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18 December 2012 – 2 January 2013 Issue: 443

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INTRIGUING INDIA Luxury on a budget

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n An emotional memorial service in London paid tribute to the memory of the Indian- Abbott praises born nurse Jacintha Saldanha at a mass held at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday.

“An unfillable void” Nurse’s family says goodbye Jacintha Saldanha’s family have spoken of their loss during a memorial service in London over the weekend. The body of the Indian-born nurse has now arrived in Mangalore, India, at the home town of her husband, Benedict Barboza. Ms Saldanha’s funeral took place on Monday in Shirva, Karnataka.

The mother-of-two, was found hanged in the nurses’ quarters at London’s Kind Edward VII hospital on 7 December. Three days earlier she had forwarded a prank call from two Australian DJs to the ward where the Duchess of Cambridge had been staying receiving treatment for morning sickness. The nurse’s children told a service at

London’s Westminster Cathedral on Saturday that her death had created “an unfillable void” in their lives. Ms Saldanha’s daughter Lisha, 14, said: “We will miss your laughter, the loving memories and the good times we had together. The house is an empty dwelling without your presence.” Her husband said: “My wife, you were the light in my darkness, who

always showed me the way forward. From the day we met, you always stood by me in times of hardship and happiness. I feel a part of me has been ripped out.” He has said the family “could not have foreseen the unprecedented tragedy that has unfolded in our lives”.

...continued on p3

Image by Matthew Holland

British values in Oxford speech Tony Abbott has presented a speech at his old alma mater, Queens College at Oxford University, to the Oxford University Australia and New Zealand Society. The address, on 14 December 2012, is part of a five-day visit of the Opposition leader to Britain. It marked the first time Mr Abbott had spoken at the college since he completed a masters degree in politics and philosophy as a Rhodes Scholar there more than three decades ago. In his speech Mr Abbott praised the education he received at Oxford, acknowledging the system of interactive tutorials as “superb preparation” for his current role as opposition leader. “After a few months of the tutorial system, it started to dawn on me that my tutors wanted my personal assimilation and personal appreciation of the issues under discussion, not a regurgitation of the authorities,” Mr Abbott said. “Reading the best that’s been thought and said, forming one’s own conclusions and defending ...continued on p3


London’s best end of the world events | P4

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2 | News

18 December 2012 - 2 January 2013

Offshore mining: Big business or big risk? 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:

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n Offshore mining is big business in Australia, however carries certain risks for its owners and employees. PAUL BLEAKLEY examines the increasing role private military companies are playing in providing a level of protection to these companies operations.

As an international leader in the natural resources industry, Australian companies have established mining operations across the world. Recent trends toward offshore drilling has led to the Indian Ocean becoming the centre of the global struggle of the right to mine oil and gases in the region. The hotly disputed right to operate in the Timor Sea has traditionally been a point of contention for the Australian government, advocating the interests of the Australian mining companies heavily invested in the region. Offshore mining, particularly in the Indian Ocean, has provided a key financial injection into the Australian economy and has contributed significantly to the sustained strength of the mining industry. This strength has been credited with helping the nation stave off the recent period of recession that has plagued the global economy. The protection of the nation’s offshore mining rights is not simply a matter of treaties and diplomacy, however. The emerging trend of Australian organisations enlisting the aid of private military companies to secure their interests provides a clear indication of the silent trade war being fought to control natural resources. In a recent conference presentation James Brown, a fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, discussed the impact of organisations utilising maritime private security companies in the Indian Ocean in order to mitigate the effects of piracy and prevent ex-patriot workers becoming the target of foreign extremist groups. Brown, a former officer in the Australian Defence Force, indicated that national militaries were being forced to adapt their approach to maritime security in order to prevent

Your Say On: Royal prank call tragedy: Guilt and blame – the ultimate shape-shifters

“If only Jacintha Saldanha could have known that the media and its consumers would have tired of it soon enough.” – What contemptible and insulting drivel. An innocent women that must have lived her life by the highest standards of respect and compassion kills herself out of a sense of profound and deep rooted shame, the victim of the senseless and mindless act of a disgusting organisation – those are the facts, but they don’t fit your attempts to be high minded and clever and write more editorial. Chris

? What’s your view

their role being superseded by their counterparts in the private military sector. “Our miners, our oil and gas companies, particularly the juniors operating in West Africa, or in the waters of West Africa, also contract private military companies whether for advice or actual physical protection on the ground,” Brown told the Lowy Lecture Series in May. “Australia’s military and aid workers have had multiple experiences of encountering private military security companies in Afghanistan, the Solomons and Iraq, in fact in almost every field that they’ve operated in, and there is a real need there for them to know how to treat them, what their rights and responsibilities are, and where they fit into the battlefield or conflict zone.” The rising importance of private military companies as facilitators of global security has become so pronounced that the International Committee of the Red Cross in 2008 negotiated an agreement regarding the obligations of these organisations in combat scenarios. These rules of engagement were enumerated in the Montreux Document, with Australia playing a considerable role in drafting the terms of the finalised agreement signed by seventeen countries impacted upon by the use of private military companies including countries at the heart of the industry such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Australia’s central role in the regulation of private military companies is not surprising: a 2009 Small Arms Survey undertaken by ActionAid revealed that Australianowned organisations APAC Security and Maubere Security employed approximately 4200 people in East

Timor alone. These private military companies operated predominantly on behalf of corporate interests, including oil and gas mining organisations, and provided a range of services such as protection and intelligence gathering. James Brown suggests that Australians have a “good record of leadership when it comes to both regulation and coordination of private military security companies” and that there is a clear opportunity for Australia to play an ongoing role in the Indian Ocean Security Industry due to its involvement in both the mining organisations operating in the region and the private security companies that they are likely to employ. “New Zealand has been quite proactive in making sure that its military personnel are required, in the documents they sign at enlistment, to report where they go after they finish working for the military. They will report if they are using their skills and where they are operating, and I think that might be something that Australia would want to consider,” Brown said. “We face a degree of risk if Australians are involved in this industry get involved in incidents, and then look to Australia for consular support.” The formal withdrawal of the United Nations Peace-keeping mission in East Timor at the end of this year is expected to take a dramatic toll on the private military industry in the nation, with over 1300 private security contractors employed by the United Nations being redeployed to other regions by their employers in 2013.

Chris is missing the point about media obsession and how the media storm can pass quickly onto the next big thing within hours. I agree that if only Jacintha Saldanha had someone experienced with media tactics to see her through the storm she might have survived. Not a trivial point for people who in our world of increasing media exposure, might find themselves unintentionally under the global media spotlight. Not one is being absolved – its a warning by someone in the media about the media.

protect against such tragedies occurring in the future. It is all too easy to blame, to point the finger outward, at the expense of reflecting on our personal responsibility for our own actions.


I found the Editorial to be sensitive, respectful and reflective. It raised questions on a complex issue rather than judging without full information. It urged us to consider how we can

Get More Opinion


On: All advertising on 2DAY FM suspended following royal hoax

My experience of British hospital culture is that it is very authoritarian, where staff are disciplined over the top. I’m wondering was Jacintha was heavily threatened with disciplinary action or loss of her job? Brian Mitchell

Share your comments on these and more stories online:

News | 3

“An Oxford cast of mind” “Justice for Jacintha”: Indian students ...continued from p1 them against expert probing, is a superb preparation for any form of advocacy.” London-born Mr Abbott gave credit to the influence of Britain on the Australian culture, language, system of law and parliamentary democracy. “Australians shouldn’t be oblivious to our heritage just because we have refined it and improved it and because we also honour the way it has been added to and deepened by the people of many other cultures who have been attracted to it. “Australia’s foreign policy should rightly have a Jakarta rather than a Geneva focus but Asia is not the

only region where there will be an Australian citizen to be protected, an Australian interest to be advanced, or an Australian value to be upheld,” he told his audience. On his visit to the UK Mr Abbott will also be meeting with leading Conservative Party figures, including Foreign Secretary William Hague and London Mayor Boris Johnson and up-and-coming Under-Secretary of State for Education, Liz Truss. It has been reported that the Coalition is interested in the success of David Cameron’s ‘free schools’ model – schools that are directly funded by the central government and are free from the usual local authority control.

