Japanese pub, with the focus on sharing small plates of food and drink in a fun, casual environment. Centrally located in London’s Connaught Village, Kurobuta is guaranteed to attract a convivial crowd looking to enjoy inventive, seasonal Japanese food and playful cocktails, sake, shochu, wine and beer. With an extensive career crafting Japanese flavours into delicious offerings, Scott Hallsworth brings a wealth of experience to this new endeavour. Previously Head Chef at Nobu, and co-owner and executive chef at Wabi in Holborn, Scott says he’s looking forward to creating an atmosphere where customers can enjoy exciting Japanese dishes with a side of culinary theatre. “I set myself a challenge to deliver that ‘high-end’ appeal at a sensible

price point and without the air kissing pretence. Kurobuta is all about having an awesome time, it’s a four on the floor no nosense ride!” This approach is evident in the fun cocktail list, including a Hobo – a seasonal sake based cocktail drunk from a paper-bag covered glass. Kurobuta will offer a range of dishes (£4.00 to £15.00) or bento boxes (£8.50-£13.50), including unique options such as warm salmon with yuzu truffle miso and puffed rice, sweetcorn kakiage with a sweet and sour ponzu sauce and beef fillet tataki with onion ponzu and garlic crisps. “Our opening team consists of Australian, Canadian and South Africans and as we brainstorm the ideas, our inherent love of the food and drinks of our home lands starts to come out,” Hallsworth told Australian Times. “We are planning to do a lot of Japanese BBQ, loads of fresh zesty flavours, ice cold beers and even a

READERS CHOICE

Image by Georgia Glynn Smith

‘Japanesey’ Dark and Stormy cocktail using the famous Bundaberg Rum.” Kurobuta opens on Thursday 26 September at Connaught Village. It will be open from 9am-11pm. See www.kurobuta-london.com.

And there’s more…

London’s best Asian restaurants In Australia we are often spoilt for choice when it comes to Asian food. Growing up on the doorstop of Asia, we all had our favourite places to guzzle gyoza, sample sushi and dine on dumplings. Here in London however, we’ve had to start afresh, seeking out the best places to get your pho fix or a spicy curry amidst a huge array of new and exciting cuisines. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you – collating a readers choice sample menu of the best Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese in town.

Japanese

Akari Essex Road, Islington This restaurant in Islington is called an izakaya – a Japanese style pub where drinks are served accompanied by food. In a space which actually once was a bar, it certainly retains that relaxed casual feel, whilst serving up authentic dishes at reasonable prices. Recommended by James Tokyo Diner Near Leicester Square

Tokyo, image by Archangeli

This cosy restaurant on based in Newport Street sells authentic, quality Japanese food for a great price. The “Please don’t tip” sign may seem a trick but it’s true, Tokyo Diner have a ‘no-tip rule,’ meaning that if you leave your change they will donate it to charity, rather than accept it. Our reader Allison recommends the chicken katsu curry. Recommended by Allison

Indian

Dishoom Covent Garden and Shoreditch Dishoom is a traditional Bombay Café in the heart of London serving up delicious local dishes which are a step above your stock-standard butter chicken and naan. With a fun, vibrant atmosphere, a bar to wait at when battling the inevitable crowds, and cheap beers, Dishoom is a great place to bring visiting family or lots of your friends. Jenni says she can never say no to the okra fries – a delicious starter to snack on while making your choices. Recommended by Jenni

Vietnamese

Image by unicellular

Mien Tay Kingsland Road, Hoxton It may not have the fanciest façade of the many Vietnamese restaurants that line Kingsland Road between Hoxton

and Shoreditch, but it is certainly one of the most popular. It serves up authentic, top quality and traditional Vietnamese with minimal fuss. Just don’t expect your food to be served with a smile. Recommended by Neil

Chinese

Ping Pong Branches across London Ping Pong is a dim sum restaurant

Image by Georgia Glynn Smith

Ping Pong, image by Kai Chan Vong

surprisingly delicious. Recommended by Catherine

Thai

The Boys Café The Boys Café boasts on their website that they have take-away prices with restaurant quality. With the most expensive meal on the menu being less than £10 and their fantastic reviews, this North Kensington restaurant is well worth a visit. Amazing food, great eat in or takeaway, and the best service in London says our reader Paddy Recommended by Paddy.

On Twitter @CarlosCidrais Baozi Inn @Chinatown, hands down. @jacquirandall Got to be Hakkassan for best espresso martini’s and can’t go past the dim sum platter :) On Facebook Cay Tre in Hoxton, London for Vietnamese (also in Soho). Kirsten

Ping Pong, image by Ewan

Dishoom London, image by Manne

like no other. This restaurant is stylish and modern and sells some delicious cocktails. Whilst on the pricer side of the dim sum restaurants in London, it’s a fun experience. Just tick off your choices on your own menu, and then sit back and let them arrive steaming hot one after the other. Recommended by Jonathon Wong Kei Chinatown, near Soho Wong Kei is your archetypal Chinatown restaurant. It’s certainly not fancy, but the extensive menu would have something to suit anyone’s taste buds. It is one of the biggest Chinese restaurants in UK and holds seating for up to 100 diners. The food is cheap, fast and

Londons most exciting new Japanese izakaya, is set to launch this autumn. Australian Chef Scott Hallsworth (ex Nobu and Wabi) will offer up his fresh, zesty take on Japanese Izakaya dishes and cool cocktails at his brand new venue located near Marble Arch. We are looking for outgoing types, crazy about hospitality. Kurobuta will not only be a cool place to hang out but a cool place to work too! You will need to be ready to help out your co-workers, muck-in and learn new things, go the extra mile and remember that having fun whilst we work sets the scene for our guests. We are keen to hear about you and your very own ideas, so drop us a line: recruitment@kurobuta-london.com Now recruiting for the following key roles: Floor supervisor Waiters Chef de Partie Sushi Chef

