19 - 25 March 2013 Issue: 455
ITALY’S FIRST LADY
Diggers prepare for South Pole charity trek
The festive delights of Florence
THE EXPAT FACTOR Liz Koops, Theatre Producer News P5
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n Video game developer Siobhan Reddy has been named Australian Woman of the Year in $1800 meal the UK at an award ceremony for the remarkable achievements of Australian women in Britain.
Award celebrates UK Aussie women
By Alex Ivett
SIOBHAN Reddy, creator of the video game Little Big Planet and cofounder and studio director of Media Molecule, has been named Australia’s leading woman in the UK.
The Award, sponsored by Qantas and Australian Business, recognises the success and achievements of Australian women in the UK. Ms Reddy said receiving the award was “very humbling and really amazing”.
She hopes to use the platform provided by the award to inspire and mentor young women hoping to enter the gaming field. “Women in this industry work really hard, and every bit of recognition for their role in gaming
is great,” she said. “I hope this encourages young women to be more involved in gaming.” The accolade comes at a busy
...continued on p3
Image by Elly Mac Photos
for $50m deal
ONE of the “well-connected entrepreneurs” granted a lucrative mining licence by former NSW minister Ian Macdonald couldn’t wipe the smile off his face after signing the deal over a magnum of pinot noir, an inquiry has heard.
“I can’t wipe the smile off my face, merry bloody Christmas,” an email from Craig Ransley reads. The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is probing whether the former mines minister gave an improper benefit to former union boss John Maitland and his associates Mr Ransley and Andrew Poole, relating to the licence allocated to Doyles Creek Mining in the NSW Hunter region in December 2008. Mr Macdonald had no basis to “essentially gift” the licence worth tens of millions of dollars to the group, the inquiry heard on Monday. The ICAC’s Operation Acacia is also looking at whether Mr Macdonald took improper steps to overcome departmental advice and if he concealed any improper behaviour. On the first day of hearings, counsel assisting the commission, ...continued on p3
this signed footy!
Winner of the Qantas Australian Woman of the Year in the UK Award 2013, Siobhan Reddy. Photo gallery of Award ceremony inside | P4
Grab it on P14
2 | News
19 - 25 March 2013
Aussie soldiers in trek to raise money for wounded troops
n Three Australian soldiers are preparing to take part in a race to the South Pole to raise money for the rehabilitation of wounded troops.
Publisher: Bryce Lowry Editor: Alex Ivett Production/Design: Jackie Lampard News Editor: Paul Bleakley Business Editor: Sepi Roshan Contributors: Catherine Burrell, Tim Martin, Georgia Dawes, Phillip Browne, Michelle McCue, Erin Somerville, George Katralis, Lee Crossley, Jacqui Moroney, Will Fitz-gibbon, Chris Arkadieff, Bronwyn Spencer, Daniel
Shillito, Mat Lyons, Nicole Crowley, Alex Bruce-Smith, Sandra Tahmasby, Tyson Yates, Amber Rose, Jennifer Perkin, Josh Reich, Shannon Loves, Charlie Inglefield, Kris Griffiths, AJ ClimpsonStewart, Thomas Jones, Michael McCormick, Alistair Davis, Will Denton, Jennifer Lawton 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Address: Unit 7C, Commodore House Battersea Reach, London SW18 1TW Tel: 0845 456 4910 Email: email@example.com
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By Alex Ivett THREE Australian soldiers have spent two weeks on the Langjokull Glacier in Iceland battling minus 30 degree temperatures and whiteout winds as they undergo preparations for a charity trek to the South Pole later this year. The expedition, organised by UK charity Walking with the Wounded, will see three teams of wounded servicemen and women from the UK, US and Commonwealth head to the Antarctic to raise money for the rehabilitation of returned soldiers. During the four-week expedition the teams will pull sledges containing their provisions and weighing up to 70kg across the ice in their race to the South Pole. The three Australians, Private Heath Jamieson, Warrant Officer Class 2 Scott Warby and Corporal Seamus Donaghue are currently hoping for two spots on the trek as part of Team Commonwealth to raise funds for affiliated Australian charity Soldier On. Speaking to Australian Times from the glacier, Pte Jamieson said the two-and-a-half weeks spent in Iceland had really been an eye-opener to the possible conditions members of the team will face in Antarctica. “None of us had ever skied before,” he said. “The first time we went out on the glacier it was minus 30 with 80km wind, and everyone thought ‘is this what it’s going to be like?’” All three Australians have suffered gunshot wounds in Afghanistan and have had to contend not only with the extreme conditions, but also the added difficulties presented by their injuries. Corporal Donaghue from Brisbane suffered a gunshot wound to the thigh in Afghanistan in 2010. “All of us have been wounded in Afghanistan and have been shot in various parts of our bodies,” he said.