march on the British High Commission ...continued from p1

hospital had not responded to questions submitted by the family. “We have been in regular contact with them since shortly after Jacintha’s death a week ago, offering them whatever support we could and the opportunity to meet at any time,” she said. She said, following the prank call, “hospital management offered her their support, and told her that they considered her the victim of a cruel hoax. They stood by her actions, and made it clear there was no criticism of her, and that there would be no disciplinary action of any kind.” Sydney police are said to be investigating death threats made against Mel Grieg and Michael Christian, the

Dozens of Indian students marched to the British High Commission in New Delhi on Saturday, carrying banners demanding “Justice for Jacintha”. The demonstrators alleged in a statement that “as a person of Indian origin she was isolated, victimised and subjected to harassment by the authorities”. It has been reported Ms Saldanha left three notes, one of which reportedly criticised her colleagues over her treatment at the King Edward VII private hospital. A spokeswomen for the hospital has defended the hospital’s response, dismissing as “inaccurate” reports the

Julia Gillard congratulates Japan’s new leader on win

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Australian Times wishes you all the best this Christmas and New Year. We’ll be taking a short break over the festive period, to make the most of a UK Christmas, complete with ice-skating, mulled wine, roast turkey by an open fire, and the Queen’s Christmas message. We hope you have a merry Christmas, whether it be with new friends here

Christmas & New Year


year as Tokyo focused on recovering from the devastating March tsunami and the subsequent crisis at one of its nuclear power plants. But two months ago Ms Gillard said she sensed renewed momentum in the talks and suggested a deal may now be only months from completion. Japan is Australia’s second largest trading partner after China, with two-way trade more than doubling in the past 10 years to reach $75.6 billion in 2011-12. “Australia’s close strategic partnership with Japan is built on shared values, common security interests and a longstanding friendship,” Ms Gillard said. Ms Gillard acknowledged the contribution of outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to strengthening Australia-Japan ties.


Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she looks forward to working with Japan’s new leader, singling out free trade as a top priority. Japan’s conservative opposition swept to victory in a weekend election, giving former prime minister Shinzo Abe a second chance at the country’s top job. The 58-year-old, who served as prime minister in 2006-07, has vowed to reinvigorate the country’s listless economy and stand up to China in a dispute over the sovereignty of a small chain of islands in the East China Sea. Ms Gillard on Monday congratulated Mr Abe. “I look forward to working with Mr Abe after he is sworn in to deepen and enhance our ties, including through completion of a high-quality and comprehensive free trade agreement,” she said in a statement on Monday. Australia and Japan launched free-trade negotiations in April 2007 and since have held 16 rounds of negotiations. Progress slowed to a crawl last

2DAY FM DJs who made the “royal hoax” call. A police spokesman has said a letter containing “a number of threats” has been seized by Eastern Suburbs detectives. It has been reported that a number of staff and senior management at the radio station had been moved into secure accommodation and given 24hour security protection. A spokesperson for the station’s owners said: “The safety of our employees is an absolute priority. We have sensible measures in place, as we always do, to ensure our people are safe. This is now a matter for the police and we trust they will investigate any specific threats that emerge.”

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4 | UK Life

18 December 2012 - 2 January 2013

A E u ro p ea


inter Broke and alone in the UK this Christmas? How to get back the festive spirit By Shannon Gillies You have no money and you are stuck in London over Christmas. In fact, stuck in the UK opting to make cash during the festive season of Jesus whilst your lovely friends indulge in European Christmas markets. Australian Kerryn Proctor says Christmas can be a difficult time for an Antipodean living in London because it is the time when homesickness can kick in. “Your family are on the other side of the world and unless you pay an extortionate airfare to fly back to see them, you realise you are going to spend Christmas alone.” Do not fret. There are plenty of options and none of them include sharing cask wine with hobos in Hyde Park while your siblings upload smiling Christmas photos to Facebook from a beach somewhere in Australia. • Mrs Proctor says “You can remind the Brits we are practically cousins and find a nice welcoming family to adopt you for a few days”. • Find a travelling tour and go and explore the UK. • Visit the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park - see the new ice sculpture attraction, go on the giant wheel and have a mulled

wine in the Bavarian village. • Go ice skating, says Mrs Proctor. “The best advice I was ever given for ice skating was by an emergency nurse who assured me that if I drank loads of mulled wine it would make me less likely to hurt myself if I fell over.” • Make Christmas Dinner for yourself. This allows for many amazing Boxing Day leftover sandwiches, which in my opinion is the only reason why we still celebrate Christmas. Also make mulled wine. It is delicious and contains fruit, which means nutrition – trust me, I am a trained chef. • High tea in one of London’s five star hotels. • Go shopping on Oxford Street – this helps if your family has sent you nothing but Home and Away DVDs. You can send those DVDs to me. • Volunteer at a soup kitchen – rewarding and full of stories. • A mid-winter dip in the Thames – have mulled wine afterwards. Not quite making the recommended top ten, I’m planning a scaffold climb with a touch of parkour with friends from work, with a possible visit to the local A and E to top it off. Wishing you all the best over the holiday period.

Apocalyptic celebrations: London’s best End of The World 2012 events

n We’ve found London’s best parties and events celebrating the

impending apocalypse, so you can make most of the end of civilization - right up to the moment a flesh-eating zombie devours your skin.

We’ve all heeded Julia Gillard’s warning of the impending apocalypse. We’ve ignored NASA scientists who say a giant planet called Nibiru is not actually heading for Earth, spelling the catastrophic end of civilization as we know it. What do they know after all, they’re only scientists. Come 21 December 2012 and we’re prepared for fiery solar storms, the Earth spinning off its axis when its magnetic field reverses, and a rampage of “flesh eating zombies” and “demonic hell-beasts”. In the meantime however, there is still time amongst stocking up on threefor-£1 baked beans from Poundland and building a bunker, to throw Earth one hell of a goodbye party. Let’s face it, she deserves it - she’s put up with a lot. End-of-the world parties are now, in the short time we have left, the social activity du-jour. Host your own or save what precious time you have left on this earth and join in one of the ones we’ve sourced for you below. Here’s our pick of London’s best apocalyptic, end-of-the world, live for tonight because there will be no tomorrow, ta-ta civilization as we know it parties and events:

End of the World @ Village Underground, Shoreditch

The star of ABC’s new hit show Problems comes to London ‘Brilliant… you will enjoy yourself in ways you never thought possible.’

««««« Scotsman ‘A mind-expanding experience.’

«««« Herald Sun WINNER BEST COMEDY Adelaide Fringe 2011 NOMINEE BARRY AWARD FOR MOST OUTSTANDING SHOW Melbourne International Comedy Fest 2011


For one night abandon all hope and live like it’s your last night on earth.
Set in the amazing location of The Village Underground, Shoreditch expect four show stopping acts, DJs and music until the wee hours. A percentage of each ticket and all profits will go to charity: University College London Hospital’s neonatal care whose wonderful staff save babies’ lives every day. Line up:
The Murder Barn, Marmaduke Dando
, This Is Laura
, Gorgeous George Where: Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch, London , EC2A 3PQ When: 10pm 21 December 2012 Tickets: £8 from

What the Zombie Apocalypse might look like as (From Shaun of the Dead)

Brian Cox and Robin Ince’s End of the World Show @ Hammersmith Apollo Why not head out laughing on your last night on earth? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are putting on a special End of the World show at Hammersmith Apollo this 21 December 2012. Following their hugely successful ‘Uncaged Monkeys’ tours, Professor Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince co-hosts of Radio 4’s ‘Infinite Monkey Cage’ - are bringing together an array of scientific minds, stand-ups and musicians for a one final blow-out before the inevitable end of our civilization.

Where: Hammersmith Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street, London W6 9QH When: 7pm 21 December 2012 Tickets: £25-£40 from

John Martin: Apocalypse, Exhibition @ Tate Britain

John Martin (1789-1854) was a controversial but key figure in nineteenth century art, well known for his wildly dramatic scenes of biblical disaster and apocalyptic destruction. Although hugely popular at his time, he was derided by the Victorian Art establishment as a ‘people’s painter’ who considered his depictions of judgment and damnation to be distasteful. The exhibition at the Tate Britain is the first major exhibition dedicated to Martin’s work in over 30 years, bringing together his most famous scenes of death, hell and fiery ends from collections around the world, as well as previously unseen and newly-restored works.