Dishoom London, image by Manne

Bar Supervisor Bar Tender Kitchen Porter


Two comedians,

8 | Entertainment

no waiting

Matt Okine and Ronny Chieng return to Soho Theatre

27 August - 2 September 2013

Being black n’ chicken n’ sh*t n Award-winning Comedian Matt Okine spent 2012 performing

around the world to rave reviews. Alongside his partner in comedy crime, Ronny Chieng, they’re storming the Soho Theatre with a hilarious double act. Don’t miss out on either show!

By Michael McCormick

Details

What: Matt Okine, Being Black & Chicken & S#%t Where: Soho Theatre When: 28 August – 7 September How much: £10-£15 See what we are following this week on

Essendon Bombers @GMegalogenis Essendon playing like they're guilty; Kevin Rudd campaigning like he's gone. You wouldn't want to be a Labor-supporting Bomber in 2013. @AlanKohler BTW just wondering: if Essendon FC players didn't take any banned substances, how did they bring the game into disrepute? Poor governance?

Follow us on Twitter @AustralianTimes

What’s On Being Black and Chicken and Sh*t 28 August - 7 September Soho Theatre The Ron Way 28 August - 7 September Soho Theatre Amity Affliction 14 September @Underworld Adam Hills Happyism 22 September @Hammersmith Apollo FilmFest Australia October 2013 @Barbican Centre For full details...

...and more Aussie gigs go to: AustralianTimes.co.uk/entertainment

In London the so called ‘triple threats,’ or those blessed with talent in singing, dancing and acting are a common occurrence. It is quite rare however for these people to also be able to leave an entire audience in hysterics after an hour of telling them jokes. One man who comes dangerously close to possessing this unique combination of skills is Australia’s own, Matt Okine. Matt acknowledges that his dancing needs some fine tuning admitting; “I have very long limbs, so if I hit the dance floor, there is often injuries.” His acting, musical and comedic talents however speak for themselves. With credits including Raw Comedy finalist, winner of the nationwide Golden Nuts competition which resulted in a performance on Rove Live and winner of the Best Newcomer Award at the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 2012, it is rightly so that Matt believes his funny bone sticks out quite prominently above the rest.

Okine has recently been jet setting across the globe and currently finds himself in Edinburgh for a month long stint at the famed Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He is touring his award winning show; ‘Being black n’ chicken n’ sh*t’ in the northern hemisphere, following Edinburgh with a series of shows at the acclaimed Soho Theatre in London. When questioned about his comedy style, Okine said; “I just think good comedians talk about what they know, and because a few of us coming out of Australia have a multicultural background, we talk about that and our experiences.” Earlier this year Okine hosted Australia’s biggest open mic comedy competition, Raw Comedy at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival where he was a finalist nine years before. He has since been able to reflect on his success since the beginning of his career. “I remember being in my [Raw Comedy] final as a contestant nine years ago, and being so impressed by

Wil Anderson as a host. Crazy to think I’m now where he was nine years ago... without the long-running successful breakfast radio show.” Okine has enjoyed great success but was very happy to share some of it with his friend Ronny Chieng when the two became joint winners of the 2012 Best Newcomer Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. “I was so glad when we both won it. Ronny had the most killer season and it wouldn’t have felt right if I’d taken it for myself. That said - as soon as they told us that we’d have to split the prize money, I was like “this should be just mine!” Okine isn’t a stranger to London either, having completed a successful run of shows here during the Olympics in 2012 which he described as “world class” and an experience that “will be harder to beat than Mo Farrah in a long distance race.” He has even generously offered to perform for the Queen “when she buys a ticket for [his] show at the Soho Theatre. “I can lend her the £15 if she’s a bit strapped.”

Heading ‘The Ron Way’ By Michael McCormick Celebrated as one of the rising stars on the Australian comedy scene, Ronny Chieng has quickly gone from unknown Melbourne University student to world-class performer. His new show; ‘The Ron Way’ is currently warming up in Edinburgh and will soon be served steaming hot at London’s Soho Theatre. Were you a funny fellow before you came to Australia or have you only started to embrace comedy after moving to Melbourne? I was super funny before I went to Australia. In fact, I think I have become less funny since I started actually doing comedy because I now understand how hard it is to be original and professionally funny to strangers. What possessed you to begin your comedy career? When I did my first gig, I didn’t think I was ‘starting a career.’ I had a feeling I could do a good five minutes of stand-up comedy, and I just wanted to confirm that feeling. So I signed up and did a gig, and I just didn’t stop doing gigs. So here I am today at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Soho Theatre in London! Do you believe Australia has provided an audience and environment receptive to your comedy style, in particular the jokes about your Chinese heritage? I think they have been quite receptive. I got awarded best Newcomer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2012, and I got nominated for Best Show at the Sydney Comedy Festival 2013, so I guess that would be a good indication. I think Chinese people are everywhere so everyone can get behind a little bit of Chinese heritage jokes. You’ve begun a winning streak having been awarded joint winner of the Best Newcomer award at Melbourne in 2012. What will you add to the trophy cabinet next?

