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11 - 17 December 2012 – Issue: 442

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“Shattered, gutted” DJs break silence n The two Australian DJs at the centre of the

Royal prank scandal have broken their silence in interviews on Australian shows A Current Affair and Today Tonight and expressed sorrow over the death of the nurse involved. 2Day FM radio duo, Mel Grieg and Michael Christian, have offered a tearful apology over their prank call to the King Edward VII Hospital where the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge had been admitted as a patient. Following the death of the nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, who had transferred the prank call through to the Duchess’s ward, the pair attracted global condemnation for their stunt. On Channel 9’s A Current Affair Ms Grieg has said she was devastated after learning of Ms Saldanha’s death: “I have thought about this a million times in my head, that I just wanted to reach out to them and just give them a big hug and say sorry. “I hope they are OK, I really do.” “It was meant to be a silly little prank that so many people have done before. The accents were terrible, it was designed to be stupid. There were corgis barking in the background, it was meant to be a joke,” Ms Grieg said. In the interview the pair speak of their sorrow and anguish about the “unforeseeable” turn of events, though suggest they could not be held ultimately responsible for the decision to broadcast the call. ‘’You prank someone, you record it, then it goes to the other departments to work out what they want to do with

it,’’ Greig told the show’s host, Tracy Grimshaw. ‘’It’s been done for years. It was routine for us. It wasn’t anything different.’’ Asked by Ms Grimshaw about the procedures in place on the Hot30 show to determine what was acceptable in a prank call, Grieg said: “We just record it and then it goes to the other departments to work out. I don’t know what they then do with it. We just do what we do, which is make those calls.’’ Her co-host Christian added that it was not the pair who made the decision to broadcast the call: “That’s done by other people. Our role is just to record and get the audio and wait to be told whether it’s OK or not OK.’’ He went on to say there was no malice intended by the call, saying: “We are incredibly sorry for any harm we have contributed to. It is tragic turn of events that no one could have predicted. “It wasn’t about trying to get a scoop. We assumed we would be hung up on and that would be that. We were meant to be told off and that was the gag, the joke was on us.” Southern Cross Austereo has previously stated it did not believe

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Let me stay, Smits asks UK AN Australian man recognised for his bravery after suffering knife wounds while protecting elderly women on a London bus has been refused the right to remain in the UK, a newspaper reports. Timba Smits, 33, from Melbourne, was stabbed and punched when he stood up to thugs on a bus in September 2011, Britain’s Evening Standard newspaper reported. His actions earned him a local council citizenship award and an honour from the Carnegie Hero Trust Fund. However, the UK Border Agency has rejected the graphic artist’s application for a compassionate extension to his visa. Mr Smits spent months recovering from the violent attack for which two men were jailed. “What needs to happen before it’s compelling and compassionate?” Mr Smits told the Standard on Thursday of his visa extension application. “The refusal letter was a massive hammer blow – a kick ...continued on p3


2 | News

11 - 17 December 2012

Guilt and blame:

the ultimate shape-shifters BY Alex Ivett Publisher: Bryce Lowry Editor: Alex Ivett Production/Design: Jackie Lampard Sports Editor: Tim Martin Contributors: Shannon Crane, Phill Browne, Paul Judge, Sepi Roshan, Erin Somerville, Melissa Shortal, Justin Ng, Gareth Mohen, George Katralis, Cameron Jenkins, Chris Arkadieff, Lee Crossley, Mel Edwards, Will Fitzgibbon, Bronwyn Spencer, Emily Banyard, Clare

Boyd-Maccrae, Jonathon Waldheim, Paul Bleakley, Daniel Shillito, Mat Lyons, Sharon Spence Lieb, Nicole Crowley, Alex Bruce-Smith, Tyson Yates, Amber Rose, Bianca Soldani, Jennifer Perkin, Shannon Loves, Charlie Inglefield Advertising Manager: Dominic Young Directors: P Atherton, J Durrant N Durrant, R Phillips and A Laird 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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A radio station beleaguered. Two presenters in hiding. A family in mourning, and a hospital under siege by a barrage of media attention. The object of initial interest, the Royal fetus, all but forgotten as this amoeba of public outrage and opinion shape-shifts faster than the media that created it. When asked to comment on the ongoing 2Day FM Royal prank call scandal, the unintended consequence of which is the tragic apparent suicide of a nurse involved, I almost couldn’t bring myself to do it. How to make sense in words of this awful tragedy and this unique global reaction of personalized anger and righteous indignation. And am I just feeding the fire in doing so? I must have started and not finished a dozen times. Should I preface the piece with the obvious; that this terrible outcome of a misguided prank call has indeed been a tragedy for all involved? The inescapable fact is two children have been left without their mother, a husband without his wife and a hospital without a valued and respected colleague. It seems self-evident, unnecessary even intrusive - to dwell on the despair and hurt of the family. To reiterate their pain as many articles have done previously in order to justify to our readers that whatever I might write next is legitimate, because I have first acknowledged the family’s loss. But no stranger can, or should, presume to speak on the behalf of those who have suffered such a deeply personal tragedy. Let us leave the family then, to their private grief. Let’s stop sticking the cameras in their faces, trawling Facebook for their personal memories, and stop trying to presume what they must be thinking, feeling, and – yes, blaming – at this horrible time. The radio presenters. Maybe I should start there. Should I join the ‘global condemnation’ engaging in a social media firestorm of vitriol at their tasteless prank? Should I, too, call for criminal charges to be laid against two individuals whose actions unintentionally and without malice had the unforeseen consequence of this awful event? Maybe instead I should use it as an opportunity to look inward, to ask myself if I too have ever performed a thoughtless act without regard to the possible consequences. If I have ever made a joke at another’s expense, not fully appreciating the complexities of the feelings and thoughts of the person to whom I’ve subjected to

Sydney 2Day FM presenters Michael Christian and Mel Greig speaking on Today Tonight, Monday, 10 Dec, 2012. The radio jocks are speaking to media for the first time after their prank call made international news and has been linked to the death of respected nurse and mother Jacintha Saldanha, 46, on Friday. (AAP Image/Channel Seven) my humiliation. If I’ve ever done something that has hurt someone, that I will have to regret, feel guilt for, stay up late thinking ‘what if’ about, for the rest of my life. And maybe even think myself lucky that in those instances the acts I performed didn’t end in such tragic circumstances. Or should I continue instead to play the blame game? Should I, if considering whether wider causes than just the prank itself should be acknowledged, identify whom exactly then is to ‘blame’? Because surely there must be ‘one single cause’? We must all be able to collectively point our judgmental fingers and say ‘you, you there, it was your fault. Someone must pay’. Was it the hospital for not having the appropriate procedures in place to prevent the call going through? Was it the lawyers who approved the broadcast, or the station itself for encouraging such inane humour? Surely though, the blame can’t be mine – the media consumer? It can’t be my own unquenchable need for Royal baby news that motivates an avalanche of column inches and headlines with the words ‘Royal’ and ‘hoax’ in them. Is it really my fault for clicking multiple times on stories relating to the event, that newspapers know they can continue milking this, wringing dry each new development for maximum exposure? No, never. “A personal tragedy with a Royal twist to it, beaten up in a frenzy of Aussie-bashing, is a sure-fire way to

sell newspapers there”, Mike Carlton said in the SMH on Sunday about the media in the UK. Ask, and you shall receive. Just see the Daily Mail’s Monday ‘summary’ of Australian media’s coverage. The Aussie coverage, the Mail seems to imply, only seeks to ‘absolve’ the presenters of any blame. To share this view one must ignore the nuances of the commentary, to not read in full the original articles quoted. It’s the only way to feel the righteous indignation of a reader somehow ‘scorned’ by an overseas media not taking your personalised tragedy ‘seriously’. Maybe instead the focus of this should have been that this too, shall pass. If only Jacintha Saldanha could have known that the media and its consumers would have tired of it soon enough. That, as Katherine Murphy writes, it will ultimately be over just as suddenly as it arrived. “That nothing adheres any more - we are so addled and over-stimulated we will have forgotten by this time next week.” In the meantime, the UK newspapers will continue to accuse and point fingers. The Australian ones will continue to ‘defend’ and ‘divest responsibility’. The public will rail and cry, and express outrage. And the family, well, they will mourn. Privately, if we let them.