Photo of the Week: Sydney’s Macquarie Lighthouse at sunrise

n Sunrise in Sydney, when the sun’s rays

first cast over the cities iconic locations, is one of the most beautiful sights in the world.

The Last Supper Club @ The Yard, Shoreditch

What’s the saying? There’s nothing a cup of tea and a bikkie won’t fix. Except if the world is ending. In which case, put down the hob-knobs, and treat your taste-buds to something truly spectacular as a last hurrah. From the creative minds of the Young British Foodie Award Winners Platterform, and The Halo Group creative agency, comes the popup project The Last Supper Club at The Yard in Shoreditch. Indulge in the Ark experience, which draws inspiration from historic flavour pairings and traditions, prophecy and forecasts of doom born of popular culture, to create a special doomsday three course menu for £35 per head. Alternatively street food vendors offer more budget friendly Mayan inspired delicacies, historic Middle Eastern treats as well as Dooms Day diner snacks from the house smoker grill. With a Doom Bar also serving specialty cocktails until 2am, The Last Supper Club will ensure the countdown to the apocalypse is one to remember Where: The Yard, 89 Worship Street, London EC2A 2BF When: Until Saturday 22 December Cost: £35 for the Ark experience, or various prices for alternative streetvendor menus. See for more details

“Sydney is blessed with many headlands and beaches to catch the sunrise. I was on my way to South Head early one morning when I passed the Vaucluse lighthouse which was at that moment lit up by the first golden rays of the sun rising from the ocean. Opportunities to capture this dawn light lasts a little more than a few minutes so I had to work fast. “The Macquarie Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Australia, built in 1818 and some navigational aid has existed at this site since 1791. Francis Greenway, a convict architect, gained emancipation in recognition of his outstanding work in designing the lighthouse.”

Do you have a picture you want to share?

Must end 5 Jan!

020 7478 0100 SOHOTHEATRE.COM

Where: Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG When: Until 15 January 2012 Tickets: £14 from

Image and words provided by an Australian reader Mark Haughton.

Email with your photos of life in London, the UK, Australia or from your travels, and we could feature it as photo of the Week.

Food & Wine | 5

Quirky Quail n Head

Chef at Maze Grill, Chris Arkadieff, shows us a delicious twist on a traditional French dish - the ballotine.


kitchen > CHRIS ARK

This week I’m cooking up a classic French ballotine – a traditional dish of a stuffed and rolled joint of meat or whole boned bird. Budding chefs, don’t be put off by the description, it can be prepared within minutes and the result – pretty impressive. Although small birds, quails are perfect for the ballotine. I first tried

quail in Spain, cooked over hot coals and deliciously tender. I was hooked from there and often prepare it at Maze Grill – it is very popular with our customers. I recommend spatchcock quails or butterflied quail for a unique twist. Your local butcher should stock these, plus a small cooking chorizo sausage for the stuffing. The chorizo you are looking for has not been hung or aged, as we want the soft meat and spices to make the stuffing for our ballotine. Parmesan polenta is a perfect match

with the spices of the chorizo and subtle game flavors of the quail. Polenta is a finely ground cornmeal and has been a staple in the Italian kitchen for centuries. In fact, a bonus of this dish is any left overs can be spread in a lined baking tray and placed in the fridge. Once chilled the polenta can be sliced, crumbled into salads or chargrilled with lamb cutlets with pesto for a tasty combination. But back to this week’s dish.

Chorizo stuffed ballotine of quail with soft Parmesan polenta

Coffee Cult is a weekly review of all things brewed and baked, poached and poured, scrambled and served with a side of weekend banter or workday wake-up. Its focus? Cafes in London/ UK with an Australian flavor to test the theory that when it comes to café culture – it’s time to join the Aussie coffee cult.

Coffee Cult visits: Workshop in Clerkenwell n

For Coffee Cult’s inaugural Aussie coffee shop review, we indulge in a long brunch at Workshop. What’s at the other end of going out with a bang? Exploding out of the starting gates? Kicking off with a corker? Starting with style? Well, whatever the right phrase is, it may well be an apt description for Coffee Cult’s inaugural visit to Clerkenwell’s Workshop. From the minute I enter to join the snaking queue to the two hours later when I waddle out clutching my newly conceived food baby, it is an exercise in nostalgia inducing indulgence. Nostalgia, because its laid back vibe invokes memories of long brunches had with friends back in Australia, and indulgence, because, well, that’s self-explanatory from the menu.

The Connection English owned, but Australian managed, says a helpful barista. In its previous incarnation as “St Ali”, after the Melbourne equivalent, it was (and is) under the overall directorship of Australian Tim Williams. After cutting his teeth in St. Ali back home, there was amongst other things, a stint at Flat White in Soho, before ending up as Director of Coffee at what is now Workshop.

The Crucials

Ballotine What you need:

• 2 quails with bones removed • 1 cooking chorizo sausage • ½ cup of steamed spinach • Salt and pepper

What to do:

• Turn your oven on to 180 degrees. • Using a sharp knife slice the sausage casing of the chorizo and place into a bowl. Mix the chorizo with a folk to form a smooth paste and set aside. • Lay out a 40cm square of clingfilm on a cutting board and place the quail skin side down. Season lightly with pepper then spread the chorizo mousse over the quail flesh leaving a small edge all the way around. Finish the filling by laying two teaspoons of spinach over the mousse. • Take the bottom edge of the clingfilm and lift and roll the quail away from you into a sausage shape. Roll the bird as tight as you can, trying to avoid any catching from the clingfilm. Tie off the ends and wrap in tin foil before placing in the oven for 12 minutes.

Parmesan polenta What you need:

• 1 cup of polenta • 1 cup of water • 2 cups of milk • 1 shallot • 2 sprigs of thyme • 1 bay leaf • 1 tsp salt • 3 tsp butter • ¼ cup grated Parmesan

What to do:

• Take a large, heavy based saucepan; add the water, milk, shallots, thyme, salt and pepper. • Bring to a slow boil and slowly add the polenta whilst whisking constantly. Lower the heat and bring to a slow simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon frequently. If the polenta becomes too lumpy and thick add more water, cook for 20 minutes or until the grains are soft. • Add the butter and stir then add the Parmesan cheese and mix well.. • Cover the dish with clingfilm and place it in a warm part of the stove, allowing the dish to rest before serving.

To assemble.

• Take a small frying pan and place on a medium heat with a drop of vegetable oil. Place the ballotine in the pan and lightly pan fry for 2 minutes, and then place in a baking tray and bake in the oven for a further 8 minutes. • Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes. • Meanwhile take you plates and place a serving spoon of polenta in the middle of the dish. If the polenta is too stiff, whisk in a ½ cup of warm milk. • Warm up the remaining steamed spinach and place in the centre of the polenta. • Remove the foil and clingfilm from the ballotine and carefully slice into three, placing on top of the polenta and spinach. • Enjoy.

Watching the Australian baristas’ at work (yes they really are – I asked), you can tell you’re in for a good cup. It’s in the practiced way they press the grounds into the filter, wipe off the edge of the cup, and gently tap the heated milk jug on the counter top before pouring. In fact, I am probably told all I need to know when my flat white arrives complete with decorative milk leaf. Somehow, it seems, coffee art = coffee greatness. The brunch menu too has an experienced air about it. All the usual suspects are there - Bircher muesli, French toast, eggs in all its forms; but it is included extras which step this up from standard fare to café culture. The muesli comes with apples, strawberries, labna & pumpkin seeds, the French toast – poached rhubarb & mascarpone. Eggs – choose your weapon; poached, scrambled or fried and add your ammunition; including halloumi, sautéed spinach, chorizo, smoked salmon. Given that should I ever be exiled to a desert island, the three foods I’ll be taking with me are corn, poached eggs and halloumi, the menu offering of corn fritters, poached eggs, halloumi

and baby spinach gave me the desert island experience without the crippling loneliness and uncomfortable seating arrangements. I don’t mean to wax lyrical, but the eggs alone were perfection – perfectly cooked runny yolk white globules of goodness. Combined with the crispy softness of the cakes, salty tint of the cheese and a bonus – slightly spiced tomato chutney – it was literally a party in my mouth and many flavours were invited.