Wow I don’t know. It would be great to get some kind of industry recognised award, but really I’m just trying to get better at stand-up comedy and build an audience. So if the people who come watch me laugh and enjoy the show, that is sort of an award in itself. That and winning a Tony award. That would make me happy. I listened to your podcast and discovered that you are sick of ignorance on the Internet. Does this include Wikipedia? Yes although I will have considered myself to have “made it” when I have my own Wikipedia article. What does a guy have to do to get people to make a Wikipedia article about him??   You were named as the ‘new face of Australian comedy’ by the Age, an emerging talent by pretty much every other publication and with the way things are going, you’ll be named Prime Minister soon enough. What would be your political agenda if you did run for Prime Minister? Prime Minister? Of like Australia? My agenda would be to bring Pepperidge Farm cookies to Australia. It is ludicrous that they aren’t available there! Be honest, you’re loving your new found fame aren’t you? Honestly? I don’t think I’ve found fame at all! Nothing has really changed for me other than I can get comedy gigs a lot easier. That has been cool - using whatever “fame” I have to get more work.  You’ve been doing a lot of travelling with your comedy, what has been your favourite travel destination so far? Everywhere I’ve been to so far has been awesome! Small towns in Western Australia, to Montreal, New York, Edinburgh, London. I’ve definitely seen a lot more of the world (and Australia) than I otherwise would have been able to! Where would you most like to visit?

Details

What: Ronny Chieng, The Ron Way Where: Soho Theatre When: 28 August – 7 September How much: £10-£15 I would love to visit Japan or Alaska! I’m trying to set that up as we speak. Anyone know any comedy gigs there? I’d appreciate the hook up. What can audiences expect from your upcoming Soho Theatre show? I’m doing material from my old 2012

one hour comedy show at the Soho Theatre this year, but in a new order and with some new material thrown in. I’ll be doing the show for a month in Edinburgh, so I will be match fit with it by the time I get to London. Although there will be stuff some people will recognize from last year.


Travel | 9

AustralianTimes.co.uk

n

Haylee and her husband are currently driving around Down Under. Follow along with their highlights from the road in this series of Postcards From Australia.

Postcards from Australia

Includes free unlimited booze on the road. Huge party event in every city.

Heading out of Port Hedland we begin to realise the enormity of the trip we have thus far endured. 16,000kms into the trip we look down the barrel of another 11,000 of red dirt and blue highway home. We have fantasised about dumping the car on the spot and flying home. Still, we drive on. Exmouth is on the far western coast of Australia, famous for its diving with whale sharks on the Ningaloo Reef. We arrive in the dark and unsurprisingly nearly hit a stray animal on the highway. Surprisingly, the stray animal is a wild goat and we come across a few of them along the way. It was a beautiful surprise to wake up by the sea. Moving into Western Australia from the Northern Territory we have crossing desert and rocky ranges for days. The

weather has steadily grown cooler as we head south and the sky is a moody silver. The usually clear water is murky and rough. The King tides created by the Super Moon have brought waves that crash directly in on the foreshore. The surf sprays white water in a fine mist that settles over everything. Situated at the tip of a peninsula, Exmouth is surrounded by rugged scrub and deep canyons. Braver campers disappear down gravel roads to hidden campsites deep in the bush. A veritable diamond in the rough, Exmouth is well worth the trek inland. Come for the quaint village, stay for the 50km of pristine sandy beaches.

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By Haylee Slater

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3. PARIS, FRANCE

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4. BRUGES, BELGIUM

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10 | Travel

27 August - 2 September 2013

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Vanuatu they say is the happiest place on earth. And it is. If you disagree, you haven’t been. Simple.


Travel | 11

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12 | Professional Life

27 August - 2 September 2013

Moody’s downgrades credit rating of NAB’s UK bank n

Ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded the credit rating of NAB’s troubled UK subsidiary Clydesdale Bank. RATINGS agency Moody’s has downgraded the credit rating of National Australia Bank’s troubled UK subsidiary Clydesdale Bank. Moody’s downgraded the long term bank deposit and senior debt rating of Clydesdale to Baa2, from A2. That means the loss-making bank is labelled a higher risk investment, going from upper-medium grade to a more speculative and moderate but still medium-grade credit risk. NAB chief executive Cameron Clyne said he was disappointed by the downgrade, as he believed a restructure of the UK operations was driving improvements in its balance sheet. “Clydesdale has a smaller and stronger balance sheet following the transfer of the vast majority of its commercial real estate portfolio to National Australia Bank Ltd in October 2012, materially improving Clydesdale Bank’s risk profile,” he said. The ratings agency cited a deterioration in the business loan portfolio in the last year, with bad

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debts increasing 30 per cent over the period amid falling property values. NAB took over Clydesdale’s STG5.6 billion ($A9.73 billion) commercial loan book last October. Moody’s said the lowering of the rating reflected its view that Clydesdale faced longer-term

structural challenges from its weakened franchise and past riskmanagement-control weaknesses. The fact that NAB was also trying to sell Clydesdale left it in an uncertain position, it said. The bank has started shedding jobs, with 1,400 to go in total. - AAP