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Good Samaritan Timba Smits’ visa battle to stay in UK Continued from p1... in the balls I just didn’t need…. I had dealt with so much already. “All the appreciation I have had from the community has really kept up my spirits, but the coldness of the Border Agency and lack of compassion has made me sick. “It’s made me question if I want to live in a country that wants to kick me out, even though I love it here. It doesn’t give you much faith in humanity.” Mr Smits, who has appealed the rejection of his visa application, stood up to two 19-year-old men

who began abusing fellow bus passengers on a suburban London

route. He was knifed by one of the teens and punched by another. - AAP


Your Say

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On: Kate Middleton pregnant: Hospital prank call latest

Their call was a reflection of themselves, and their absence of moral integrity. Their fame will last “two days”, their incapacity to have basic human respect for others, is probably there to stay, and this will be what they’ll be remember for.
What a contradiction and injustice, that with so many voiceless people in the world, that would have great things to say , the privilege of the microphone is put on the hands of the unintelligent that have nothing of significant value to say. Leo from Canada

I can’t help feeling that this is what years of allowing the media to push

? What’s your view

the boundaries unchecked under the banner of removing censorship has given us. Freedom of the press doesn’t exist across the globe. Where it does exist it has taken centuries of struggle to win. It could so easily be lost in the hands of some of today’s media who seem across the board to neglect to understand their responsibilities. Mouzle

On: Kate Middleton prank call nurse dead in suspected suicide Sir, I am a UK citizen.
Why is the hospital not taking any blame for this incident?
The nurse who will have trained to care for people was left to do the job of answering calls in a hospital that clearly has patients who need some level of privacy.
Does the hospital not feel that it has the funds to properly man a telephone with a

sufficiently skilled person for 24hrs per day?
Perhaps they need to raise their fees even more to ensure that another nurse is not put into such a compromising position. Norman

This is a tragedy. But I think it is also silly to blame a whole country simply because 2 DJs happened to make a prank call. No doubt the British press are also to blame for the way they denigrated the nurse for being so “stupid” as to be duped by such “bad accents”. This is bullying in another form. My hearts go out to the family of the poor woman. Amanda Mac

I don’t believe that sacking these two is sufficient enough punishment. What they did was illegal and they

should be charged. Tess

While its sad and tragic I don’t think you can blame the prank call for her death. We’ve all been pranked at some point and a good many will have messed up at work too. This is nothing more than that and no harm was done. Why this nurse chose to take her life we will never understand exactly. Clare

How naive, deluded are you? Do you really believe that if it wasn’t for this so called ‘prank’ that this woman would not still be alive and be a mother to her two children? If this is the consensus view of your country, poor you and your shameful nation! You people should learn not to abuse cultures that you do not understand.

This radio station should be done for manslaughter. Long live the Republic of Australia! Tom

can’t believe the hate for these DJs. I don’t see this as murder or bullying. A DJ here in America did the same thing to Sarah Palin. He called her up & pretended to be a diplomat or something from a different or even made up country and she did a phone interview with him. It was played and she caught relentless hell for it. People laughed and Sarah Palin stood tall. This woman killed herself orphaning her two children. That’s the tragedy. I’ve been made fun of & it hurts but I would not lay down my life for this. The DJs did nothing wrong here. Bonnie Thompson

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Advertising suspended and share price plummets: Royal hoax fallout Continued from p1... the prank “breached any relevant law, regulation or code”, but was “conducting a comprehensive review of company policies and processes”. “The Company has conducted a review of the process undertaken in the airing of the segment which has found that company protocols were adhered to” said SC Austereo in a statement to media. The chief executive of the company, Rhys Holleran, told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell on Monday that five attempts had been made to contact the hospital before the segment was broadcast, without success. ‘’We don’t claim to be perfect and we always strive to do better,’’ Mr Holleran said. ‘’We have initiated a detailed and rigorous review of our policies and procedures to inform any improvements we can make. Southern Cross Austereo have now cancelled the Hot 30 show and issued a company-wide suspension of prank calls. The decision follows the suspension of all advertising on 2Day FM, which was announced over the weekend. This decision was taken by Austereo in response to the pulling of advertising by key parties, Telstra and Coles, from the Sydney station, with Woolworths and Optus reportedly considering joining the exodus. Losses in advertising revenue could be costing the station up to $150,000 a day, one analyst told SMH. On these estimates, should the suspension last the week, losses could top $1 million by this Saturday. On Monday, shares in Southern Cross Austereo slumped, falling as much as 8.1 per cent in early trade, and closed at a 6.5 cents loss, a fall of 5.9 per cent, to $1.04. 2Day FM is no stranger to controversy, and many commentators suggest this is only the icing on the cake of a wider culture problem within the station. In previous incidents involving shock jock Kyle Sandilands, 2Day FM attracted criticism about Sandilands sexist degeneration of a television journalist who reported on the falling ratings of his television show A Night with the Stars. In another incident in 2009 complaints were received after Mr Sandilands continued questioning an adolescent girl about her sexual history after she revealed on air that she had been raped. Yet even these incidents were not

enough to permanently dent 2Day FM’s reputation, with Sandilands receiving an award with Jackie-O for Best Networked Program at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards as recently as October. It is unlikely the recent crises will end in a similar outcome for 2Day FM, with the Australian media watchdog ACMA considering fast tracking an inquiry into the station’s conduct. Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told reporters in Sydney on Monday that the Australian Communications and Media Authority had taken the rare step of talking directly to 2Day FM to work out if an inquiry is needed into the call. If an inquiry occurs, it is likely the radio duo at the centre of the incident will again be in the spotlight. In the meantime the pair are on indefinite leave from the station and said to be receiving psychological counseling to deal with the tragedy. Beyond Blue’s chairman Jeff Kennett has warned of the potential negative impact of the global fallout on the Australian DJs. “It was a harmless prank,” he told ABC radio. “Now they will be under extraordinary pressure and I just hope that they get our support and that their employer provides them with the professional support to help them get through what will be a terrible few weeks.” Leading psychiatrist Patrick McGorry similarly called for calm, saying suicide was unlikely to be caused by one individual factor. “I feel sorry for them because they obviously had no intention of causing any harm. Blame is hardly ever useful,” he said. NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell told reporters the two radio hosts must be feeling “terrible”. “I don’t imagine in any way that those who were engaged in the typical FM radio stunt would have thought it would lead to this,” he said. “I think there are some people today who are suffering, not just the family of the nurse but those who in some way were involved with what appears to be the trigger for this tragedy,” Mr O’Farrell said. For confidential support and information about suicide prevention, call the Samaritans in the UK on 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch.

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4 | UK Life

11 - 17 December 2012

Photo of the Week: on the Bridle Trail near Bathurst

n The

Bridle Trail between Bathurst and HIll End in NSW is full of rugged and varied terrain and beautiful wild views. Camping and bushwalking is popular along the route.

Image and words provided by an Australian reader Mark Haughton. “THE Bridle Trail originally ran from Bathurst to the once major goldmining town of Hill End. The road runs by the Macquarie River which runs north-west from Bathurst to Lake Burrandong. The road was cut many years ago by subsidence and never reopened. It is rugged country and the road has many river crossings and steep gradients. It must have been very tough going with horse and dray back in the gold mining days. It is

most dramatic and interesting when it is windy and wet.”

Do you have a picture you want to share? Email editor@australiantimes.co.uk with your photos of life in London, the UK, Australia or from your travels, and we could feature it as photo of the Week.