The Craic Workshop works hard to create that particular relaxed yet efficient café vibe. It’s all red brick, walls of ferns, exposed steel ducting and wood. There’s a communal table in the front, tables around the side, and a high square bench circles the central workspace where the magic (the coffee) is made. Patrons lining up at the door don’t wait long, as the waves of customers ebb and flow around me. Yet, after two hours of sitting on my coffee, and reading the papers, I don’t feel any particular pressure to leave. The serious coffee shop’s item du jour – one’s own roasting machine – lurks in the back. Reminding the clientele that yes, that’s right, we roast our own beans, and on site no less. Since Workshop is seemingly populated by the type that would indeed have their own home espresso machine, propped up next to their Kitchen Aid, it is likely the buy your own beans concept is one that appeals to this well-heeled casual chic crowd.

The Conundrum Well, it can’t all be perfectly cooked perfection and cream, right? The only bugbear – it is slightly more expensive than other café offerings, although I imagine what you’re paying for is the attention to detail. That, and the tomato ‘kasundi’ (that’s chutney to the rest of us). The corn fritters come in at £11.50, and whilst eggs and toast start at £5.50, a couple of sides at £3.50 will push it up a bit. Throw in a couple of flat-whites at £2.80 and service charge, and the desert island suddenly isn’t looking half bad. Nevertheless, it’s worth it.

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Indulgence isn’t cheap, but that’s why they call it an indulgence.

6 | Entertainment

18 December 2012 - 2 January 2013

Sam Simmons: Stand-up subversion

REVIEW | Sam Simmons’ About the Weather to meet a prostitute called “Chocolate at Soho Theatre Graham” before returning to his invisible

Sam Simmons is to stand-up what Lady Gaga is to Britney Spears style sanitized pop. The genre’s crazier, unpredictable, more theatrical cousin, Sam Simmons show About the Weather is less observational witticisms on bland everyday weather patterns and more mad-cap performance art insanity, complete with waving Chinese cats, a “subliminal owl” and an extended knee-licking scene that will send those afraid of audience participation running for the exits. There is even his own version of Gaga’s meat-dress. In the midst of the bare bones of a story about the mundanity of Simmons character’s life – from his “bus crush” to his attempts to put together an IKEA coffee table – there is a unique moment that ends with Simmons draping ham slices over his face and singing The Eagle’s ‘Desperado’. It is the genius of Simmons’ comedy, that at the time, it all seems to make sense. That there seems nothing more normal than the narrator of the story – a talking radio – forcing Simmons to devour a packet of dry biscuits (“faster, faster” the omnipresent voice urges) and shower the crumbs over the front row, or Simmons indulging in extended flashbacks to vintage Gillette ads. Or even the moment where he disappears into a “cod and chips” inspired reverie that takes him to medieval Spain

object of affection – the “bus crush”. The words “bus crush” feature so heavily that at the sparsely populated weekday night show I attended, one attendee walked out repeating the words with all the conviction of someone who had just found his new Facebook status update. However, Simmons absurdist subversion of the genre is not for everyone. Those expecting a traditional hour of stand-up should revise all expectations, and there was more than one confused face at the point where Simmons straddled an audience member on a swivel chair and softly spun him while hugging him tightly. “F*ck you” Simmons tells the crowd. “I’m big in Australia”. Nevertheless, Simmons ploughs through the possible confusion with the unflinching determination of a climate-change denier, performing with an intensity and energy that leaves him a sweating heaving mess by the end, but with a crowd entirely won over. For an off-the-wall night at the theatre, at stand-up comedy prices, do not miss Sam Simmons at Soho Theatre. I guarantee UK will not see anything like it again, at least until Simmons brings his next show back into town. About the Weather is showing at Soho Theatre until Saturday 5 January 2013. For information and tickets see

THE SILLY SEASON THIS DECEMBER@ THE UNDERDOG This December we are offering an extended seasonal happy hour 241 cocktails

EVERYDAY 5pm-10pm

Fanatics bring Australian What’s On Christmas Spirit to London

By Shannon Loves

Sunday 9 December 2012 saw Fanatics host its biggest Santa Pub Crawl to date. Hundreds of Santa suited revellers boarded seven of London’s traditional double decker buses and descended on the cities pubs and landmarks. Starting at Temple Walkabout, the buses took the festive group to photo opportunities at landmarks such as Big Ben, Trafalgar Square

and London Bridge before ending at The Walkabout in Shepherds Bush. Members of the public were more than slightly amused by the buses full of dancing Santas, with many stopping to take photos of their own. Many of the Australians on the pub crawl were looking at a Christmas spent abroad without family around them. They took the opportunity to get into the festive spirit with like minded travellers, and enjoy the Christmas experience London had to offer. Despite the weather not being exactly what Australians would normally associate with Christmas, the day was a huge success. Fanatics tour leader Kelly Paling described the day as “amazing fun”. “Seeing all the sites with everyone in costume was a great experience. Everyone seemed to love it!”

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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 Tame Impala 25 June @ Hammersmith Apollo

Trust the Tait to put on a party for a good cause

n The Anniversary Gala of the Tait Memorial

Trust is a yearly opportunity to showcase young Australian talent in the UK supported by the Trust’s programs. This year took on a special significance, with the celebration of three big anniversaries.

By Will Fitzgibbon THE Anniversary Gala of the Tait Memorial Trust celebrated three milestones in Australian music history on 5 Wednesday December at Australia House, London. To fete the bicentenary of Irish Vincent Wallace, the 50th anniversary of the career of Australian conductor Sir Richard Bonynge and the 20th anniversary of the Tait Memorial Trust itself, scores of attendees were treated to a menu of operatic and orchestral music before sitting down to a more literal menu in the dining hall in the bowels of Australia House. As ever, an enticing auction encouraged attendees to splash out generously to further help the Trust’s programmes. The Tait Memorial Trust organises a winter gala every year to showcase young Australian talent funded through the Trust’s charitable scholarship programmes. The Trust has awarded more than £150,000 to Australian musicians and dancers over the last 20 years, helping to turn baked bean student dinners into solo careers on the world’s most famous stages. This year’s anniversary gala was given especial prominence given the three celebrations. The music, conducted by Bonynge, was performed by the Southbank Sinfonia and featured solo sopranos Sally Silver and Elena Xanthoudakis, an Australian soprano who recently

For full details... ...and more Aussie gigs go to:

See what we are following this week on

#Christmas Been given 97 works of ‘art’ for Christmas by Royal Academy. Emin, Hockney, Grayson sodding Perry. What part of “new Bentley” wasn’t clear?! Elizabeth Windsor @Queen_UK I’m only a morning person on Christmas day. Comedy Quotez™ @ComedyQuotez Best joke I’ve heard to come out of a Christmas cracker yet. What’s furry and minty? A Polo Bear.#CrackerJokes Joleon Lescott @JoleonLescott

Maestro Richard Bonynge (Photo: Erroll Jones) performed at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival. The Irish composer, William Wallace, has become a darling of sorts of the Tait Memorial Trust’s winter programme and has as his champion the experienced Australian pianist Rosemary Tuck. Even in the grandiose hall of Australia House, the Tait Memorial Trust manages to achieve an extraordinary intimacy during its gala evenings. With the direction of the enthusiastic founder and chair, Isla Baring, Tait Memorial Trust events bring together wise heads passionate about good music and a good cause. To find out more about the Tait Memorial Trust see

If you unfollow me, I hope you get Crocs for Christmas. Ted@TedInRealLife Guess what I got you for Christmas. Nothing. Grumpy Cat @VeryGrumpyCat Christmas was invented by Hallmark to bridge the gap between Halloween and Valentine’s Day.#christmasfacts The Poke @ThePoke Brussels. Could we not think of a better venue for the#EUCO Christmas party? Angela Merkel (not) @Queen_Europe Check out what we’re following this week on and follow us on Twitter @AustralianTimes


Travel | 7

tting This week we’re pu


on the map


You don’t need to be Kim Kardashian to get used to the luxurious life. JENNIFER PERKIN finds a way to escape the winter blues, and live like a queen, albeit one on a budget. To the seaside

highlights of Tamil Nadu and Kerala over one month, staying in places that I simply wouldn’t be able to afford anywhere else in the world. And trying not to get too used to it.

Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu smells of Jasmine. It’s a lovely, sweet and tropical smell wafted about by the fresh flowers worn in the hair of the women there, and one that will forever transport me back to the state.

Challenging Chennai

I am not a luxury traveler. On the few occasions I’ve by accident or coincidence found myself in a fancy hotel, I’ve felt conspicuous and unworthy. But when the opportunity presented itself to travel in style and comfort, at the same price it would cost to stay at the most basic of B&Bs in the UK, I knew I’d be a fool to say no. And we’re not talking the Ritz here, or luxury for the sake of luxury; we’re talking uniqueness, attention to detail, one-off and memorable hotels full of character. This is the option afforded by Hotels Under £100 in India, a website run by British India expert Philippa Kaye. The site features hand-picked, independently owned hotels that are all priced under £100 per night – though most are priced well under that, and for two sharing you’re seldom talking about more than £40 per person, per night. Travel in low season and it’s even cheaper. And so it is with the advice of Hotels Under £100 that I embarked on an itinerary covering the

Though my lasting impression is fragrant, my first impression was unfortunately Chennai. Chennai (formerly Madras) is a hard city to love. Busy, smelly, dirty, confusing – it‘s all the horrible things an Indian city can be. Being that it’s the state capital and a major transport hub, most visitors can’t avoid it. And since you’re going to be there you may as well be in the Pod hotel. It’s a stylish design hotel in the coolest part of the city – in striking distance of decent coffee and shopping – and in walking distance of the Government Museum, the city’s only real attraction. Go to the museum, see the incredible archeological artifacts, and then get the hell out.

The logical next stop is Mamallapuram – a seaside town that is in theory just one and a half hours south of Chennai by bus. I say in theory, because in reality it took a good three hours, four different bus stops, two taxi rides and a lot of bad information to find where the bus left from. Lesson number 1 about India: Indians don’t like to say “I don’t know”. Mamallapuram is a World Heritage listed for the amazing 7th and 8th century carved temples dotted throughout the small town centre – most iconic being the shore temple that sits on the beach. It also has a pleasant low-key beach resort feel, and plenty of seafood restaurants. Staying at the massive Ideal resort up the road meant that bicycle was the perfect way to get around, and passing a day or two here is one of the more chilled out options in India.

A spiritual quest

Pondicherry, by contrast, is a deceivingly large city. It’s known for being the French pocket of India, where a semblance of the culture, the food, the language survives from when the French ruled this region. While altogether too much is made of the French connection, there is a novelty of seeing French street names and architecture, as well as the odd croissant in self conscious cafes. While Pondicherry is mostly good for mooching around in shops and drinking café au lait on the sea front, it is also something of a New Age hub. Many are drawn by the city ashram founded by famed spiritual leaders Sri Aurobindo and a Frenchwoman known as The Mother, both of whom died decades ago. Yet more are drawn by the bizarre city of Auroville, an experimental ‘universal township’ founded by The Mother in the late 1960s, located less than 20km from Pondicherry. Over 2000 people from around the world live here, in servitude of the ‘Divine Consciousness’. A daytrip will suffice for the merely curious; time for a visit to the information centre, a glimpse of the giant golden ball statue known as the ‘Matrimander’, a browse of the (many!) onsite shops, and lunch at the really quite wonderful vegetarian cafe. While Auroville was formed as a place without religion it more than makes up for this with spiritual mumbo jumbo, and though the vision of a better world - one without paper money - is a beautiful one, I rather prefer the real world. It’s certainly less boring. My hotel near Pondicherry, The Dune Eco Village, is something of an experiment in itself as a sprawling complex incorporating the ideas of harmony with nature (organic farm)

and engagement with the community (onsite artists workshop), but also incredibly stylish. My ginormous detached room is actually more of a loft apartment, complete with tasteful art and my own personal pool – a proper ‘pinch me coz I’m dreaming’ kind of place.

Off the beaten track

Reluctantly moving on, my next stop is well off the beaten track Chettinad – an area famed for a former community of wealthy bankers who have left behind a legacy of spectacular mansions and elaborate, world influenced food. The

8 | Travel

18 December 2012 - 2 January 2013


idea that the owners of the Bangala hotel had in turning an abandoned mansion into a hotel was a brilliant one. They inspired others in the area to follow suit, singlehandedly created a tourism industry. The Bangala is located in Karaikudi – a small village that, thanks to the pillaging of the mansions which fell into decline following WW1, boasts an array of astonishingly cheap antique shops to put Paris to shame. During a fascinating day trip of the area I visit local tile and sculpture craftsmen, a plethora of opulent abandoned mansions

and a temple where women shave the heads of their children to show their devotion. The highlight is, of course, the food which is prepared in a traditional way and served on a banana leaf. The cuisine here is more subtly flavored than in other parts of the south, more meatcentric and incredibly rich – truly food to have a heart attack to and die happy.

Back in the city

As I continue eastbound towards Kerala, I make a stop off in Madurai. Another horribly congested and unpleasant city, it is worth enduring

to visit the moving Ghandi museum (housing the blood stained dhoti he was killed in) and of course the beautiful Meenakshi Amman Temple complex. Here is a quintessential Indian spectacle, where the heady mix of spirituality mixed with commercialism (all sorts of trinkets and edible offerings are onsale inside) and the sheer numbers of devotees cannot fail to overwhelm.

Relax and regroup

A world away in spirit, but just two hours away by car is another one of India’s hidden gems – the Cardamom

House. Owned by a British doctor, the lodge is an idyllic and homely escape from civilization - next to a lake with a mountain backdrop in an area called Dindigul, there’s not a lot to do besides enjoy the views, good company and the wonderful food. And that’s the way it should be. Waking up for a prolonged breakfast with a view on my personal outdoor dining table is one of my calmest moments in India; an essential regrouping pause for anyone travelling in the country for a length of time.

In touch with nature

There’s a dramatic shift in scenery and temperature as my bus climbs into the hills for my final stop in Tamil Nadu – Kodaikanal. The town itself is an incredibly touristy mountain hub – not without its charms – but the Elephant Valley lodge where I am staying is a good 25 minutes out of town and into the mountains. The lodge is remarkably well integrated in the environment, both in aesthetic and with its eco ethos and sprawling organic farm. Nature appreciation is the focus here, with guided nature walks or horse riding the main activities, with touches like the campfire and the treehouse room, as well as the passionate staff, making the lodge memorable and special. With belly full, bank balance still healthy, and the faint scent of Jasmine upon me it’s time to take my leave of Tamil Nadu and head over the hills for Kerala. For a guide to the Kerala region of India, see the Travel section of 8 January 2013 issue.

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Located in the southeasternmost corner of India, next to Kerala, Tamil Nadu may not be one of the better known states but it is one of the most frequently visited – in particular by domestic tourists who travel there to see the famous temples. Over 72 million people live in the state; the national language is Tamil and the predominant religion is Hindu. TRANSPORT I traveled using public transport; a combination of bus, train and rickshaw, to keep costs down. While it’s safe and dirt cheap to travel this way in Tamil Nadu, it can be a headache at times with changes and connections, so the majority of foreign visitors hire a car and driver for ease and convenience. HOTELS •  The Park Pod, Chennai •  Ideal Resort, Mamallapuram •  The Dune Eco Village, Resort and Spa •  The Bangala, Chettinad •  Cardamom House, Arthoor, Dindigul •  Elephant Valley, Kodaikanal All of the hotels mentioned can be booked at The website also features hotels in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Zambia.