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Professional Life | 13

AustralianTimes.co.uk

the Expat factor

Extraordinary Aussies in the UK

I moved to the UK in 2004, which wasn’t my plan at all. I left Australia to live in North America, and came over to Europe to spend summer travelling around in a (too small) van with six friends. After the summer I ran out of money and ended up in London. I had three hundred pounds to my name, so I did a fair share of couch surfing and working three jobs at once. To be honest, when I first came here I couldn’t think of anything worse than living here. I got my UK working holiday visa before I left Australia as a last resort, to earn some emergency cash to keep travelling. But there’s a charm here that you don’t anticipate, and it draws you in. And then there is meeting your English husband, and having an English baby. Now I’ve been here for nine years. I’m half head honcho at Design/VFX studio Blue Spill. I work predominantly as a designer for theatrical feature documentaries, in the UK and US. I arrived in London with a commercial motion graphics background and moved into visual effects. After spending some time as a freelance Flame artist, I started working in feature documentaries, and a fork sprung in my career path. I was offered a full time Flame position at one of the leading post houses, but I followed my gut and stuck with documentaries. It was a risky choice, but it’s definitely been the right one for me. My husband Anthony and I worked together as Flame artists several years ago, and since then had been helping out on each other’s jobs. We realised that joining forces made sense for everyone, us and our clients. We opened Blue Spill earlier this year. Running our own business has been fantastic! And I say that with a big smile and gritted teeth simultaneously. Without a doubt it’s been challenging setting up. As a freelancer you’re immune to a lot of the business side of things then suddenly you’re in control of rent and bills and making sure there’s biscuits for clients. It’s also incredibly rewarding, working on larger projects and bringing in freelancers, dealing with clients and projects in a more inclusive environment. We feel very excited about where we are and where we’re going. Last year I fulfilled a significant designer dream wish list by designing the 50 year anniversary Bond film, Everything or Nothing. It was a pretty big undertaking, as Bond fans are renowned for being a touch on the obsessive side. Particularly, designing the opening gun barrel sequence was met with trepidation but it went down really well with fans, so that was a big relief. The film was such a pleasure to work on, and a great excuse to work my way through a rather hefty boxset. I love working in feature documentaries. Every film is so different, and there’s an importance

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Allison Brownmoore Design/VFX Artist and co-owner Blue Spill

which doesn’t often come around in commercial design work. I love getting the film at rough cut and working with the director to form a style. It’s those early designs which are the most difficult but also the most rewarding. Over the years I’ve worked on some amazing films, including nine Sundance films, three Academy Award short listed films and a Grierson award winner. This year I designed four films at Sundance, which has been pretty exceptional!

so I miss that a lot. I love cycling here, and the green countryside. There is so much happening, and you can see amazing artists easily and regularly. The Saatchi Gallery is overlooked by most visitors, it’s free and incredible, and offers something totally different to the usual ‘gallery/museum’ trip. Secondly I’d recommend the London Fields Lido. I’ve swum in a fair amount of pools around the world and this is without a doubt my favourite.

I think Australians are drawn to the UK because in career terms, it’s one of the Everests. Being successful in places like London and New York is quite lucrative, and that challenge is very appealing to undertake. Combining that with the world’s travel at your doorstep, and it’s a no brainer! However, if I were doing it again I would be more aware Australian experience is largely overlooked in this industry. I thought having three years doing commercials for Channel Ten would have bode well, but I may as well have been working at a bakery. Londoners want you to have London experience. That was difficult at first, but once I had my first job then it was smoother sailing. Be prepared to go backwards a little before going forwards.

Weirdly, I now love London, because I’ve tried so hard to hate it, but for all its grey skies, I really do love it. Living here was much better than I expected, I thought everyone whisked about in shades of grey, under a perpetually grey sky, whinging about a sun they’d only seen once or twice. But the weather here becomes incidental as time goes on. Like everything in life, you adjust.

I don’t miss much at all about Australia, until I think about questions like what do I miss – then I miss everything! I miss my family and friends, foremost, and then I miss the landscape. I grew up around the bush and as a child was always in it,

My husband’s family has a beach house in Devon so we head there as often as possible when we need to get out of London. Otherwise we’re in Western Europe – such short flights to amazing food and beautiful sunshine. I realised recently my two year old son has been on five trips abroad - that’s something you’d be hard pressed to be doing from Australia! For more information on Blue Spill see Bluespill.co.uk. Interview by Alex Ivett

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14 | Sport

27 August - 2 September 2013

O2Touch action continues with From Somalia to sailor London late summer leagues n Australian photojournalist Nigel Brennan

spent 15 months as a hostage in Somalia, describing his time in captivity as a “wake up call”. In London to take part in the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race, he shares his journey with BONNIE GARDINER.

By Jessica Powell Just as our finals week rolls to an end, it doesn’t mean that the action for 2013 is over yet. As autumn approaches, and the weather cools, the touch action is set to just get hotter and hotter. With record numbers entering our O2Touch late summer leagues, seeing out 2013 looks like it will be done in style. Tuesday and Wednesdays at Regents Park for the next eight weeks will see both mixed and men’s teams fight it out in one final chance to redeem themselves and take home a 2013 winners crown. Starting on either Tuesday 27 August or Wednesday 28 August, with many spring and summer teams re-entering the competition, the late summer league will give teams a chance to cement the skills and touch knowledge they have gained throughout the course of their touch playing year. Will summer team AL_A Almighty show that this is their time? Will the newly formed individual team Dangerous Strangers be a force to be reckoned with? Or will Infinity Awesome live up to their name, and bring the heat? Regents Park isn’t the only venue that is set to go off though, as southwest London players are in to heat the upcoming cooling months. Clapham Common will be pulling the big guns out every Monday and Wednesday from 2 and 4 September to treat anyone who passes by with a touch feast spectacle with the much anticipated September Shoot-out. Playing 2x20 minute games a night for a four-week league, will that be enough for summer winners The

Misfits to once again reinforce who owns Clapham touch? 
With this being the final games before heading to the USA for the Club World Cup Touch, will longstanding In2Touch league team – Galaxy – grab a win before flying off? Though a winner isn’t guaranteed at this stage, one thing we can say for sure is that some amazing touch game play is set to be had in these next few months. What better way can you think of to stay fit, active and social? No, we couldn’t think of another either. Nominations are still open for both teams and individual players at Regents Park on Wednesdays and Clapham Common on Mondays, so to avoid feeling left out – make sure to enter NOW! With 16 venues around England from Clapham Common and Regents Park to St Albans and Manchester, with over 600 teams playing in the London leagues alone and over 1,000 teams playing country wide, touch rugby is taking the nation by storm. For more information or if you would like to register for an O2 Touch league or competition, go to www.in2touch.com/uk or e-mail info@in2touch.com or call the London office on 020 85420827.  