The magic of a UK Christmas By Amber Rose

Christmas is coming. There is no doubt about it. Snippets of tinsel and 20 pack greeting cards are sneakily appearing on shelves from Poundland to Marks & Sparks. And once the last (fake) cobweb of Halloween has been swept away from the shelves reserved for ‘seasonal’ stock, Christmas will be unleashed in all its jingle-belling, mince-pie eating, sticky-taped, wrappingpapered glory. I think most of us approach Christmas in the same sort of way. Outwardly, we groan how the decorations appear earlier every year, and lament on how it’s becoming just a commercially driven celebration without any meaning, and how it will inevitably leave us in debt for the next 12 months until we do it all again, etc etc. But secretly our inner child is cheering, relishing the unadulterated eating and drinking to come, and harbouring a secret hope that perhaps this year will deliver on the perfect Christmas promise so beautifully portrayed in the latest John Lewis TV commercial. But Christmas is all about family. So what do you do if you’re an expat, possibly on your own, on the other side of the world? I believe you have 2 options. Either you pull your doona over your head, severe all

Charity begins out of the home

n It

doesn’t take much to perform an act of kindness this winter. ANNA BOW discovers she is rich in many ways. I gave a homeless man some blueberries tonight. A punnett of them. They were two for £3 at Sainsburys and I only got through one packet at work this week. But that’s not really why I gave them away. I see this man most nights of the week, sitting in the same place near the corner of the street with his menacing brown dog and a navy blue blanket, only one block away from my house. I’m in the habit of shuffling past, head down, silently hoping he won’t ask me for money or see that I have an iPhone

and follow me home. Sometimes I walk past after doing the grocery shopping, carrying bags full to the brim with deliciousness and ready to whip up a little Jamie Oliver number (presumably in only 15 minutes according to the new book). Often, I go past wishing I had walked the long way home on the other side of the road so I didn’t have to see him sitting there, alone and with nothing. Seeing that kind of thing can put you off your dinner you know. Tonight walking up the street,

An open letter to London transport Dear London Transport, Did you hear? Last Wednesday 5 December was officially the first day of snow! How exciting, I hear you say. How marvellous! We may have a white Christmas yet! Um, yeah. Not quite. You see, by the time I got to my friendly overground train station, all the ‘snow’ had melted. Every last drop. Did it really snow, or did we just get mixed up with Europe again? Don’t worry

though, I did get to enjoy that other fun accompaniment to snow in London the complete and utter breakdown of London transport. Why is this? Why at the first sign of a snowflake dot, trains just pack it in and have a little snooze in their train bunk beds? We’re not unused to a bit of cold weather in this country. Hell, we’re not unused to a bit of snow, despite how excited we may get. How is it that with just a touch of frost and a plummet in the temperature, my train was the grand

breathing clouds of smoke in the frosty winter air, wishing I could have afforded Ben Howard tickets from the scalper at the tube and silently cursing my holiday budget, I braced myself for the customary keep-calm-and-shuffle-on maneuver. He was there of course, the homeless man, same as always. But something happened. Another man was running down the street towards us. Maybe he was drunk, maybe he was mean, maybe this was his idea of Christmas cheer, but as he ran past he yelled with almost menacing total of 53 minutes late? I wasn’t the only one. My Facebook feed was full of traffic complaints. My station was full of disgruntled Londoners. At 7pm that night, Waterloo was jam packed with people checking the status of their trains, desperately hoping that theirs hadn’t been cancelled. I think we can all agree that it’s only going to get colder. And I’d wager a guess that we’d all love for a lot more snow before this winter is over. How else are we going to Instagram cutesy little snowmen and a white-blanketed London? But for the love of God, London Transport, please please please get your act together BEFORE the next snow day. Let’s treat last Wednesday as a spectacularly failed trial run, and we’ll all pitch in to do better next time, yeah? Otherwise, the next lot of snow may just trap us in our homes. I, for one, will be very upset not to be able to Instagram

A European Winter

communication with the outside world until New Years at least, watching a box set of M*A*S*H while eating pot noodles and denying all knowledge of the season to be jolly. Or you make the most of being in one of the most amazing cities of the world, and just go for it, Christmas on steroids. I suggest the latter. The one thing I really love about living in the UK is that Christmas is celebrated in WINTER. Finally the dreams of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose can finally be realized. Fellow Aussies could wax lyrical to me all day about the brilliant beach BBQ they have on Christmas day followed by Boxing Day with beers in the pool, but frankly it falls on deaf ears. To me, nothing beats a cold Christmas, so while you’re in London, make the most of it. My suggested itinerary is ice-skating somewhere iconic like the Tower of London, or the Natural History Museum, followed by warming egg nog (or cold Bavarian beer if you fancy) with bratwurst and sauerkraut at the German Markets in Hyde Park. Witness the carnage unfolding in Hamleys toy store and admire the painstakingly put-together shop window fronts of Oxford Street. Carols by Candlelight at the Royal Albert Hall is a magical experience - though don’t be put off by your neighbours tone deaf singing. Instead, join in, the flatter the better. And ballet fan or not, the Nutcracker is a must to inspire even the most determined Grinch to join in with the spirit of the

season. My final tip is to revel in tipples usually reserved for pensioners – sherry, brandy, port – for some reason it is perfectly acceptable for anyone of any age to indulge in these during the weeks surrounding Christmas. With the added excuse that one needs them to keep the frosty weather at bay..... And there is one final bonus to spending Christmas in the Northern hemisphere – the possibility of experiencing the most magical yuletide of all, the White Christmas that Bing Crosby croons of so silkily year on year. Though the odds of it happening in London are slim, at least there is hope, and to me that sure beats the alternative back home in Perth, the possibility of a 40 degree stinker on Christmas Day. So hopefully this has inspired you to rope in all your unsuspecting mates and to go Christmas-crazy in the Big Smoke this year. I for one know that when the memory of Christmases spent in the UK become more and more distant, I will still be trying to recreate the magic in my pool room back in Oz, with air conditioning cranked to the max, trying to convince anyone that will listen that sherry isn’t just for old ladies who play bridge.

glee: “You’re not getting any of my money. You’re crazy to think you’ll get a penny!”  The homeless man stared. Roused. Got really angry. “You’re not homeless mate.”  He said. “You’re not homeless. You’re rich! You have a home so you’re RICH!” You have a home. So you’re rich. This version of richness had nothing to do with tickets to the Ben Howard gig, or how on earth he was going to afford to travel to four countries in the next two months AND attend all of the Christmas parties. Being rich was simple. And I had it. I kept walking but when I turned the corner I couldn’t go further. I stopped. I cried. I cursed myself for having spare blueberries, for wanting to walk away,

and for having an iPhone. I thought back to a recent trip to New York where a friend of mine approached a homeless woman and offered her pizza. Sure I though about the nonsensical shouting and refusal that ensued, but mostly I thought about the kindness in this act and the example that was set. So I turned around and got the blueberries from my bag. I approached the man with fear and caution, wondering what to do if the dog attacked (poke the eyes or grab the throat?). I held the berries out. He stared. He reached. I said “they are nice ones, I hope you enjoy them.” I walked away and heard the peel of opening plastic. And all the way home, I cried. Because even with all of the blueberries in Sainsburys, I can’t make that man rich.

the crap out of a snowy London. And I’m really hoping for a white Christmas. Thanks for your help in this important issue. Alex

Quirks and queries: Alex Bruce-Smith adapts to and adopts all things English. Next week - an open letter to Christmas grinches