Jobs & Money | 9

Deciphering Australian Dollar Review interest rate changes China the dark cloud for strong Aussie n

The RBA this month reduced interest By Jesse Crooks Australian Dollar closed last week rates to their lowest levels since the darkest THE about where it had started after a slew of out of China and the USA handed days of the Financial Crisis. What has them data the currency a choppy few days. so spooked and why won’t the Australian The two-month high of the previous week was clipped by disappointing Chinese trade data, and compounded banks pass on all the savings to you? > Daniel Shillito

THIS month, at its regular monthly meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) made a decision to cut the cash interest rate by 0.25% – after cutting rates in October by the same amount, and taking total interest rate cuts this calendar year to 1.25%. This takes the cash rate to 3% - its equal lowest since recording data, and the lowest since the height of GFC worries in 2009. The RBA used to call this rate “emergency levels”. Some economists believe the central bank has moved too slowly to stimulate a weakening economy. (It’s worth noting the RBA will not meet until February however, and this could have played a part in their decision making process). Regarding the latest cut, at the time of writing, the 4 major banks (plus one or two others here below) have responded as follows: CBA: 0.20% cut NAB: 0.20% cut Westpac: 0.20% cut ANZ: 0.2% cut ING: 0.25% cut Suncorp: 0.2% cut AMP: 0.2% cut. As you can see, banks are no longer “following the leader” when it comes to RBA rate changes – see below in The Debate. Reasons for the rate cut are remarkably similar to the comments provided after the October rate cut – almost identical. The themes continue to be as follows:

Global economy

Weaker forecasts for global growth, especially in Europe and China, in the absence of a strongly growing US economy – with risks that current forecasts could still be optimistic (read: fiscal cliff).

Local economy

Inflation is still quiescent and shows little short term cause for concern. Hence it appears the RBA has room to move on rates with less fear of inflation getting out of control. Unemployment at just over 5% is, although perhaps trending slightly upwards, as Treasurer Swan declares, it’s much better than other western economies right now. The RBA notes there is weakness in several industries outside mining. Speaking of mining, the RBA has been managing expectations about the longevity of the mining boom in recent months, and recently warned that the resources boom will peak earlier than expected. In terms of lending, the RBA says investment in property is subdued; however capital markets are open for corporations and well rated banks.

The Aussie Dollar

This is the interesting one. The stubbornly high dollar continues to hurt exporters and domestic manufacturers, as the price of our produced and exported goods remains high, leaving us much less competitive as a producing nation, and imports keep rising. So it appears the RBA’s focus has shifted to terms of trade and that old reliable relationship between interest rates and the dollar: reduce rates and less money is invested in Australia and so the dollar should fall. Of course, they are unlikely to spell it out like I have here.

The Debate

Australian rate cuts are regularly followed by politicians, including the country’s Treasury, calling on all banks to pass through the full rate cut to borrowers. Last week Treasurer Wayne Swan told to reporters in Canberra, “Today’s rate cut from the Reserve Bank is the early Christmas present that hardworking Aussies deserve.’’ However, since mid-last year banks have been complaining about higher costs of funding, both from overseas and from paying local customers high deposit interest rates (Note: high interest deposits arguably no longer exist, and are now less attractive for investors – see next month’s article). And in November last year, ANZ bank actually announced it would commence its own monthly interest-rate setting process, “independent” from the RBA changes to the cash rate. Then, in February 2012 both Westpac and ANZ moved to increase the standard variable rates on their home and investment loans – when the Reserve Bank had indeed made no changes to rates. The reality is this: Banks and other lenders are no longer pegging their homeowner lending rates to the country’s central bank. This is true in many countries around the world including the UK, especially since earlier this year. The latest move, it appears, is to bring the Australian Bankers Association on board in terms of letting everyone know that it’s wrong to expect Australian banks will always follow in the footsteps of the Reserve Bank interest rate changes, and even suggesting in a recent press release that borrowers don’t pay more when banks hold back on interest rate cuts. The ABA points to Reserve Bank comments about increased funding costs for banks, and the fact that the RBA believes the cash rate is around 1 ½ percentage points lower than it would have been as a result of banks not passing on rate cuts. And somehow this is evidence borrowers are not affected? This seems an incredible statement when economists note that standard variable mortgage

already pricing the weekend’s change of government in Japan, welcoming to the idea of an expected expansion in monetary stimulus. As a result, the Aussie touched a nine-month high against the Japanese Yen, with the New Zealand Dollar hitting a high last seen in 2008. Over the next two weeks, focus is likely to remain on the US Fiscal Cliff with uncertainty likely to moderate gains in emerging currencies.

Exchange rates GBP/AUD: 1.534 EUR/AUD: 1.247 USD/AUD: 0.950 NZD/AUD: 0.801 09:00 GMT, 17 December 2012

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. rates have not hit the lows seen during 2009, due to a large increase in the spread, or gap, between retail rates and the official cash rate. Standard variable mortgage rates with the major banks averaged around 5.75 per cent when the cash rate was last at 3 per cent in 2009 according to RBA figures, but today, with the cash rate at 3% again, the average standard variable rate will only reduce to 6.45 per cent, as lenders have again passed on a reduced cut to borrowers. Perhaps one underlying motivation for reducing rates now, may in fact be related to the banks not passing on rate cuts. With the government’s focus on a concerted effort to return the budget to surplus, they have embarked on cost-cutting measures, so in essence, locals are experiencing a “mild austerity plan”. It may well be that these changes have in fact impacted the economy harder than first thought. Many Aussie families are in mortgage debt, so any potential mortgage savings can have a positive impact on the economy. The RBA now knows, if it is to get through to the mortgageholders, it has to cut harder and more frequently, given the bankers’ reluctance to ‘follow the leader’ anymore. Australia’s top four banks posted a combined record annual net profit of about $25 billion in 2011/12.

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by a less-than-spectacular increase in the number of approved home loans in the country. Lee Wai Tuck, of Forecast Pte in Singapore told Bloomberg the weak numbers would “put some question marks as to whether the rebound in the economy is sustainable” and that China’s demand for Australian exports could also be questioned. The Aussie reached a three-month high against the US Dollar though, after the US Federal Reserve announced fresh stimulus measures in a bid to avoid the so-called Fiscal Cliff. This increase in investor confidence attracts investors to the higher-yielding assets of emerging markets. Late last week, investors were

10 | Sport

18 December 2012 - 2 January 2013

Parkinson hungry for more world surf titles By Will Swanton in Oahu, Hawaii Joel Parkinson is ravenous for more. “It probably sounds like I’m getting old for an athlete but part of me feels like I’m just getting started,” the 31-year-old Queenslander said after trumping Kelly Slater to claim his breakthrough world championship and maiden Billabong Pipe Masters on the North Shore of Oahu. “To become a Pipe Master and world champion is the ultimate. To do it all in one hit is everything I dreamed of. “It was intense but now there’s just relief and I want to do it again. I wish

I could get out and surf more heats right now. “Two of my life’s ambitions just came true but I don’t want it to be the end of anything. “Kelly is 40 and he’s still going strong. He’s just put on one of the best ever shows at Pipe and he’s finished second in the world. “It shows that if you keep yourself fit and if you still have a love of surfing, there’s no reason why you have to give it away. I love surfing more than I can describe. “It’s in my blood, every day of my life. I felt like I had to win Pipe to prove to myself that I deserved to be world champion. Now that’s done, the pressure is off next year and

hopefully every year after that.” Parkinson and Slater went tit-for-tat during a mesmerising showdown as broken boards, ten-point rides and sickening wipeouts punctuated the final day at Banzai Pipeline on Friday. California-based Queenslander Josh Kerr was the unsung hero. Paralysed in the water, fearing a broken neck, he was rushed to hospital after being hurled onto the reef. Given the all-clear but still in pain, with pins and needles down his left arm, Kerr found the courage to keep throwing himself into Pipe’s bombs and eliminated Slater in the semifinals to hand Parkinson the world crown.