Your Say On: Speed Racer: Aussie rider on the UK Speedway circuit
Great to read about a Aussie doing well and working hard for his dream, keep up the hard work Cameron. Good luck for the season. Jenni
Cameron, wishing you another great season riding the most exciting form of two wheel racing. Hold the Aussie Flag high. Poole will return. Best of luck. Stephen
On: Video game developer wins Aussie Woman of the Year in UK Award Congratulations again Siobhan we are all so proud of you.
Marie - Therese
? What’s your view
“We’re doing this to raise awareness for wounded soldiers and to try to get public support behind the rehabilitation process of these soldiers to help them get through the program quicker.” Warrant Officer Class 2 Scott Warby received a gunshot wound to his lower right leg and shrapnel to the left bicep. “You don’t really feel it when it first hits you,” he said. “It’s something you don’t really notice until all the blood starts leaking out your body. That’s when you start feeling something other than the initial shock.” Pte Jamieson suffered a gunshot wound through the neck which left him barely able to walk. “You’re not just getting shot and then everything’s nice and calm around you,” he said about the experience. “You don’t have time to worry about yourself, you’re still in a situation which you and your team need to get out of. You just have to keep doing your job.” Pte Jamieson said this expedition was important to help raise awareness of the sacrifice of wounded soldiers who gave up everything for their countries, as well as to provide those in a similar situation with inspiration to successfully complete their rehabilitation. “The rehabilitation process is mostly individual, which is difficult when you’re a soldier and used to working in a team environment. Working towards something like this lets you be part of a team again, get your mind back on what’s important and gives you the motivation to keep going and get better as best you can.” The first week of the Iceland training exercise was spent familiarising the team with their kit and undergoing survival training to help the soldiers understand the conditions out on the ice. “Each team has a guide who is a polar expert. They’ve been training us and running us through what life on the ice is like and how to survive,” said Pte Jamison. Congratulations Siobhan! We need more “Lady Geeks” and to get girls into IT, so I am sure your win will be an inspiration and you an excellent role model!
On: Sportswomen struggle to score sponsors This is just ridiculous, still there’s a lot of discrimination, injustice and corruption in this beautiful country. What can you do? Buy an island and live happily on it?
On: Hamish and Andy battle it out for Gold Logie as nominations revealed Hamish and Andy are the cream of the crop here in Australia along with Guy Sebastian - great Aussie talent that all deserve a Logie.
“Even doing the most mundane things out there, you have to be careful. If you try to take your glove off for 20 seconds you’ll get frostbite.” The second week was spent undertaking a mock expedition on the glacier itself, testing the soldiers’ ability to work together and seeing how the team might perform under difficult conditions like those they will face in Antarctica. “Iceland is part of the selection process – to see how the guys injuries, both physical and mental, hold up under the conditions,” said Corporal Donaghue. The Australians are quietly confident of Team Commonwealths’ chances, if the training in Iceland is any indication. “The Commonwealth team came in a comfortable first” said Corporal Donaghue about the mini-expedition. Pte Jamieson added “it was more for bragging rights. To be able to give each other a bit of stick.” “All the teams get along really well. It’s been great to be paired with the Canadians. The team is a really close knit team which gets things done.” The final team chosen to represent the Commonwealth may find themselves joined on the expedition by Prince Harry, who is patron of Walking with the Wounded. The Prince is hoping to join the expedition should his royal and military commitments allow. For more information and to support Team Commonwealth see walkingwiththewounded.org.uk.