We’re not drug cheats, says Essendon Bombers ...continued from p16 Essendon and Hird now concede they face punishment, but the main sticking point has been they do not want any suggestion that they are drug cheats. The Bombers have been under Australian Sport’s Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and AFL investigation since 5 February over the club’s 2011-12 supplements program. The ASADA investigation is ongoing and earlier this month they provided the AFL with a 400-page interim report. Acting on that report, the AFL charged Essendon, Hird, club doctor Bruce Reid, Bombers football manager Danny Corcoran and senior assistant coach Mark Thompson with offences relating to conduct unbecoming and bringing the game into disrepute. Negotiations to avoid court action effectively broke down last week, prompting the AFL to dramatically up the stakes. They released an explosive 34-page document on Wednesday that went into the charges with much greater detail. A couple of hours later, Little and Hird made strongly-worded statements to the media that made it clear they would defend the charges vigorously. But when the AFL released the extra details of the charges, the league also announced a meeting of

the 18 club presidents. It went ahead on Thursday, a few hours after the Hird writ was lodged at the Supreme Court and, and has proved a turning point. By Saturday night, Little was saying before the Carlton game that the club wanted Hird to return as coach if the AFL suspended him. Soon after the stirring six-point win over the Blues, Hird made one of the most significant gestures of the whole saga at his post-match media conference. When a club media spokesman tried to end the media conference, Hird said he was prepared to keep answering questions – a major departure from Essendon’s tightlyscripted handling of the crisis. Asked if he would accept a suspension, Hird said: “first of all I want to prove I’m innocent of a lot or 99 per cent of those charges. “I look at those charges and they make me sick that they’re out there and that people would believe that is the truth about me. “I’m determined to clear that up. “Then we’ll go from there about suspension or not suspension.” Also on Sunday, Essendon great Matthew Lloyd said he thinks Reid will leave his long-time post as club doctor to concentrate on clearing his name. - AAP

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Speaking of his ordeal as a hostage in Somalia for 15 months, Australian photojournalist Nigel Brennan says he “wouldn’t change it for the world.” Five years since his release and in London to compete in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, Brennan describes his time in captivity as a “wake up call” that gave him “drive and desire.” “People always say to me, I’m so sorry that happened to you. I say to them, don’t be sorry. It made me realise I had just been floating through life. I had been stoned for twenty years,” says Brennan. Working as a freelancer at the time of his abduction, Brennan says he was drawn to Somalia while still trying to make a name for himself, as he was particularly interested in highlighting the humanitarian and food crisis, along with the conflict that had been ravaging the country. It was on his fourth day in Somalia, while driving to an internal displacement camp just outside Mogadishu when Brennan and his travel companions were ambushed by an insurgent gang. Brennan, three Somali men and a Canadian journalist named Amanda Lindhout were accused of being Ethiopian spies working with the African Union Forces. When the gang became convinced The Clipper Yacht Race is a round the world year-long yacht race made up of eight legs which gives ordinary everyday people the opportunity to discover the exhilaration of ocean racing regardless of sailing experience. In this year’s race there are 66 Australian crew taking part, and two Australian skippers taking charge of two of the twelve brand new 70-foot yachts. During leg four of the race, the fleet visits the west and eastern seaboards of Australia with a stop in Sydney in between. The Clipper Yacht Race departs Sunday 1 September from St Katharine Docks, London and will be the biggest Thames boat procession since the Queens Diamond Jubilee. Thousands are expected to line the banks of the Thames to watch the race fleet depart in a grand, ceremonial departure under Tower Bridge. See clipperroundtheworld.com for more information.

Brennan and Lindhout were only freelancers, they decided on a political kidnapping in order to garner money from the Australian and Canadian government, claiming both countries were at war with Islam. “Who was responsible? Its a million dollar question. Quite possibly we were actually sold out by someone who was working with us,” says Brennan. “The gang that grabbed us knew how many journos had been in our hotel, how many cars each team had, what security each team had, so we were certainly sold out by someone. But look, that might have been someone in the hotel that had overheard our travel plans.” At the outset, Brennan and Lindhout were detained without food and filtered drinking water, and told that if their governments didn’t transfer around $2 million within 24 hours, they would be executed. The two journalists converted to Islam after ten days, when it was explained that their refusal to do so would mean the gang would receive the ransom money and execute them anyway. Brennan and Lindhout were separated after two months, often incarcerated in rooms side by side, allowing them to communicate through secret notes and knock codes. “I’ve always said I am so incredibly grateful to have had that first companionship with Amanda, and even after we were separated we were still a great support system to each other,” says Brennan. As well as the interrogation and beatings of the two, Lindhout has since revealed that during her time in captivity she was repeatedly sexually assaulted, while at one point she had a fake assassination put on her as a means to apply pressure to her family to pay the ransom. Five months into the kidnapping, Brennan and Lindhout were told the three Somalians that were taken hostage with them had been beheaded, though outside reports say they were released. A month later, Lindhout and Brennan managed to escape winning only 25 minutes of freedom before being recaptured and stripped of what basic rights they had left. “You have no idea how incredibly powerful a single object like a pencil can be, just to have the ability to write things and to draw. To have that taken away from you and then you’ve only got your mind – that was pretty tough.” Naturally, Brennan says his experience challenged his faith in humanity, but his positive attitude towards the experience is evidence that he did not come out of it