Howling with raw emotion, Parkinson swigged champagne before taking out the final by 17.17 points to Kerr’s 14.83. “Bring on next year,” Parkinson said. “I guess the one thing I’ve learned this year about myself is how to come back in a dogfight. There has been some smooth sailing but a lot of those real dogfights, too. “I’ve learned how to hold my nerve. When I was younger, I used to feel like a bit of a ball of stress, sometimes, if I wasn’t in the lead or I didn’t get the best waves. “Now I’ve found my rhythm. I knew weeks ago that Pipe was going to be a pressure cooker but I guess I’ve learned to trust myself and quit worrying about things out of my control. We all know Kelly is

Houdini but I just did my own thing and it got me over the line.” Parkinson’s confidante and inspiration, Mark Occhilupo, predicted the world No.1 could compete for another decade if his motivation stayed strong. “The floodgates might open for Joel,” an emotional Occhilupo said. “I’ve shed a few tears just now. I think a lot of people have. It’s just the biggest release for all of us who know him. He is the nicest guy in the world. “He could have won a couple of world titles before this, but I think he’ll win a couple more from now. “When Joel can surf with freedom, look out. We might not have seen anything yet.” The first event of Parkinson’s world title defence will be at his home break of Snapper Rocks in March.

London Tag Rugby 2012 Year in Review

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Free Luxury Stopover Offer Terms & Conditions The free one-night stopover at the Berjaya Times Square Hotel is valid for two passengers travelling together from the UK & Ireland to Malaysia Airlines’ destinations in Australia and New Zealand between 15 November 2012 - 30 June 2013 for flights booked between 15 November and 31 December 2012. The above free accommodation offers include all taxes and service charges but do not include any meals taken with the free stay. Passengers can decide whether to utilise their complimentary hotel accommodation either on their outbound or inbound stopover. Code-share flights and itineraries involving other air carriers are excluded from the offer, as are one-way journeys. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any special fare promotion. Full terms and conditions apply.

2012 London Tag Rugby Championship winners, Tumeke of Action

By Phillip Browne With all Late Autumn Tag Rugby competitions across the capital now complete, Tag Rugby has officially finished for 2012. This year has been the biggest year for Tag Rugby in London to date, peaking at 142 teams across the capital in the Early Summer season (May/June). 2013 is anticipated to break more records for Tag Rugby participation across the capital, with the Corporate Challenge, London Tag Rugby Championships and the popular International Cup tournaments already attracting plenty of interest. Looking back on the year that was, it all kicked off with the first representative fixture for 2012 on 17 March - the St Patrick’s Day Challenge at Twickenham. Great Britain defeated London Ireland in the men’s division 7-3, but went down 19-7 in the mixed division. On 31 March, The Chargers proved too good for the challenging teams, and won the Finsbury Park Tag Rugby festival undefeated. They triumphed over Tagquila Shots 10-5 in the final with Simon Kang in superb form for Chargers. On 25 May, Tullett Prebon laid claim to Try Tag Rugby’s inaugural Corporate Challenge tournament held at Regent’s Park by defeating the much fancied Google 4-0 in the final. Tullett Prebon’s Joanne Powell claimed the player of the final award. The next day, The Chargers claimed their 2nd title of the year by taking out the Rugby Rock event in Richmond, again by defeating the Tagquila Shots in the final. 9 June saw London Australia take out the Try Tag Rugby International Cup tournament at Wasps in the mixed A grade and men’s divisions, while London Ireland managed to claim

victory in the mixed social division. On 14 July Finsbury Park side The Chargers did the London Tag Rugby community proud by winning the Pig’N’Porter Tag Rugby Festival in Limerick, Ireland. Over 110 teams competed in this event, the world’s biggest Tag Rugby festival. 18 August saw London’s biggest ever Tag Rugby festival take place at West Ham, the London Tag Rugby Championships. Acton’s Tumeke defeated a powerful Bircroft Panthers side from Dublin 4-3 in a nail-biting final. On 1 September, The Try Tag Rugby All-Stars defended their Malta International Tag Rugby Festival title and will be looking for the hat trick in 2013. North London managed to take out the 2012 London Tag Rugby Origin series with three defeats over South London (men’s, mixed A grade and mixed social) on 15 September at Wandsworth Common. On 13 October The Chargers proved too good again by winning the inaugural Wasps Tag Rugby Festival in Acton with an 8-6 triumph in the final. Finally, on 3 November, Great Britain and Ireland (mixed A grade), London Australia (men’s) and London South Africa (mixed social) were crowned champions in their respective divisions at the 2nd International Cup tournament of the year. 2013 is going to be even bigger and better for Tag Rugby in the capital. Winter competition registrations are now open. Competitions commence on 14 January at the following venues: Barnes, Bermondsey, Borough, Holloway Road, Rotherhithe, Tooting Bec and White City. If you would like to get involved in a Try Tag Rugby competition, go to or email info@ for more details.

Sport | 11

Dark days and skeletons Test cricket is the name of the game. Isn’t it? mark year in Aussie sport Continued from p12...

Continued from p12...

Thorpedo a dud Australia’s most successful Olympian summed it up perfectly: “The fairytale has turned into a nightmare.” Thorpe conceded his image was tarnished by falling flat in his hyped comeback to competitive swimming, when the five-time Olympic gold medallist couldn’t make the team for the London Games. But Thorpe has vowed to swim on while also revealing a long-term battle with depression.

Black Caviar: the nation’s firm favourite The magnificent mare captivated the nation in taking her winning streak to 22 races with a blend of unprecedented horse power and sheer grace. Black Caviar went from champion to legend to national treasure, as spectators flocked to fill some racecourses for the first time in decades. The celebrity horse was feted everywhere - she adorned the cover of a women’s fashion magazine; had a Lego toy made of her; a range of hair shampoo and conditioner released in her name - for horses, not humans. Peter Moody’s trump went to England’s famed Royal Ascot and won, though only just. “She has nothing left to prove,” Moody says. True, but a glorious autumn farewell tour is in the offing.

Bets off for Damien Oliver The revered jockey was banned for 10 months after admitting placing a $10,000 bet on another horse in a 2010 race. The horse he backed won, while he came second on his mount. The two-time Melbourne Cupwinning jockey claimed it was a spur of the moment gamble during the bleakest period of his life, blaming stress, injury and a marriage break-down for his “misdeed and lack of judgment”. Conveniently, his suspension ends before the 2013 Spring Carnival.

The drug cheats Lance Armstrong took down some Australians in a drug-tainted freefall. The American cyclist gave up fighting doping accusations as damning evidence against him also uncovered doped skeletons in the closet of two top Cycling Australia officials. Coach Matt White and vice-president Stephen Hodge both quit the sport’s governing body after admitting they took drugs during their competitive cycling careers. Like swimming, Australian cycling is now subject of an independent review.

The AFL cheats The Adelaide Crows broke AFL salary cap and draft rules in a deal with forward Kurt Tippett they kept secret for three years. The Crows only came clean after Tippett walked out of the club. The AFL delivered sanctions including suspending Tippett for the initial 11 games of the 2013 season, banning Adelaide’s chief executive Steven Trigg for six months, football operations manager Phil Harper for two months and fining the Crows $300,000.

Captain Clarke imperious The Australian Test cricket captain will

never again be accused of having more style than substance but his true test awaits. Clarke turned his image around with an unprecedented run-scoring spree of the highest calibre, becoming the first Test batman to pass 200 four times in a calendar year. But the series of his life beckons, trying to win back the little brown urn on the much-anticipated 2013 Ashes tour of England.

Surf’s up for Parko World champion and Pipe Master on the one day. In the world of professional surfing it simply doesn’t get any better than that. The 31-year-old Joel Parkinson - so often the bridesmaid to his best mate Mick Fanning or legendary American Kelly Slater - finally claimed his first world title after 12 years on tour. And he did it at the sport’s most iconic venue - Banzai Pipeline on the north shore of Oahu - a surf break dear to the heart of the late Andy Irons, a threetime world champ and close friend of Parko’s.

Low-key Aussie world beaters Has Australia ever had two lower profile world champions than Daniel Geale and Pete Jacobs? Boxer Geale unified the middleweight division by defending his IBF title and winning the WBA title with a defeat of German Felix Sturm in September. But still he flies under the Australian sport radar, until his bout with big-mouth Anthony Mundine in Sydney in the New Year. And Jacobs won the Hawaii ironman triathlon world championship in October - the sixth time in a row an Australian has taken the title.

The legend of Casey Stoner Australia’s dual MotoGP world champion retired with glowing tributes and his rarified spot assured when inducted as an official legend of the sport. Stoner’s farewell included another stirring win on home soil, claiming the Australian MotoGP for the sixth successive time, and he now appears certain to try his hand at driving a V8 Supercar.