On: Slater wins out over Parkinson at Quiksilver Gold Coast Pro
Granted, you’re not exactly over the hill when you hit 40, but you’re not going to be taking many surfing titles from blokes half your age either. Slater is unreal. Parko may be only 10 years younger, but there were plenty of 20 year olds out there competing too, and he mopped them all up.
On: Australian citizen allegedly tortured in South Sudan
This is a nugatory law. How could anyone be arbitrarily arrested, tortured and detained just because he was found next to the house where the violence took place? This is ridiculous!
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News | 3
Former minister signed “Keep up the good work”, says PM off on suspect mine deal at $1800 meal, ICAC told ...continued from p1
...continued from p1
Peter Braham SC, said Mr Macdonald would likely claim to the inquiry that he followed departmental advice in granting the licence. That version of events would be “entirely repudiated”, Mr Braham said. “We consider it likely that the facts will demonstrate that when Mr Macdonald issued the invitation to Doyles Creek, he did so without any proper basis,” he said in his opening address on Monday. The inquiry heard that a key issue would be why Mr Macdonald made the “astounding” decision to ignore departmental advice in issuing the licence to the entrepreneurs, rather than hold a competitive tender. He said Mr Macdonald did not even tell the department when he decided to issue the licence, behaviour Mr Braham labelled as “unprecedented”. The proposal submitted by Doyles Creek Mining was for a training mine, but was for “in fact a mining mine”, he told the inquiry. Doyles Creek had been a “financial disaster” for the people of NSW and a “gold mine for the entrepreneurs”, he said. Mr Braham said evidence would indicate Mr Macdonald and Mr Maitland were mates and that had resulted in Mr Macdonald being predisposed “to show favour to Mr Maitland”. The inquiry would also investigate
whether Mr Ransley or Mr Poole were involved in any wrongdoing in relation to the critical tenement. The three men made profits of just under $50 million from their involvement in Doyles Creek, the inquiry heard. The inquiry was told Mr Maitland outlaid about $165,000 and within three years of the grant the investment was worth about $15 million. It’s alleged Mr Ransley invested $318,367 for a profit of just under $15 million, while Mr Poole outlaid $364,648 and profited to the tune of around $18 million. The exploration licence was signed by Mr Macdonald in the presence of the entrepreneurs over an $1800 meal at the upmarket Catalina’s at Rose Bay, the ICAC heard. “As the ink dried, a magnum of pinot noir helped wet the celebration,” Mr Braham said. Outside the inquiry, CFMEU mining and energy general secretary Andrew Vickers said the union had rejected requests from Mr Maitland to back the training mine project. He said the union had never been involved in any wrongdoing regarding the licence. “The union per se has not, was not, and will not be involved in any suggested corruption or misdoing with the granting of the exploration licence,” he told reporters. The inquiry will continue on Wednesday before Commissioner David Ipp. -AAP
Abbott attempts to censure Labor over media laws FEDERAL Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the furore over Labor’s proposed media law changes is more proof of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s poor judgment. The criticism came as the government defended its jobs record and flagged new checks on employers who abuse the temporary skilled migrant worker scheme using 457 visas. Mr Abbott on Monday attempted to censure the government over its media laws – his first such motion since November. The proposed media laws would become a similar policy disaster to the live cattle export ban, the East Timor asylum seeker detention centre, the carbon and mining taxes and “demonising foreign workers”, he told parliament. “It’s yet another display of poor judgment”. Leader of the House Anthony Albanese hit back saying the coalition had a track record of curtailing freedom, such as gag orders on charities receiving government money, lawsuits against newspapers and effectively outlawing unions under Work Choices. “We will not be lectured to by (the coalition) … who represent decades of tradition of trying to shut down voices in our community,” Mr Albanese said. The coalition had also argued in parliament against action on climate change, the national broadband network, hospital reform and industry assistance, the minister said. The debate came as the latest Nielsen poll showed the coalition