bitter and twisted. “During captivity I’d think, I can’t believe human beings can be so horrible. But then there were times as well where I did see a flicker in those guys, and actually at the end of the day, people are good. There’s only a couple of rotten apples.” As the Australian government has a policy against paying kidnappers, Brennan’s family was finally able to raise enough themselves to pay the ransom, around US$675,000, which would go towards the release of both him and Lindhout. This was achieved with efforts from fundraiser events and generosity from public figures, including Senator Bob Brown who took out a personal loan of $100,000 to help Brennan’s family. In the end, the revered Dick Smith was instrumental to Brennan’s release, as he helped orchestrate payment of the ransom as well as donating to the cause himself. It was this act of kindness that had led Brennan to being alive and well in London today, gearing up for his final week of training before the Clipper Yacht Race officially sets off on 1 September. Donning a customised Dick Smith shirt, which reads simply: ‘I love Dick,’ Brennan laughs at the idea of going from 15 months alone in the confines of a small room to four months on a boat with 23 other people, all with “large personalities.” “Fifteen months in isolation was easy... this is going to be a challenge!” he jokes. “But I’m going to meet some amazing people and get to see some amazing parts of the world.” Though he claims he’s not far removed from the man he once was, the ordeal certainly changed him into someone who makes the most of their time, while also realising the true value of random acts of kindness. When he isn’t learning to sail half way around the world, he is involved in training journalists who are headed into conflict zones on how to prepare themselves, and what they need to do to get the job done while keeping as safe as possible. With a job potentially lined up in England following his time during Clippers, and a plan to retire on a sail boat, travelling to places like Fiji and Palau, Brennan’s plans do not yet include a return visit to Somalia until there’s more security. “I would actually love to go back, the Somalian people are incredibly friendly. And they have an amazing country that has so much to offer. “There’s just people at the top that don’t want stability there.” Despite this, Brennan says his motto these days is “never say never.” “If I went back in, it would certainty be under some very controlled circumstances... and maybe with some SAS boys, packing metal.”


Sport | 15

AustralianTimes.co.uk

US Open Champion Pat Rafter returns to Royal Albert Hall Come and watch Australian tennis legend Pat Rafter alongside a host of former world no.1s and Grand Slam

Champions at the Royal Albert Hall this December. An all-star line-up of champions are coming to London for the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall from 4 – 8 December. The 1997 and 1998 U.S. Open Champion Pat Rafter will return to this spectacular stage at the world-famous Royal Albert Hall to try and reclaim the Statoil Masters title, something he accomplished back in 2009. Rafter will be joined by the 1997 US Open runner-up Greg Rusedski, along with Goran Ivanisevic, Mark Philippoussis, Tim Henman and defending champion Fabrice Santoro. They will relive some of the greatest rivalries in tennis in a six-man roundrobin tournament, with an older Legends event running alongside. In the six-man Legends event Mats Wilander and Henri Leconte are confirmed, along with eight time Grand Slam Champion, John McEnroe. Having won the U.S. Open four times during his renowned career, audiences can be guaranteed to see McEnroe’s enthusiasm and passion on show at the Royal Albert Hall. In the doubles field, the everpopular Mansour Bahrami and the 2007 Wimbledon Mixed Doubles champion Jamie Murray have also signed up to play. This tournament offers the perfect combination of drama and tension with competitive singles alongside entertaining doubles matches. Come down and watch your favourite legends of the game become champions once more.

Did you know? • The tournament first took place in 1997. It was headlined by John McEnroe’s first meeting with Bjorn Borg in London since their 1981 Wimbledon final. McEnroe won the match, and also the first three editions of the tournament between ‘97 and 1999. He also won the tournament in 2003. • In 2008, seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras made his first appearance at the event, and his first visit to London since Wimbledon in 2002. At the Royal Albert Hall, he lost to the eventual champion Cedric Pioline in the semi-finals. Pioline went on to beat Greg Rusedski in a thrilling final.

Details Tickets to the Statoil Masters Tennis are on sale now with prices starting from only £12.50 per person. Don’t miss out – book your tickets online now or call the Statoil Masters Tennis Box Office on 020 7070 4404. Why not make your experience extra special and treat your friends and family to a first-class hospitality experience in one of the UK’s most breathtaking venues? VIP hospitality to the Statoil Masters Tennis is available now with prices from only £179 inc. VAT per person. To book, email StatoilMasters@img.com or call 0208 233 5854.