The premiers The Sydney Swans claimed the premiership in the AFL’s Melbourne heartland; Melbourne Storm claimed the premiership in the NRL’s Sydney heartland. Brisbane Roar won consecutive A-League crowns, and New Zealand’s Chiefs took their first Super Rugby title.

The human trade Italian soccer megastar Alessandro Del Piero signed a two-year deal with Sydney FC worth $4 million, and almost instantly gave the A-League that much back in free publicity. Rugby league convert Israel Folau failed to make an on-field impact in the AFL and quit the code. And in a further twist, Folau has now chosen to have a crack at rugby union with the Waratahs - to the barelydisguised fury of NRL club Parramatta. Australasian sport’s other celebrated code-swapper is Sonny-Bill Williams, who returns to the NRL with the Sydney Roosters. But before the new season starts, Williams will continue fighting on a February card featuring Australian rugby renegade Quade Cooper.

will be available for warm-up matches in India to help them acclimatise to local conditions. But Test skipper Michael Clarke, vice-captain Shane Watson and star batsman Mike Hussey are all likely to be required for an ODI clash against the Windies which is hardly set to capture the public’s imagination as pub talk turns from summer sports to pre-season footy. They’ll be in India soon enough and cope as best they can, presumably, but it’s not an ideal situation. Given the choice, surely it’s better to throw resources at the Test squad for a crucial tour of India than put an A-grade side on the park for a one-dayer against the Windies. With the one-day World Cup coming up in Australia in 2015, early 2013 mightn’t be a bad time to blood a couple of blokes on the fringes of international selection, for the greater good of Australian cricket. “We have important games against the West Indies and some of the Test guys will be required to play in that series,” a Cricket Australia spokesman says. “Those who are not selected for the final one-day games will have the opportunity to go to India and get used to the conditions with two practice games.


“The selectors will pick the team that they believe will be able to beat the West Indies in that oneday series. There are some red-ball specialists who would be able to go to India early and then there are others who will be involved in the one-day series.” If it’s a bad look for Clarke and Watson to skip the last game against the Windies, if it affects crowd numbers and TV ratings, that’s unfortunate. But Test cricket, that’s the name of the game. Isn’t it? Australia coach Mickey Arthur

says Cricket Australia owes it to the sporting public to field a strong side in the fifth one-dayer against the Windies. “We’ll split our staff (between India and Australia),” Arthur said. “I’ll definitely see the one-dayers out. “I suspect if Michael Clarke’s fit he’ll do the same, because we’ve got that responsibility to the Australian public and to the sponsors.” By Greg Buckle

SKINS chairman sues cycling body for reputational loss Continued from p12... widespread doping took root. He says the only way to fix world cycling is to fully expose all involved in past doping, and rid the sport of those who oversaw the Lance Armstrong era. “I would not be surprised to see Aussies, English, Americans, Germans, French, Italians, Spanish (involved in past doping),” Fuller, who is the chairman of Australian compression garment company Skins, told AAP. “It would be very hard to put your hand on your heart and say `I know that my country has not had people engaged in these activities’. “I expect to find people from every country implicated. We all know that cycling has been submerged in a doping culture for many years. “But it should be about getting to

the truth. It should not be about any blame or punishment.” Already the Armstrong scandal has claimed two Australian victims - Orica-GreenEDGE sports director Matt White and Cycling Australia vice-president Stephen Hodge. Both had admitted to doping while professional cyclists. Fuller’s company sponsored cycling, and is now suing world governing body UCI for damaging Skins’ reputation through its mismanagement of the sport. But the Australian has also become the central figure in a group called Change Cycling Now, which is agitating for change at the top. It has brought together key reform advocates, and is backing threetime Tour De France winner Greg LeMond to take over the sport’s governance short-term from current UCI bosses Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen.

The duo have between them overseen the sport for more than 20 years, through various doping scandals culminating in the Armstrong era. Fuller says they are at the very least incompetent in allowing a doping culture to thrive under their leadership. He said he wasn’t qualified to offer an opinion about whether Cycling Australia needed its own change at the top, but hoped the body would play a strong role in any reform process. “I’d like to see Cycling Australia come forward and say `we’re not scared of the truth’,” he said. “If there’s crap that happened in the past, then let’s understand what it is for the good of the sport, not cover it up and try to hide it.” By Guy Hand

Aussies prove credentials ahead of Winter Olympics Continued from p12... in the semi-final, Henshaw found another level, blitzing the field with his first run of the day, scoring 84.50. Norwegian Andreas Hatveit, the 2008 X Games gold medallist, finished second with 80 points and Swede Henrik Harlaut took third place with 78.75 points. Henshaw already showed his bona fides in the sport which will make its Games debut at Sochi in 14 months, coming second at last year’s X Games and third at the world championship. Similarly, Segal also has a proven track record in the sport which is held in a purpose-built terrain park and sees competitors judged on their

jumps and tricks. She took out the world championship last year and is regarded as one of the early favourites to claim gold in Russia. At Breckenridge Segal qualified with the second highest score in Anna Segal (AAP) the semi-final before finishing with a 56.75 total. She was joined by Canadian duo Kaya Turski (87.25) and Yuki Tsubota (72.25) on the dais. It was the third consecutive year

that Segal finished on the podium at the event.

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Year in Review P10


YEAR IN REVIEW | Record breaking runs for our cricket captain and champion thoroughbred were not enough to brighten the darker days of Australian sport in 2012. By Steve Larkin AN Olympics clouded by a silver lining; skeletons springing from closets. Australian sport enters the New Year hoping to bury some dark days - but first it wants to find out what caused them. Here are the top Aussie sport stories of 2012:

Not so golden London Olympics Australia arrived bold, but departed with few gold. The lowest medal haul in 20 years - seven gold, 16 silver and 12 bronze medals - only just secured a seat at the top 10 medal table. Two tenacious women turned their steel into gold, with hurdler Sally Pearson and sprint cyclist Anna Meares triumphing in fabled fashion. But only one other Australian won an individual gold, sailor Tom Slingsby in sailing’s Laser class. Sailors also delivered gold in the 470 men and 49er men events, and Australia’s kayak four team won the men’s 1000m. But elsewhere, Australians failed to make a splash, especially in the pool where there was no individual Olympic gold medallist for the first time in three decades. World champion talker and freestyler James Magnussen’s bullet-proof persona was pierced and only the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team won gold. Amid claims of pranksters, social media addicts and lack of leadership, an independent panel has been charged with reviewing the swim program and the sport’s governance and administration The overall result in London left Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates, red-faced after predicting 15 gold medals, ordering a search for answers. “I am absolutely certain that the sports have to look at themselves, rather than look for more money,” he says. ...continued on p11


Australian cricket’s test of resources CRICKET Australia is fond of talking about the primacy of Test cricket but scheduling conflicts with limited-overs matches constantly stretch this policy to breaking point. The latest case in point is the Test tour to India beginning in February, which is set to involve Australia’s squad heading to the sub-continent before the final one-day international against the West Indies at the MCG on February 10. That’s fine for Test-only players like Ed Cowan, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon, who

...continued on p11

Get rid of the rot, says cycling advocate The Australian leading the push for change in world cycling fully expects more of his countrymen to be implicated if and when the complete truth about the sport’s dark past is revealed. But entrepreneur Jaimie Fuller, who is attempting to have those in charge of world cycling overthrown, says punishment for those riders involved should be put aside in order to fully understand how and why

...continued on p11

Aussie skiers in podium finish

Surfing’s new world champ says he’s just getting started | P10 “EVERYTHING I DREAMED OF” | Joel Parkinson celebrates after claiming his first surfing world title at the Billabong Pipe Masters in Oahu, Hawaii. (AAP Image/ASP, Kirstin Scholtz)

The new Winter Olympic sport of slopestyle skiing is looking increasingly like a medal winner for Australia in Sochi with two skiers enjoying podium finishes at a major event in the US on Sunday. Russ Henshaw enjoyed the best win of his career with victory at the Dew Tour event in Breckenridge, Colorado while compatriot Anna Segal finished third in the women’s event. After qualifying for the 12-man final with the fourth highest score ...continued on p11

Australian Times weekly newspaper | 18 December 2012  

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

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