leading 56-44 on a two-party basis and Mr Abbott leading Ms Gillard as preferred prime minister 49-43. Dismissing the poll result, Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten said the government was focused on “issues that matter to Australian households” such as education, fair workplaces and care for people with disability. The government announced new laws that will allow Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) officials to check migration records held by employers, to ensure compliance with the temporary skilled work visa program, known as the 457 scheme. FWO inspectors – who already undertake 10,000 inspections of workplaces a year – would match migration paperwork with job descriptions and actual work undertaken under the visa scheme. “My policy is always to see Australian workers in the front of the line when it comes to getting Australian jobs,” Ms Gillard told parliament. “These changes are about two things – making sure 457 visas are not being used to undercut pay and conditions in our workplaces, and second … that we protect the jobs of Australians by ensuring 457 visas are only used for a job that an Australian worker cannot fill.” Mr Abbott earlier announced a $10 billion roads strategy, including $1.5 billion for Melbourne’s East-West link, $1 billion for Brisbane’s Gateway project and $5.6 billion to complete the Newcastle-Queensland border Pacific Highway duplication. - AAP
time for Sydney-born developer following her inclusion by the BBC on the list of the 100 most powerful women in the UK. A fellow Australian on the Woman’s Hour Power List, Jay Hunt, was also nominated for the Australian Woman of the Year in the UK. Jay Hunt is Chief Creative Officer at Channel 4. At the ceremony Qantas Regional General Manager for UK & Ireland, Eric Jelinek, paid tribute to the 28 nominees for the award and noted it had been a very difficult decision to choose a winner from amongst the outstanding nominations. Fellow nominees included
Professor Dame Valerie Beral AC, FRS, Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University, Jo Elvin, Editor of Glamour Magazine and Clare Stewart, Head of Exhibitions at the British Film Institute. The award ceremony included a keynote speech from Fiona Hathorn, Managing Director of Women on Boards UK in which Ms Hathorn promoted the aim of increasing female representation at the board level of organisations and companies. Following the announcement of the Award Ms Reddy received a personal video message from Prime Minister Julia Gillard. “The role of past winners and nominees is an impressive one and
your name’s a very worthy addition to the list,” Ms Gillard said. “Good on you Siobhan, and keep up the good work.” Ms Reddy won a return business ticket to Australia with Qantas and said she would use the ticket to see her niece. “She’s six months old, and I can’t wait to go and see her,” she said. Past award winners include theatre producer Liz Koops, chef Skye Gyngell and London bombing survivor Gill Hicks.
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4 | Community
19 - 25 March 2013
WA Government European Office host Cullen Wines tasting
By Matt Dawson Emma Cullen, from Margaret River’s Cullen Wines, led a group of 60 guests through a tasting session of her family’s flagship wines at an intimate gathering at Australia House. on Thursday 14 March The evening was put on in conjunction with the Western Australian Government European Office. Guests included Australian High Commissioner, Mike Rann, Deputy High Commissioner, Andrew Todd and the Agents-General of Western Australia and Queensland, Kevin Skipworth and Ken Smith and Deputy Agent-General for South
Australia, Matt Johnson. They were joined by representatives for the wine industry, business, West Australian alumni and staff from the High Commission. The Cullen family have been producing wine in Western Australia’s south-west for more than 40 years. Studies in 1960s uncovered Margaret River’s potential for growing Bordelais grape varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, and
Cullen Wines was established in 1971 by agronomist, Doctor Kevin Cullen and his wife Diana. The popularity of the Cullen family’s wines is reflected by its trophy cabinet. Diana became the first woman to win a trophy for wine growing at the Perth Royal Show in 1982. Her daughter, Vanya has also gone on to win a multitude of awards since becoming Chief Winemaker in 1989 and Managing Director in 1999. In 2000 Vanya Cullen won the Qantas/ The Wine Magazine Winemaker of the Year – the first West Australian and first female winner of the award. Vanya’s niece, Emma Cullen lives in London and is working hard to gain more exposure for the family’s wines in the UK market. “The UK is a very important market for Cullen. Our Mangan Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, as well as Margaret River red (Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot) are very popular over here. “Working in London provides a window into every wine producing region in the world,” Emma said. The Agent-General of WA Mr Kevin Skipworth noted the importance of the UK market for Australian winemakers. “It is fantastic to see prominent WA winemakers like Cullen over in London, embracing the opportunity to grow their business in the UK, which after all is our most important wine market,” he said. “Margaret River wines have built a strong global reputation and continue to be a significant asset to our state.”