Entertainment | 5

AustralianTimes.co.uk

Down the rabbit hole n The

Beefeater 24 Global Bartender Competition Grand Final brought together the world’s best in shaking and stirring in celebration of that key ingredient to all great cocktails: gin. ALEX BRUCE-SMITH tastes the magic with Australian competitor Gregory Sanderson, of Melbourne’s Eau-de-Vie. “Shake the dice, and let me take you down the rabbit hole,” he says, offering me the dice with a cheeky grin. We’re at the Beefeater 24 Global Bartender Competition Grand Final, and ‘he’ is Gregory Ian Sanderson, the Australian finalist competing in this cocktail-making event. Before me is an Alice in Wonderland-themed display of gin, perfume bottles, exotic-looking ingredients, a melting clock and a backgammon board that would make any Lewis Carroll fan proud. Taking centre stage, however, is the reason I’m here tonight: several shot glasses are filled with the cocktail concoction that won Sanderson, from Eau-de-Vie bar in Melbourne, a place at the finals here in London. I roll the dice, and it comes up a five. “Grapefruit,” Sanderson declares, grabbing one of six perfume bottles on display and spritzing my drink. As it turns out, each perfume bottle is filled with a different botanical. There are six in all lemon, orange, grapefruit, Angelico, coriander seed and liquorice root - so that each person gets a different cocktail, depending on your luck. I take a sip. It’s a deliciously smoky blend of grapefruit and tea, slightly bitter but oh-so-drinkable. Sanderson calls it “the 24/7 cocktail, because it can be enjoyed at any time of day” but be warned, it packs a punch. Only those with hardcore stamina could drink this in the afternoon, otherwise you may find your night ending rather early. This is the cocktail that named Sanderson champion in the Australian heat of the Beefeater 24 Global Bartender Competition. Tonight he’s been flown to London to compete against 13 other cocktail connoisseurs from around the world, although as the only Australian contestant, Sanderson has officially travelled the furthest to be here. I’m witness to the final heat of the competition. Earlier in the day, the contestants were tested on their ability to match their drink with food, styling their drink, and their understanding of flavours. Their skills were judged by some of the best in the industry, including Desmond Payne, the creator and Master Distiller of Beefeater 24. In the creation of their final cocktails, competitors had to follow only two rules: the cocktail must contain 35 ml of Beefeater 24 Gin, and must use at least one tea to impart flavour or aroma. Other than that, they could pretty much go wild. The competition took place at Shoreditch Studios in East London. I was handed a chart on arrival to make notes on each drink, to help in

the voting at the end of the night. At the top of my chart - the beginning of the night - my handwriting is clear and concise, with helpful notes such as refreshing or smoky flavour, or gin-sake combination. A little later in the evening I’ve written thoughtful statements such as ‘yummy’ and by the time I get to the last cocktails of the evening, I have what is known as a ‘smiley face measurement chart’. Normal smiley-face means ‘good’, while smiley-face-with-dimples means ‘extra-good’. Just to make a point that the night was in celebration of gin cocktails, I was handed a fishbowl-sized glass of gin and tonic as I walked in. No complaints here - I used it as a pallet cleanser between drinks. The drinks on offer ranged from sweet to sour, from deliciously drinkable to so strong it made your eyes water. Each cocktail was themed, so that along with a friendly world-class bartender on hand to make your drink, you got a glimpse into the thinking behind it and the ingredients used. The Italian finalist had an incredible, if somewhat bizarre, Moroccan theme going on, and poured our drinks from a traditional teapot. The French finalist had cheekily named hers the ‘This So British’, although best name of the night goes to ‘Mr Odong’s Fixer

Upper’. Coincidentally, this one is also crowned strongest drink of the night. One drink tasted exactly like a Gobstopper, which quite frankly I could have drunk all night, while another was best drunk while alternating nibbles of chilli chocolate. The level of theatre and showmanship of the entire night was simply spectacular. Sadly, Sanderson was not crowned the winner of the evening, with the title going instead to UK finalist Nathan O’Neill. It was fierce competition, and lets face it, a free trip to London is a non too shabby consolation prize. How did we celebrate the end of the competition? With more cocktails, of course. I’ll be eagerly awaiting my invite to get my (debatable) judging skills on this time next year.

How to recreate Gregory’s 24/7 cocktail: Ingredients • 60ml Beefeater 24, • 10ml St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, • 4 drops Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters, • 40ml of Gregory’s own blended tea, a combination of Oolong Berry Tea and Russian Caravan Tea (guess you’ll just have to visit Eau-deVie in Melbourne to get the real thing). How to make it • Stir the ingredients together over ice, then pour. What to serve it in • Teacups, of course. With a teapot. Preferably mismatched and a little bit vintage. This is the true Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, after all. What to serve it with • Duck, pink grapefruit, and a dehydrated slice of lemon. • Good friends. • A touch of madness.

New Australian High Commissioner, Mike Rann, welcomed to the UK By Paul Bleakley The Australian media community were out in force at Australia House last week to welcome recently appointed High Commissioner Mike Rann to London and celebrate yet another successful year for Australians working in journalism in the United Kingdom. The former South Australian Premier will take the reins at the Australian High Commission just over a year after leaving political office. Rann was born in the United Kingdom and grew up in South London before moving to the Southern Hemisphere at the age of nine. Rann was elected as South Australia’s Premier on three separate occasions, serving in the role for almost a decade before his resignation in late 2011. Before being appointed as High Commissioner in London he worked as a Professor at Flinders University. He performed this role alongside his responsibilities to environmentally orientated organisations including The Climate Group and the International Advisory Board of the Ecological Sequestration Trust. One of Australia’s most popular

premiers in recent years, Rann will succeed to the role of High Commissioner at Australia House following the departure of prominent diplomat John Dauth, who has represented Australia in the position since 2008. Rann met with Australians working in the media industry at the Australia House function held on 4 December 2012. The yearly reception for expatriate journalists is a highlight of the Christmas season for Australians working in the media industry and living in the UK. A variety of media organisations were represented at the function, with broadcast and print journalists attending from publications ranging from The Times to Australian Times. Held in the palatial reception room of Australia House, the event provides Australian journalists with the unique opportunity to connect with others working in the same industry.

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6 | Entertainment

What’s On Flume 24 December @ Birthdays Rolf Harris 8 February @ Royal Festival Hall Southbank Centre Wolfe Bowart’s Letter’s End 24-27 February @ Southbank Centre The Australian Pink Floyd Show 25 February @ London 02 Arena Olivia Newton-John 13 March @ Royal Albert Hall Tommy Emmanuel 16 March @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire Pam Ann 28-29 March @ Hammersmith Apollo

For full details...

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

See what we are following this week on

#Royalbaby Elizabeth Windsor @Queen_UK Catherine on the phone. She’s left hospital and feeling much better, says the Royal baby is growing faster than the economy. Henry Tudor @KngHnryVIII What’s all the speculation about what happens if Kate has twins? Sweet Jesus. We’re Royals. One eats the other in the womb. The Royal Baby @The_RoyalBaby Feel strange. Don’t know where I am or who I am. It’s dark, I’m naked and I seem to be in some kind of weird rubbery bubble. Am I Lady Gaga? Brian Hope @Brianhopecomedy The Royal Family is having a heck of a time coming up with a baby name now that Blue Ivy is taken. Elizabeth Windsor @Queen_UK Absolutely massive hangover. Camilla popped over for a Royal Baby celebration. Not sure where she ended up. Last seen in a giant vase. Royal Fetus @RoyalFetus I may not have bones yet, but I’m already more important than everyone reading this. The Dark Lord @Lord_Voldemort7 #Royalbaby is trending. So soon there will be a new half-blood Prince? Check out what we’re following this week on AustralianTimes.co.uk and follow us on Twitter @AustralianTimes

11 - 17 December 2012

Straight as an Arrow:

Aussie actress on target n

The Boy With Tape On His Face

New series Arrow airing now in the UK guest stars up and coming Aussie actress, n Modern day mime with a twist, Sam Wills Jessica de Gouw. is The Boy With Tape on His Face. Ahead of the West End run of his critically acclaimed By Paul Bleakley show this Christmas, The Boy talks with Not everyone gets to be a superhero. Most children will at some point wonder ALEX BRUCE-SMITH whilst he still can. what it would be like to strap on a flowing red cape or perch vigilantly over the dark streets of Gotham City. The international success of the recent Batman film franchise proves that this escapism into the world of heroes never truly disappears, even well into adulthood. If very few people get to live the dream of being a superhero, and Australian actress Jessica de Gouw is part of a special minority. De Gouw, 24, has recently secured a role on breakout American television program Arrow in a role that is guaranteed to put a spotlight on the West Australian actress as a rising star of the entertainment industry. Arrow is loosely based on famed DC Comics character Green Arrow, a wealthy-yet-tortured vigilante on a crusade to clean up the corruption plaguing his city. De Gouw is set to portray Helena Bertinelli, another masked crusader better known to comic fans as The Huntress. “The Huntress is a vigilante with a vendetta, who comes up against Oliver Queen (Green Arrow). She’s very dark and vengeful, and really challenges Oliver’s ideas of justice,” de Gouw told Australian Times. The character of The Huntress has had several incarnations since being introduced in 1989 as a darker foil to Batman; Arrow’s version of Helena Bertinelli is the daughter of a prominent mobster that takes the law into her own hands as a way to atone for the sins of her father. De Gouw says: “It is great having the comics as a reference for her back-story, her relationships and her world, but I have never played a character before that is established like Helena, and has such a following. “Comic book fans are in a league of their own. The show is very fortunate to have an existing audience, and an audience that is so passionate and vocal. But I also think that I was cast because the show’s creators, the network liked my take on Helena, so I’ve got to trust my choices.” After taking on several supporting roles on Australian dramas such as Underbelly and Crownies in 2011, de Gouw made the move to Los Angeles where she attracted the attention of Arrow’s creators shortly after arrival. She said: “I’ve been lucky enough to have had some great projects come my way, and this year has been really fun. I

am really lucky to have been given the opportunity to do Arrow so soon after arriving in the US. I know a lot of actors who have gone so long without work and I see how hard it can be.” The Perth-raised actress began acting on stage as a high school student, making the decision to pursue a career in acting when she realised that she would never grow tired of the exhilaration that came from performing. De Gouw acknowledges that the difficulty of finding work as an actress in Australia contributed to her decision to follow her dream in the United States of America. “Surviving as an actor in Australia is certainly not easy, especially when you are just starting out. Most of the actors I went through university with did the same as me, and left Perth in search of work,” de Gouw says. “While there is some incredible Australian drama being produced - the ABC particularly, is creating some amazing television - it is still such a struggle for young artists to sustain themselves financially.” De Gouw recently returned to Australia to film Perth director Zak Hilditch’s latest film These Final Hours, which follows the journey of a self-obsessed man that saves the life of a young girl and aids in her attempts to reunite with her father. The film, showcasing for a number of young Australian actors, is due to be released in early 2013. Jessica de Gouw will premiere in her role as The Huntress in the seventh episode of Arrow entitled ‘Muse of Fire’, with her role recurring throughout the show’s already popular first season. Arrow debuted on American television network The CW with some of the highest ratings of any show in the network’s history, and was renewed for a full season shortly after. Arrow is screening in the UK on Sky1 Mondays at 8pm.

Sam Wills is The Boy With Tape On His Face, a Kiwi comedian who is like nothing else. A mime with noise, or stand up with no talking? The Boy must be seen to be believed. We don’t want to give away too much about his show, but it’s safe to say this comedian will have you in stitches - without uttering a word. Australian Times caught up with Sam to discuss the man behind the tape, the joy of audience participation, and his speedy rise on the comedy circuit to become the must-see London act this Christmas.

Describe ‘The Boy with Tape on his Face’ in three words. Silence is Golden

What was it like performing to packed-out shows at Edinburgh Fringe Festival?

It was amazing. We never expected the show to be that well received that fast but once word of mouth got the shows filled up pretty quick. One of the best sounds I have heard is an audience of 750 all get a joke at exactly the same moment.

You didn’t always have tape on your face, and started out performing a more ‘regular’ brand of comedy. When it comes to physical vs verbal, street vs theatre, which style of comedy do you prefer?

I am lucky enough to be able to live in both worlds and have an equal love for both. What was fun was directly after this year’s Edinburgh [Fringe Festival] I was invited to a street performing festival in Germany where nobody had heard of The Boy and I was just another noisy street act pushing my body through a tennis racquet.

Where did the idea for The Boy grow from?

The idea came about after I won an award in New Zealand for my old style of comedy, which was very circus sideshow based with lots of talking. I felt as though people expected me to just learn more tricks and talk more so I wanted to challenge myself to entertain without using what I knew already.

Your shows often feature the audience as much as yourself. What is it that you love about bringing the audience up on stage with you? It makes it more interesting for me as I am not having to just stand onstage and deliver a script to the

audience night after night. I also think that audiences are wanting to get involved with shows as it makes it a less passive experience like television.

What’s the most insane thing to ever happen during a show?

I once dressed a man up as a stripper in Glasgow and once he took off the costume he carried on with his own clothing. Audience loved it.

What has changed about you as a comedian since arriving in London?

From doing more shows over here I think I have become a better silent comedian, just having the chance to do the show so much has given me more opportunities to develop and work on more material. I think with the New Zealand comedy scene being so much smaller it makes it harder to break through the old guard of comedy, but then again comedy will always have it’s clicks and clubs.

What do you miss the most about New Zealand? The coffee.

Finish the joke: a comedian walks into a bar...

The outcome would depend on which Abar you are talking about. Abar was the first black superman in the 1977 blaxploitation film or do you mean Abar the Nubian Queen from the 25th Dynasty of Egypt?

Who do you admire the most in comedy? Since getting into silent comedy I have developed quite a love for Buster Keaton. As a comedian he worked on absolutely every detail to get the most out of every physical action.

What do you want audiences to take away from ‘The Boy With Tape On His Face’? I want the audience to come along and remember what it was like as a child when everyday objects could be anything and 80’s and 90’s music was the best.

The Boy With Tape on His Face will be performing his multi-award winning show at Duchess Theatre from Monday 17 December – Saturday 5 January. For more information see www. theboywithtapeonhisface.com.

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travel

Travel | 7

AustralianTimes.co.uk

tting This week we’re pu

Amsterdam on the map

n

Beyond the flashy lights of Amsterdam’s red-light district, ALEX BRUCE-SMITH discovers a thriving and ordered cultural metropolis.

Say Amsterdam to someone, and you’ll conjure up an image of many things: bongs, booze, and the infamous red-light district. Amsterdam is synonymous with hedonism. The first time I went, I ticked all the boxes: staring contests with the ladies in the red-light district, blissful hours in the coffee shops, and dancing all night in the Liedersplein. I didn’t remember good chunks of my time there, and that’s exactly how I wanted it, thank you very much. I’d been there, done that, gotten the T-Shirt. A few months later, I received an email from my Dad – he had to go to Amsterdam on work, did I want to come visit? Hell yes I did! Oh, and my brother would be coming too. It was happy families all the way. Like taking my grandmother to Vegas. So I had five days of being a proper tourist, one where I had to keep my blackouts to a minimum, and my clothes marijuana-scented free. I was going to rediscover the sights, as seen by the more sober tourist population. The Amsterdam I discovered on this second trip had so much more to offer than the first. People were kind, thoughtful and creative – and not the Bob Marley wannabees I had imagined.