THE

Round 22

By Will Denton

Ok, it’s time. What time? Plausible scenario time. With one round remaining in 2013, the possibilities of final ladder positions, finals opponents and Mad Monday venues are considerably less likely to cause a brain haemorrhage whilst working it out, simply because there are less options. Brendan Fevola said it best when he stated ‘Maths is easy when it’s not hard and stuff’. The penultimate round (btw how good a word is ‘penultimate’? I’m planning to use this under-utilized adjective on a daily basis. As in, ‘this shall be my penultimate coffee for the day’ and so on) dished up mouth-watering contests, some statements were made and there were some fairy tale finishes. The Essendon/Carlton clash slots firmly into the latter. If this is the last game before the AFL hammer of justice crushes the Bombers season, then there was probably no other opponent that they would’ve liked to snatch a last minute victory from than Carlton. Especially after the week they’ve had. The Bombers must be now world record holders of having the ‘most weeks from hell’ in one calendar year, so it was refreshing in a way watching them do what they exist for - playing footy. It was an

RUBDOWN absolute belter, filled with plenty of Malthouse gold, like trying to get the coaches box air-con remote to rewind the big screen replay. And all credit to the footy gods for organising this one - David Zhaharakis, the only player on the Essendon list that didn’t partake in the controversial supplement program, kicks the winning goal. Of course the final irony will be realised if Essendon get kicked out and Carlton, who may finish ninth, climb into eighth and take the Bombers spot in September. But this leads to a further ultimate irony scenario. If Carlton finish ‘eighth’, they play fifth placed Richmond in an elimination cutthroat final. If the Tigers lose that, they will be effectively get knocked out by ninth. This single event will contain more irony than a certain Alanis Morrisette track, which ironically doesn’t contain much irony at all. More just bad luck I reckon. Speaking of bad luck, the Kangaroos reminded everyone just what they were about in 2013, taking it right up to ladder leaders in Hawthorn, looking a million bucks before yep, you guessed it, just falling short again. At least the margin was more than a kick this time. Geelong tore up the Swans, not sure what to make of it as both these sides will feature heavily at the pointy end. Maybe it was just a gentlemen’s agreement to keep the locals happy. Anyway, keep focussed people, were nearly there.

Tongans finish UK tag Bad light robs Ashes fans of result rugby tour on a high ...continued from p16

but at the end of the day what do you do? You do your best and try and set up a game and unfortunately home fans (react angrily).” Clarke continued at the post-match press conference: “I’m not going to get into the numbers. I think I did up there (on stage). I will probably get in trouble for it…,” he said. While the attacking declaration of Clarke was a win for Test cricket, inflexible ICC rules regarding bad light robbed fans of a result. Clarke wouldn’t be drawn on whether laws needed to be altered, as he digested a 3-0 series loss and a ninth

straight Test without a victory – the longest winless streak since Allan Border’s side went 14 matches without success in 1985-86. However, he did avoid becoming just the third captain to lose a Test in which he declared twice. A brilliant 62 from 55 balls from England star Kevin Pietersen set up the possibility that Australia could suffer their worst-ever series result on English soil. Clarke said he had no regrets about playing to win. “That’s the way I’d like to see cricket played and I’d certainly like to lead the Australian team playing in that type of manner,” he said. “We had nothing to lose.”

England scored at just two runs an over on day three, yet when Clarke declared at 6-111 on the final day they finally decided to come to the party and provide some entertainment for fans, finishing on 5-206. Ryan Harris took the crucial wicket of Pietersen to finish the series with 24 wickets at 19.5 and be named Australia’s player of the series. Harris was forced off late with a right hamstring strain, but he’ll have plenty of time to rest up before the summer. “His stats are as good as anyone’s who I have ever played with,” Clarke said. James Faulkner made an outstanding debut, taking six wickets across the two innings on day five. - AAP

In the past two seasons he has successfully been converted into a goalkicking small forward, bagging a personal best haul of 23 last year and improving it to 26 in the current campaign. However, growing concerns about the state of his knees helped persuade him to call time on his illustrious career. “I’m acutely aware of my body and 12 months down the track I don’t know how it would be if I had a setback along the way,” said Bolton. “I might have a mid-season retirement. “The other thing is I’m aware of our list. We’ve got some great talent coming through hopefully they can continue to push in. “That’s what I want to see, that’s the footy life cycle and it’s just the turnover of the list.” Bolton is an accredited player manger

and is interested in getting involved in the media and doing corporate work for Sydney. Sydney coach John Longmire hailed Bolton as the best clubman he had ever known and one of the most popular players in the club’s history. “I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago and said ‘what’s your plans Jude?’ and he said ‘well if I play next year I will probably be keeping a couple of younger players out of the team,’” Longmire said. “That sums up Jude Bolton, just a fantastic footballer and warrior for this football club and just an unbelievable person.” Bolton, who missed last weekend’s big loss to Geelong through illness, will return against Hawthorn on Friday night and remained bullish about Sydney’s prospects despite defeats in two of their past three games. “We’ve got the double chance as well, so it’s really exciting,” Bolton said. “It’s the best time of the year, it’s a whole new season.” - AAP

Bolton retires from Swans to make way for young players A TEAM man to the end, Sydney champion Jude Bolton has revealed part of his decision to retire at the end of the 2013 AFL season was so he wouldn’t block any of the club’s outstanding young players. The 33-year-old midfielder-turnedforward has played 321 games for the Swans, second only to teammate Adam Goodes,(331), with both making their senior debut in 1999. Bolton has played in three grand finals, tasting victory in 2005 and 2012 and defeat in 2006. He has always been renowned for his fearless approach and has recorded more tackles than anyone since statistics were kept in that category. Bolton is set to play more than 20 games for the 12th time in the past 13 seasons and can’t recall ever missing more than three successive matches.

For the latest tournament news, visit StatoilMastersTennis.com.