UK Australian Woman of the Year Awards
On Wednesday 13 March ME Hotel hosted the Qantas Australian Woman of the Year in the UK Award, sponsored by Qantas and Australian Business, and supported by Australian Times. The Award was presented to the winner Siobhan Reddy by Qantas Regional General Manager for UK & Ireland, Eric Jelinek, Australian Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, Andrew Todd, and Australian Business Executive Director, Kim Dillon. Over 180 guests were in attendance, including fellow nominees Professor Dame Valerie Beral AC, FRS, Director Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Jo Elvin, Editor Glamour Magazine and Natalie McPherson, co-founder of women’s networking group Ruby UK. Images by Elly Mac Photos.
Market Facts • WA contributes just 3% of Australia’s total grape crush. However, WA makes 20% of Australia’s premium wines. The UK remained the best export market for our wine, with 256 million litres exported in 2012, an increase of 3% on the previous year. • Against the backdrop of an appreciating Australian dollar, the UK is buying more of our wine in bulk container shipments. Bulk wine now account for 80% of all wine we sell to the UK market. • There has been a significant fall in the volume of bottled wine sold. Margaret River was one of the few wine regions to buck this trend, with its bottled wine export volume increasing 12.5% in 2012.
News | 5
A sense of community From the editor’s desk > alex Ivett
When I first arrived in London almost eight months ago, I started down the path of what could have been quite limited London experience. With a background in law, I found a relatively unfulfilling role doing paralegal work to earn just enough money to take advantage of those cheap, if soul-destroying, Ryanair flights to European Capitals of Culture I’d never previously heard of. My world was fellow Aussie lawyers, Pret sandwiches, 9-5 and weekends away from the city. If any week has shown me the possibilities of a world outside this window, it is the past week. I feel very privileged to have been able to attend the Qantas Australian Woman of the Year in the UK Award, and witness firsthand the incredible achievements of Australian woman in a diverse field of endeavours here in the UK. I have met women running their own businesses, starting foundations, making important medical advances and occupying senior positions in multi-national corporations. I have felt inspired to be part of this community and to see Australian woman supporting and encouraging each other in an environment far away from friends, family and traditional support networks. In particular, the story of Liz Koops, the 2012 winner of the Woman of the Year in the UK Award, was a fascinating and enjoyable insight into a London experience that started over 20 years ago. The fact that I got to hear it over a glass of wine at the Groucho Club, with Stephen Fry just hanging out at the bar nearby, made the experience even more special (yes, I did just have to drop in my first London celebrity sighting). Liz’s journey from an Australian small country town to running a number of successful theatre production companies with offices in the UK, Dubai and Australia, is truly a unique story, and one I’m very pleased to be able to share with our readers. Congratulations to all of the nominees for the Australian Woman of the Year in the UK Award. There are too many to list by name here, but we hope to introduce as many as possible to you over the coming weeks, so you too can feel inspired and encouraged by the many achievements of Australian women in the UK.