The Marijuana capital of Europe was ordered, beautiful, and pretty damn charming. It’s very livable city – far more than my current home town of London. I could move there quite happily and slot into my new bike riding life. Amsterdam is a city that has so much more to offer than simply a few Coffee Shops. The Anne Frank museum is hauntingly claustrophobic. The Van Gogh museum brings to life the story behind the tortured artist who cut off his own ear. The story seeming to be that the man was an egotistical introvert. The Red Light district is an important part of Amsterdam, but it’s only a part. Don’t get me wrong, you ABSOLUTELY have to go! Bored, texting prostitutes eyeing each other off across the narrow alleyways is nothing short of absurd. And the novelty condom shop? Simply brilliant. Although I think their usability as actual condoms is somewhat limited. However beyond the coffee shops and booze brigade, there is a layered city with a unique culture.


8 | Travel

How to experience it like a local

See an Ajax game. The Amsterdam folk (Amsterdamians? Amsterdammers?) are mad about football. Ajax is the local team, and come rain or shine (or snow, in my case), they’ll be out to support them. Prepare yourself though for highrisk games and the stadium is alcoholfree. Don’t worry, you can always warm

11 - 17 December 2012

yourself with a nice cup of vending machine imitation coffee.

How to be a cultural genius

Amsterdam is home to some incredible art. You could definitely do worse than spend a few hours in the Van Gogh museum, and you’ll probably find yourself recognising several works

from high school art class. I would recommend paying the extra and getting the audio guide - without it, it’s just a bunch of pretty pictures, and the place is dedicated to Van Gogh, after all. If you only make one cultural visit on your trip, however, make it the Anne Frank museum. Even if you’ve never read her diary, a wander thought the claustrophobic quarters where the Frank family hid from the Nazis for two years

is a haunting experience that will stay with you forever. This memorial attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year; it may look like a long line, but never fear - it moves quickly. The Rijksmuseum is also rather beautiful, plus you can drop Rembrandt’s name to your less culturally inclined buddies.

What not to miss

The novelty condom shop. Condomerie is located in the heart of the red light district and is home to every condom you’ve never wanted to see used. Cute little animals, footballs, and of course the cannabis leaf adorn the end of hundreds of condoms on display. They make awesome novelty gift for mates back home, but to actually use? Hmmm.

What not to do

Please, no smoking weed in the streets. It makes the locals cranky. Don’t buy bicycles on the cheap that are very clearly stolen. They will be stolen back from you. Promise.

What to drink

Heineken. Amsterdam is the city that founded the lager, after all. The original brewery has been turned into a ‘Heineken Experience’, an interactive tour that will leave you a few drinks down and weirdly loyal to the Heineken brand. At the end, you can choose to exchange two drink tokens for two drinks, or both drink tokens to ‘play the Heineken game’. The game, as it turned out, was to pour your own beer. As a bartender I politely declined, and with the help of my brother found as many dropped beer tokens as we could. Afternoon well spent.

Where to stay

If you want some canals, stay in the city centre - anywhere between the train station and the Stadhauderskade will do. For a more vibrant atmosphere there are plenty of hostels to be found in the Red Light District itself.

How to get around

You can pretty much walk to anywhere in the city centre in less than 20 minutes. If you feel like exploring a bit, Amsterdam is the bicycle capital of the world, and there’s plenty around to hire. A taxi will cost less than €10 for most journeys, so if you’ve had a bit too much to drink, hop in.

Sneaky tip

The trams are pretty much free. I mean, they’re not actually free, but ticket inspectors come along so rarely, they pretty much are. Think of the tram system in Melbourne and that will give you an idea. Ride at your own risk...

Which coffee shop to visit

Much like how many times is the ideal number to hit to snooze button, this is not a question anyone can answer for you. The general rule is, the further out from the city centre you are, the less touristy the place is. I spent a happy unknown amount of time in a coffee shop that combined rock music and nature documentaries, which was only ruined by some jerk reporter who decided to start filming his own documentary. I’d recommend going there in a heartbeat, if only I could remember what the damn place was called. When it comes to finding a coffee shop, just excuse the pun and follow your nose. Mellow Yellow is the oldest coffee shop in Amsterdam, but the best? You’ll just have to find out for yourself.

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Jobs & Money | 9

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Conflict: resolve and solve n

Dollar Review

Aussie rides trading partners’ woes

Conflict in the workplace can result in stress, a loss of productivity and destroy By Elizabeth Britz moral in the office environment. Here’s how THE Australian Dollar weakened last trading on Tuesday at 1.5437 to manage conflict to ensure effective and week, to the British Pound, and around 0.9589 against the US Dollar as the healthy work relationships. Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)

> SEPI ROSHAN

Most people feel that they get along with others. Yet most of us encounter some form of conflict on a daily basis. It can get complicated when neither person can agree on what has caused the conflict. And when the conflict arises in the workplace, resolving the issues can be a test of patience. Conflict is about how we relate to others as well as ourselves and arises when the meanings we put on interactions are at odds with our expectations. When we feel that something challenges or undermines our values, needs or our sense of identity, we react. One of the difficulties in resolving conflict is that we each have a version of what happened. We also react differently to certain situations. A situation that may trigger conflict for some people may not for a different set of people. Differing perceptions explains why each person involved is absolutely certain that their version of events is right. Conflict, especially at work, can result in stress for the people involved and those around them. Loss of sleep, a “bad feel” in the office or hurt feelings, can impact on productivity and morale. When conflict is not resolved quickly, it can cost a business time and money to replace employees, go through lengthy resolution processes and even potential legal action. If you find yourself in conflict, you can help manage the situation by: Taking time out: In the heat of the moment, the sense of injustice can be overwhelming. When the feelings of conflict begin to arise or hit fever pitch, step back or physically remove yourself from the situation. Once words have been said or emails sent, they cannot be taken back. Take your time and leave enough space between the trigger and your response. This way, you can adopt a more measured approach to resolve the conflict. Taking time to find out what is going on for you is important in understanding how to identify and deal with conflicts in the future.

Acknowledge the impact: We all like to be acknowledged. When our feelings are dismissed or suppressed, it can worsen the impact of the conflict. Impacts may be experienced emotionally, physically or psychologically. Ignoring the elephant in the room will not make the issue go away or any easier to deal with. In fact, a build up of feelings and impacts can permeate through other areas of your work and personal life. Acknowledge your own feelings and those of the other person. Talk it out: Once enough time has passed talk to someone about what happened. If appropriate, discuss with the person involved. Stick to the facts, ask questions and acknowledge their feelings and point of view. Effective questions can help you better understand yourself and your reactions. It is important that each person’s perspective is taken into account so if the opportunity arises, ask the other person about their point of view. Objectively looking at what has occurred, can help determine what the trigger point was in that specific situation. Generally, this will reveal the values, needs or sense of identity involved. Alternatively, a trained professional, such as a coach or mediator, can guide you through a conflict resolution process. When there is conflict in any area of life or work, it impacts the people involved and those around them. Managing conflict can be a tricky situation. However, if the people involved are willing and able to commit to resolving the conflict, this is a first step to better relationships. In many situations, it takes more than two to tango and the support of colleagues or professionals, can make a huge difference in keeping the workplace conflict free.

Exchange rates GBP/AUD: 1.5299 EUR/AUD: 1.2311 USD/AUD: 0.9542 NZD/AUD: 0.7943 09:10 GMT, 10 December 2012

Australia is heavily dependent upon exporting goods to China and will hope to see improved importing trends in the coming months.

Note: The above exchange rates are based on “interbank” rates. If you want to transfer money to or from Australia then please register/login on our website, or call us on 0808 141 2335 for a live dealing rate. Make use of a Rate Notifier to send you alert when the Australian exchange rate reaches levels you are looking for.