By Phillip Browne The Tongan men’s o/30s tag rugby team embarked on their historic UK and Ireland tour a fortnight ago, with matches lined up against the London Residents men’s o/30s, the 2013 London Tag Rugby Championships, the Great Britain men’s o/30s before flying across to Ireland to take on their men’s opens team. The first match took place on Thursday 15 August at Canada Water vs the London Residents men’s o/30s. This team is made up of the best tag rugby players in this category who reside in the capital regardless of nationality. There were many Aussies who featured in the London Residents representative team, including Murray Farquharson, Andrew Frost, Steve Leary, Arron Lombardo, Shaun Snow and Patrick Wright. The London Residents men’s o/30s produced a stellar performance to down the touring Tongans 8-3, with inspirational Kiwi captain Kim Parkinson best on ground. The Tongans entered the 2013 London Tag Rugby Championships in the men’s open division on Saturday 17 August. The Tongans went through the pool stages with only one loss to London’s premier men’s team, Tag Me Maybe, 5-2. The Tongans never lost a match after this, defeating East End Paddies in the semi finals to book a finals rematch against Tag Me Maybe. This time the touring side were too strong with a 2-1 nail biter to take out the 2013 London Tag Rugby Championships men’s title. Next up for the Tongans was the might of the Great Britain men’s o/30s on Tuesday 20 August at East London

RFC. The match featured a number of Aussies who qualified via heritage, residency or citizenship and included Jay Beare, Phillip Browne and Andrew Davis. In a very fast paced match the Tongans went into the half time break up 4-2 and managed to finish the job with a faultless second half to secure an 8-4 victory. Moana Mausia was awarded player of the series for Tonga. There is plenty of excitement amongst the UK tag rugby community with upcoming International inbound tours to London from Ireland and Australia scheduled for 2014. In other news, the Autumn leagues start this week from 27 August onwards at 11 venues across London and include; Battersea Park, Borough, Highbury, Tooting Bec (all Monday), Shoreditch Park (Tuesday), Finsbury Park, Rotherhithe, Shoreditch Park, White City (all Wednesday), Barnes, Highbury (both Thursday), Clapham Common (Saturday) and Hyde Park (Sunday). New team and individual registrations are welcome. If you would like to get involved in a Try Tag Rugby competition before the big cold comes back to London, go to www.trytagrugby.com or email info@trytagrugby.com for more details.


THE

RUBDOWN

A gentlemen’s agreement

P15

SPORT

JAMES HIRD’S LAWYER BLASTS AFL ‘BULLIES’ JAMES Hird’s lawyer has blasted the AFL over its conduct in investigating Essendon’s 2011-12 supplements program. The prominent human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC accused the league of bullying tactics in the Essendon supplements scandal. It is clear that Hird and Essendon on one side and the AFL on the other have backed down substantially from last Wednesday, when the two sides effectively declared war on each other. But the Supreme Court writ that Hird filed against the AFL on Thursday remains alive. And Burnside made it clear on Sunday that whatever comes out of the AFL Commission meeting, he has been unimpressed with the league’s conduct. “The AFL’s bullying tactics seem to be the standard in Australia now,” Burnside told reporters in Adelaide. “The AFL seems to think it’s okay to bully a bunch of individuals and a club without letting them have a fair hearing. “I think the AFL’s conduct has been scandalous.” It remains to be seen whether Hird’s writ will delay the resolution of the AFL charges, with backroom negotiations continuing throughout the weekend. But following comments by Hird and Essendon chairman Paul Little at Saturday night’s win over Carlton, there is widespread speculation the matter was due to come to a head at a commission meeting on Monday. At the time Australian Times went to print Essendon were likely to be stripped of their premiership points – the first time in AFL history that a team has been barred from the finals. It would mean next Saturday night’s game against Richmond becomes a dead rubber. The AFL will also probably ban Hird for one year, dock the club draft picks and slap the Bombers with a massive fine.

...continued on p14

(AAP Image/Joe Castro)

BOLTON CALLS TIME | p15

Sydney Swans star Jude Bolton has cited concerns about his knees and blocking the path of young players as reasons why he will retire at the end of this AFL season.

Clarke told umpire to keep hands off

MICHAEL Clarke took exception to umpire Aleem Dar getting physical in a fiery mid-pitch confrontation over bad light, as the Ashes finished amid high-drama at The Oval on Sunday. The ICC is likely to examine the ugly incident and also post-match comments from Clarke, when he revealed the reading on the light meter on Sunday was vastly inconsistent with earlier in the series. Bad light also cost Australia valuable time in the third Test at Old Trafford. Play was abandoned on day five of the fifth Test with England needing 21 runs from four overs to pull off a stunning win. The draw left the crowd irate, jeering Clarke during the post-match presentation on the field. However the gripping series finale wouldn’t have been possible without Clarke’s bold declaration which set England 227 runs to win in 44 overs. Clarke was fuming at the amount of time it took umpires to call for the light meter. When Mitchell Starc ran out player-of-the-series Ian Bell on the last ball of that 40th over, Clarke got in Dar’s face to make his point and reacted angrily to the umpire prodding him away with his left hand which was holding the meter. “I remember Aleem touching me and I asked him politely to not touch me because if I touched him I’d be suspended for three matches,” Clarke said. “That’s all I can remember, coincidentally. “From my point of view I have no issue. I just know a player is not allowed to touch an umpire.” Clarke said on the podium that he was baffled at the discrepancy between the readings at Manchester and The Oval, but refused to elaborate at the post-match press conference, acknowledging that his original comments may land him in trouble. “I think the concern from our players was the reading was taken so late,” he said at the presentation to a chorus of boos. “I think the reading in Manchester was 8.1 and then today it was 5.7 ...continued on p15

Australian Times weekly newspaper | 27 August 2013  

The weekly Australian Times newspaper. for, by and about Aussies in the UK.

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