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Extraordinary Aussies in the UK
Liz Koops is a theatrical entrepreneur who brought the sell-out shows Tap Dogs and Priscilla, Queen of The Desert to the UK stage. She is managing director of Back Row Productions, winner of 2012 Australian Woman of the Year in the UK and has recently launched a new venture, Broadway Entertainment Group. I first moved to London in 1992 when I was 27. I’d only been overseas once before, and at that time it was still a huge move to make. I came over here with the comedy group The Doug Anthony All Stars as their manager. It was made up of Paul McDermott, Tim Ferguson and Richard Fidler, and they were already big in Australia but wanted to try the UK. I found apartments for all of us in Brewer Street in Soho. The spruikers there would be fantastic – when our mums came to visit they would say hello and let them know if we’d gone out. My mum was happy I lived in town because she thought it was safer than living in the suburbs. I had first heard of The Doug Anthony All Stars when I was in Sydney running Club Kakadu on Oxford Street. I programmed events for the club, which had a cabaret and club area on one floor and a restaurant on the top. It was a time when big gigs and variety comedy were really popular, and I’d subscribed to New York’s Village Voice and Time Out London to find new gigs. I used to get both delivered in print each week, and Time Out London really opened my eyes to what was possible in the world of producing. Australian arts was at the time very based on English sensibilities – it was all about the classical forms such as opera, dance and drama. All the touring was subsidized and very traditional. Time Out London had all these different strands and genres – comedy, dance, theatre, jazz, cabaret, contemporary. I couldn’t believe the amount of content available for programming and I think it’s when the idea of moving to London first came about.
“I love London. It’s 100 villages in one.” I was always interested in the Arts. I grew up as the youngest of 5 kids – my father is German and my mother Australian – in the country outside Tamworth. We were allowed to watch one television program a week, and had a very well rounded education. We were encouraged to read, play musical instruments and write to two pen friends each month. No child could have a pen friend from the same country. There was a real sense of family growing up – sitting around the dinner table at night everyone had to tell a story about what they learnt that day. I knew I wanted to work internationally, and create a life living overseas, though I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. I don’t know how anyone at 18 chooses what they want to do. You don’t even know yourself at that age. I was interested in projects, and ideas. I would set myself course
Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. Photo by Hugo Glendinning.
and launched them in Edinburgh and London. I developed Slava’s Snowshow out of Russia and Gumboots out of South Africa. The reason why these shows still exist today is because they were unique to a point in time and a culture.
“I remember watching Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake for the first time and thinking, when I grow up I hope I can produce work like this – this is amazing.”
Liz Koops Theatre Producer
“I don’t know how anyone at 18 chooses what they want to do. You don’t even know yourself at that age.” outlines and reading and read from 5am until 11am every day. I was probably a bit of an oddity and a loner because I had three jobs waitressing, and I would read and ride my pushbike to the beach. I was always jealous of everyone around me who knew what they wanted to do, but I refused to go and do an Arts degree just because I didn’t know what I wanted. I approached the Dean of Political Science at Sydney University, Ted Wheelwright, the Dean of Economics at Macquarie, Paul Clune, and Rene Rivkin, to tutor me privately. Those three ended up tutoring me for two or three years. When I came over to London with the Doug Anthony All Stars, they had already performed in Edinburgh festival. I put them on a TV show as the regular host for Viva Cabaret and then started touring them like I knew how to tour in Australia – every town, on the road. I brought them to the West End, where comedy hadn’t really been before. It was post Thatcher, post mining strikes, and the city was bleak. London is a working city, it’s an urban working city and it’s a tough city, particularly because of the climate. You can be working class in Australia, but if you’re in swimmers on the beach, nobody knows. There was a whole group of us that came over at the same time.
I think between 25 and 30 is best to move countries, because you’ve had some life experience and you’re starting to make your own choices for the first time in your life. I was incredibly fortunate to be of that generation which first realised we weren’t our parents, and we might not need to stay in one country town – that we could go anywhere in the world. After the Doug Anthony All Stars broke up and returned to Australia, I came back to London and went into business with Peter Holmes à Court in Back Row Productions. I joined Back Row and found Tap Dogs, which I saw in 1995 at the Sydney Theatre Company. I thought it had all of the larrikin sensibilities and humour that DAAS did, and was a genuine unique performance that showed real men can dance. We picked up worldwide rights and I brought it to Edinburgh. Launching it at the fringe was in a sense the start of non-script based work there. There was a real opportunity in the West End at the time to broaden out a genre of non language based work like Tap Dogs. I invested in shows of this type
“I think between 25 and 30 is best to move countries, because you’ve had some life experience and you’re starting to make your own choices for the first time in your life.”