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cut the cash rate. Thursday afternoon saw the Aussie regain some ground to 1.529 and 0.9508 respectively as Eurozone economic data forecasted a gloomy future. Friday’s trading session closed with the Aussie around 1.526 and 0.9525 respectively, as the market prepared for this week’s Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting in the US. The RBA has cut the Australian cash rate by 175 basis points since November 2011 to a record matching low of 3 percent, last seen in April 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis. The latest announcement on Tuesday was a 25 basis point cut. The RBA will not meet in January 2013, which leaves a lot of room for change and speculation on market trends between

now and early February. European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi announced on Thursday that the ECB interest rate will remain unchanged at 0.75 percent. This coupled with the lowered forecast for inflation and growth expectations in the region weakened the Euro against its major trading partners, as well as the Aussie Dollar. Eyes will be on Italy as they prepare for elections early in the New Year. Thursday saw Silvio Berlusconi’s PDL party walk out of a Senate confidence vote which is likely to cause uncertainty in the markets. The Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has subsequently told the head of state that he intends to resign due to the loss of support in parliament. Monday morning’s trading session didn’t show strong signs of recovery as Chinese trade data underperformed and disappointed the market. China saw a rise in exports while keeping imports unchanged. This questions the sustainability of the world’s second largest economy’s rebound growth.

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10 | Sport

11 - 17 December 2012

Folau’s decision reignites code hopping debate Continued from p12... spending the last two seasons playing for the Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL team. However, a return to the NRL would not have been unprecedented, following in the recent footsteps of international players such as Mark Gasnier and Sonny Bill Williams who also switched codes only to make a return back to League. Folau was all but committed to signing with the Parramatta Eels after extensive negotiations. Eels management worked with NRL Salary Cap auditor Ian Schubert to ensure Folau could join their 2013

roster without breaching the salary cap. Despite their best efforts, Folau decided at the eleventh hour to instead join the NSW Waratahs Rubgy Union side. Since its introduction, the salary cap has been both praised and criticised among Rugby League faithful. It has allowed for fairer recruitment and a more even spread of talents amongst clubs. Unfortunately it has also created opportunities for other football codes to head hunt star players and offer them salaries that, under NRL salary cap rules, cannot be matched. The NRL is a business, but

loyalty must play a part in decisions made regarding player movement. The salary cap strives to create a fair system, and star players are allowed to negotiate endorsement deals to supplement their salary within the game. Leaving the NRL to play in another code for a higher salary is becoming an increasing problem in the game. However the real argument should be on whether these players that have left and decided they would like to return should even be given the opportunity. By Shannon Loves

Phil Hughes primed for Test third coming A confident Phil Hughes hopes he can translate his sizzling domestic form into the Test arena when Australia’s three-match series against Sri Lanka begins in Hobart on Friday. Hughes cracked a match-winning 74 off 48 balls to help guide the Adelaide Strikers to a six-wicket victory over the Perth Scorchers at the WACA Ground on Sunday. Chasing 163 for victory, the Strikers reached 4-164 with four balls to spare. Hughes has been in sparkling touch this summer, averaging 51.8 in the Sheffield Shield ranks and 80.75 in one-dayers for his adopted state South Australia. The 24-year-old played the last of his 17 Tests a year ago. But after making a minor technical tweak to his batting during the offseason and piling on a mountain of runs, Hughes is confident he can make the most of his third Test coming. “The confidence is quite high at the moment,” Hughes said. “It’s nice getting runs behind you. Hopefully I can start off well in the first Test against Sri Lanka. “I’m really excited about it. “I can’t wait to get in camp with the boys. “Having that (previous Test)

experience behind me, I’m a bit more relaxed about going into camp because I’ve been in that environment before.” Meanwhile, Scorchers opener Shaun Marsh is facing an uphill battle to play against the Melbourne Stars on Wednesday after injuring his hamstring while batting against the Strikers. Marsh, who returned to form with 57 off 45 balls, will undergo a scan on his right hamstring on Monday, although the Scorchers’ medical staff are confident it’s not a serious injury. Scorchers coach Justin Langer said he was pleased to see Marsh hit a big score after a tumultuous year for the left-hander. “I knew it was just a matter of time for him,” Langer said of Marsh, who was briefly dropped from Western Australia’s Shield and one-day sides earlier this season. “He’s been preparing well. He played well in the practice matches during the week. It was nice to see him make some runs.” Former Scorchers skipper Marcus North is set to replace Mike Hussey (Test duties) for the clash with Shane Warne’s Stars at the WACA. By Justin Chadwick

Fans will choose all-stars to face Manchester United

DEVILS DOWN UNDER: NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell is presented with a jersey by former Manchester United player Dwight Yorke after announcing the 2013 tour by Manchester United in Sydney on Monday. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) Continued from p12... Sydney FC to the inaugural A-League title in 2005/06. “They’re going to find it extremely difficult but I’m sure it’s a great experience for some of these guys who may never have the opportunity to play against world class players.” Yorke said the A-League players would be struck by the 19-time league champions’ aura. “The way they present themselves and carry themselves, the way everything is set up .. it’s going to be a real eye opener for these guys when they see that,” Yorke said. “It’s everything about United, and hopefully these guys will experience something they won’t be too intimidated by and just go out and enjoy the occasion.” Yorke did not rule out coaching the A-League side if approached but FFA chief executive David Gallop said details on how a coach would be selected were yet to be finalised, with Ange Postecoglou and Graham

Arnold among other possibilities. Fans will get to vote on who should be in the side in a pre-selection process similar to that introduced by Gallop in his time as NRL chief executive. Rugby league’s Indigenous All Stars fixture has been a big success and Gallop hoped the A-League version would also become an annual event. “It’s becoming something that’s really exciting across the world in sporting comps and we want to be a part of that,” Gallop said. Several A-League players, including Brett Emerton and Archie Thompson, are likely to be unavailable for the fixture as it clashes with the Socceroos’ East Asian Cup campaign in South Korea. The match is expected to generate an even greater level of hype than the 2007 visit of Beckham’s LA Galaxy, who played Sydney FC in front of more than 80,000 fans at ANZ Stadium. Tickets are on sale from Tuesday and range from $A49.50 to $A189.


Sport | 11

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Peter Senior: Golf is Wallabies: Earning a solid B on their end of year report card such a funny game n

Following the end of the Wallabies’ winter tour, CHARLIE INGLEFIELD assesses the successes and failures of this season, the team’s areas of strength and what can be improved upon with a huge series against the British Lions coming up next year. Last weekend saw the retirement of two great Australian sporting legends in Nathan Sharpe and Ricky Ponting. They both exemplified what their respective jerseys meant to them, truly the last of the ‘old school’ – gnarled warriors who never took a backward step on the field, whilst maintaining their humility off of it. As the Wallabies closed their 2012 season with a brave, if somewhat slightly fortuitous, victory over the heartbroken Welsh in Cardiff, this game epitomised their season. A mixture of good, blending in with distinctly average. Although one has to appreciate the injuries which Robbie Deans has had to contend with over the international season. Any team without the likes of Quade Cooper, James O’Connor, James Horwill, David Pocock and Will Genia would have struggled, so perhaps this winter tour should be hailed as an unexpected success. Areas of improvement First the subjects which the Wallabies could improve on. Consistency for starters. France utterly decimated Australia in Paris, showing up the Australian scrum in particular, and the Wallabies did well to keep the score line to fewer than 50. To go from humiliation to a stunning victory against the old enemy in England was perplexing to say the least. Barnes and Beale beavered away beautifully in a tactical master class of keeping the England decisionmakers guessing with chip kicks and aggressive defence. Michael Hooper showed what a talent he is and the unheralded front five more than held

their own up front, with Nathan Sharpe galloping around the paddock like a hyperactive teenager. Strength in depth is a big concern for Robbie Deans in certain areas of the squad. The front five minus Sharpe looks to be horribly exposed when the British Lions bring over their beasts. Quade Cooper has decided that he is too cool for school in the Wallaby camp so there is little cover for Beale if the latter gets injured. Add in a faltering backline despite the admirable AshleyCooper’s best efforts in covering every position (he would probably do a good job in the pack as well) and Deans will be praying that the Super 15 next year doesn’t bring injuries to key personnel. However, the emergence of Kurtley Beale as a genuine number 10 is a big bonus. He was immense against England and showed no shortage of courage against Wales with an excellent work rate in defence. Add in popping up for that try, which destroyed Wales at the death. With O’Connor and Genia back next season, the Wallabies will be more confident of being their usual threatening selves out wide. Hooper, Dennis, Phipps can be given a B+ for stepping up to the grade and the Wallabies have won three very close games, suggesting that they have not lost the knack of winning when it gets ugly. An essential ingredient in series/tournament rugby. So, a commendable B for the Wallabies with the proviso that there will have to be a considerable improvement if they are to have a chance against the British Lions. Robbie Deans lives to fight another season with remarks about the blunted