This was followed by Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. I remember watching it for the first time and thinking, when I grow up I hope I can produce work like this – this is amazing. It’s an interpretation of a classical piece, which has humour and passion interwoven throughout the dance. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which we brought to the West End, had a similar sensibility and larrikin sprit as Tap Dogs. It’s all about sense of enjoyment and a sense of fun. London was amazing for this show, and it’s since been taken to Broadway. I love London. It’s 100 villages in one. I love the parks, the changes in season, Southbank, Marylebone, the history and the cobblestone streets. I love that London has everything and anything, and it is this unbelievable cosmopolitan city. I love Hampstead Heath, and the village feel. I wish there was less rain of course, but I’m fortunate enough to be able to travel. Australians have a great work ethic, and Australians have a fantastic attitude. Britain welcomes Aussies, no question. We were welcomed because of our larrikin sensibility, our sense of humour and we all worked incredibly hard and were lucky to be judged on the work we were doing, and not our backgrounds, because no one knew our backgrounds and it wasn’t relevant. One of the biggest issues I think is an education system that indoctrinates you to think that once you’re on a path you have to stay there because you don’t know any different. The best thing about the financial crash is that everyone has had to intern, take time off, and assess other opportunities that are available instead of sticking to one path. London enables you to do the same – to get off that predefined path and reassess. It’s not a capacity for reinvention, but one of exploration and discovery. That’s what big cities allow. You can get lost in a big city, but theatre is a community. There is a sensibility of acceptance in that community of whatever role you want to play. The doors are open. Liz Koops new venture, Broadway Entertainment Group, delivers family musicals to emerging markets from Russia to the Middle East. The head office will be in Dubai and deliver four blockbuster family musicals each year to different venues. Interview by Alex Ivett
6 | UK Life
19 - 25 March 2013
Spice up your Tube Home is where the heart is n Faced
with reminders of life far away back home, our adventuring newlywed experiences that familiar feeling we’ve all had at one point in our UK journey: the feeling of homesickness.
tube talk > Sandra Tahmasby
It’s not too often we see the same faces on the Tube on a daily basis, but imagine if one day as you hopped onto your carriage you saw a face that you knew. An instantly recognisable face. Yes, the face of a Spice Girl. Well, last week in London your chances of achieving this skyrocketed as both Baby Spice and Ginger Spice made their way underground during the 7.30am peak hour rush after more than 15 years off public commuting. Baby Spice donned a pair of oversized sunglasses on her commute to hide from the crowds. However, given the lack of sun in London and the fact that she was underground, it perhaps wasn’t the best way to travel incognito. Ginger Spice embraced her time on the Tube by tweeting pictures at Piccadilly station. The girls greeted most people with a “Good Morning” as they made their way onto their carriages, but surprisingly enough there wasn’t much of a fuss made in return. If they caught the Tube more often perhaps they too would know the few rules of the underground. No eye contact, no time to strut and certainly
Honeymooning Nomad Jacqui Moroney
no time to greet people with a good morning. The trip was not without its complication, with Baby Spice wrestling with the Oyster card system at the ticket gates as that familiar ‘seek assistance’ flash of red appeared in front of her. Now just imagine if the other three Spice Girls had joined them. My bet would be Posh would have someone to escort her onto her own private carriage, sanitizing the poles just in case she mistakenly was to touch one, and she would definitely have the temperature set at a nice cosy level. Scary would be practising her roar in the reflection of the windows and Sporty would definitely give my Tube Olympics a go. She would get gold in all events. Tube platform sprint, Tube weight lifting, the armpit dodge, and would be the one running up and down the escalator on the left hand side. I think more celebs need to get on the Tube, not just to experience the real world, but to help spice up our lives.