GBI within two points of World Champions at Tag Rugby World Cup

Speights - Bermondsey Late Autumn Champions Continued from p12... side (which, apart from 3 players, could have qualified for the over 30s) battled hard throughout, almost getting the better of a talented Australian Aboriginals

team who they led 3-2 at half-time. The open mens title was won by Australia. However, it was the performance of the Great Britain and Ireland open mixed team that had people talking at the end of the tournament, with

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) Wallaby attack still ringing in his ears. The last word should however go to Nathan Sharpe. It is with massive credit and respect to him that he leaves the biggest stage of them all with the Wallabies desperate for him to continue for another season. With the allure of the Lions, don’t be surprised if the big man makes one last journey of his great career.

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their tight loss to New Zealand making the southern hemisphere teams sit up and take notice. Great Britain and Ireland open mixed play maker Gareth Roach said: “A couple of referee decisions and the bounce of the ball and all joking aside we really felt we could have pulled off something special”. Back in London, predominantly English/Irish teams dominated the last week of Late Autumn Grand Finals. Tagtical Heroes claimed the title at Borough, whilst over at Shoreditch East End Paddies won the mens and Phibbers won the mixed. Phibbers London Australia Representative Will Dorahy picked up player of the final. At Rotherhithe Chris- Cross picked up the mixed social flag, whilst the beers flowed at Bermondsey as Speights ended a nine month drought by beating Kiwi up and comers Flow 11-7 in the final. Speights, who once dominated North West London’s Tag Rugby scene, won their first title since relocating permanently to the inner south-east early in 2012. To get involved in a London Tag Rugby competition visit www. trytagrugby.com or email info@ trytagrugby.com.

Continued from p12...

after rounds of 75-68-69-72 to claim his 30th professional win and first since the 2010 Australian PGA Championship at Coolum. “This is probably the most special,” Senior said. “We’ve been closer over in America. We’ve lost three playoffs, come pretty close in a few other events and just once I would have liked to have said: `Mitch, well done mate, we’ve done it.’” The Queenslander’s second Open victory on a drama-charged afternoon comes after his first as a 30-year-old at back in 1989. “I’m getting a bit long in the tooth now. I really thought these days were over,” Senior said. “God, golf is such a funny game. One minute you think you’re down, the next minute you’re up. “I didn’t play particularly well this week, but I got it up and down out of some places all week and today was no exception.” The previous oldest Open winner was the legendary Peter Thomson at 43 at Kooyonga in 1972. As virtually the entire field went backwards in winds gusting up to 80kph, Senior dropped just two shots all day - at the fifth and seventh holes - but birdies on the par-4 10th and 12th holes proved priceless. While Senior took the spoils, Jones was heroic in almost snatching victory with a spectacular finish. Contesting his first national championship in four years, the Japan-based Jones nearly overcame a 12-shot deficit early in his round after going five under through his last 13 holes, including a brilliant eagle on the par-5 17th. But he was gallant in defeat. “Peter Senior, he’s a champion,”

Jones said. Cameron Percy (73) finished outright third at two under, one ahead of Kim Felton (72), rookie Kieran Pratt (75) and English world No.4 Justin Rose (76). Third-round leader John Senden - who also led into Sunday last year only to come up short - had a shocker, capitulating with a finalround 82 to be joint 18th. The tournament finished in near darkness but while some players argued about the suspension of play, Open boss Trevor Herden said officials had no alternative but to halt proceedings just before noon when the fierce winds knocked down a television tower near the 18th green. The southerly change also caused scoreboards to topple over, balls to move on the fairways and greens and sand to be blown from bunkers and into the galleries. Herden said player and spectator safety was paramount. “We had to suspend play,” he said. “Obviously there’s nothing we can do to protect anybody other than to get them out of danger. “We have an obligation to the public and the players and then there’s the golf course, which at that point became unplayable. “We were managing very, very well through the 60km (wind) zone but once we got to 80, we all know that no golf course can defend 80-kilometre winds.” Herden agreed conditions were “brutal”, but defending champion Greg Chalmers claimed they were even tougher than that. “Borderline impossible at certain points,” Chalmers said after closing with a 77 to tie 23rd. “It was just one of the most difficult days that I’ve played in a long time.” By Darren Walton


WALLABIES REPORT CARD

Season 2012 assessed P11

MAN UTD TO PLAY AUSSIE ALL-STARS n

The Red Devils will return to Australia for the first time in 14 years to play an exhibition match against the best of Australia’s A-League, as selected by fans. By Liam Fitzgibbon MANCHESTER UNITED great Dwight Yorke expects the A-League’s best to struggle when they face the full-strength English Premier League giants at ANZ Stadium next year. But the former Sydney FC and United star believes Australia’s players will benefit greatly from the “eye-opening” experience of taking on one of the best sides on the planet. The NSW government and Football Federation Australia confirmed on Monday the Red Devils would return to Australia for the first time in 14 years for a one-off exhibition match on 20 July. NSW premier Barry O’Farrell trumpeted the coup as a win for his state over Victoria and Queensland and claimed an approximate $3 million investment would provide an economic boost of around $16 million. United will spend six nights in Sydney and have promised to bring their full squad, with superstars including Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie, Rio Ferdinand and Nani - as well as coach Sir Alex Ferguson among those expected to feature in front of a sell-out crowd. The club won’t be coming to Australia for a holiday, with one official vowing they will be “here to win” and train intensively as part of the 2013/14 Premier League buildup. And Yorke, who came to Australia with United for their last visit in 1999, predicted an A-League All Stars team - to be pre-selected by fans - would be in for a tough but memorable night. “I’m going to be honest, it’s not going to be easy for the A-League guys,” said Yorke, who played 95 times for United before steering ...continued on p10

THIRD TIME LUCKY, PHIL? Hughes primed for return to Test arena | P10

Senior cherishes special Open win PETER SENIOR cherished his sweetest triumph after holding his nerve in “near impossible” conditions to become golf’s oldest Australian Open champion. The 53-year-old overcame gale force winds and a threehour delay at the windswept Lakes course in Sydney to post a dogged final-round even-par 72 to win the Stonehaven Cup by a shot from a valiant Brendan Jones (71). With his teenage son Mitchell carrying his bag, Senior tallied four-under for the tournament ...continued on p11

Footy, from code to code Israel Folau announced last week he will turn his back on an offer from the Parramatta Eels to return to the National Rugby League in favour of a more lucrative offer to play Rugby Union. His decision has reignited the much debated question of whether the NRL is doing enough to keep its stars in the game. Former Queensland and Australian representative Folau has already left the code once, ...continued on p10

Try Tag World Cup

THIRD COMING: Phil Hughes is set to make his return to the Aussie Test fold this Friday, filling the gap left by the retirement of Ricky Ponting. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

Great Britain and Ireland have completed their 2012 Tag Rugby World Cup campaign in Auckland, New Zealand. The open mixed team finished with two wins, one draw and four very close losses. The highlight of the tournament was a 5-3 loss to eventual champions New Zealand, which is closer than Australia got to New Zealand in the World Cup final. The open mens team had a tough campaign, losing all 7 matches in the stronger of the two pools. The ...continued on p11


Australian Times weekly newspaper | 11 December 2012