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Every day on …
I am feeling very far away from home this week. Homesickness is not a common feeling for me, but the pressure and the distance of ten thousand miles (or 16,532km) is starting to get me down. It is strange to think that back in Australia everything still operates like clockwork without you. Your old job has been filled, your old house has been rented, and your old car has broken down … again (sorry lil’ bro). I didn’t think the world would stop ticking necessarily, I just didn’t realise that so much could change in only ten months. In December we received some very sad news that a beloved family friend had passed away from cancer. We were aware this might happen while we were away, but it did not help the pain we felt when we could not be there to support grieving family. Spending our first Christmas away from family and friends was also a hard step, although our Orphans Christmas and NYE celebrations on the Thames River were welcome distractions. This week has been particularly hard. Earlier in the week I felt a pang of jealousy when I had an email from our best mates about their new puppy (Winston) and their house hunting plans. Overnight, our good friends
SUBCULTURE SLEUTH > PAUL BLEAKLEY
There are a number of reasons that I don’t often find myself roaming the streets of Soho or dodging traffic at Piccadilly Circus. I mean, I have no real interest in musical theatre and my wallet doesn’t really appreciate being taken advantage of by insultingly overpriced drinks. There is another reason that supersedes them all, however, and has the potential to send me into a seething rage: I have a burning hatred for tourists. Let me start by saying that I am well aware it is ridiculous for an Australian living in London saying that he hates tourists. It is blatantly hypocritical since, after all, we are tourists in some sense as well… aren’t we? I could blame my Australian upbringing for my vendetta against tourists. I grew up on the Gold Coast where tourist areas are overrun by tacky gimmicks like Meter Maids and tacky souvenir shops, and we are forced into a tentative coexistence with the gaggles of tour groups that simultaneously support our economy and disturb the natural equilibrium. I do not think that is the real reason for the tension I feel whenever I am in the tourist heartland of London. I think there is something more behind the dark cloud that comes over me whenever I am stuck walking down Shaftesbury Avenue behind a group of tourists that seem to think an inchby-inch shuffle is acceptable. I think many of us would have realised when we first came to London that the locals do not have
in Perth announced their engagement (with a photo of the exquisite diamond ring on Facebook, how else?). But the final straw for me was a short note that I received from the kind people who took in our adored cat. Sooty has been extremely ill of late and they wanted to inform me that they might be putting him to sleep… This last bit of news didn’t sink in straight away but when I tried to call my hubby to let him know, my whole world seemed to darken. There is nothing that I can do from so far away, but I wish there was. We are ten thousand miles away from the adorable little cat that I saved from a shelter in spring 2006. He was eventually loved by (almost) all of our housemates and became a comforting fixture in our ever
changing home. Giving him up last year was one of the hardest things to do before we left the country. Then again, this news, and the significant distance between us, has helped increased my appreciation of everything someone might normally take for granted. It has increased my love all of our friends and family at home. The distance we have travelled has also allowed us to experience life as we never would have, to see far-away places and met incredible people. But most of all, this great distance has increased our excitement for when the time comes for us to finally make the trek back. We may not have a Sooty cat to come home to, but I will cherish the fun times that we had together nonetheless.
Tackling tourists n
This week our sleuth practices the London art of patience when faced with a swarming mass of tourists in Piccadilly.
a lot of patience. In Queensland you would have no qualms waiting half an hour for a train, whereas over here anything more than two minutes is enough to send you into a fuming rage. We all say that we will never be as impatient as the local Londoners, however over time we all end up going native. I blame my lack of patience with London tourists on the aggressive impatience that I have picked up since being in the city. I will noisily stomp around a slow-moving pack of
tourists, or cross the street in front of moving traffic just to get away from a school group waiting for the lights to change before they invade Trafalgar Square. Australians living in London may be from another country, thousands of miles away. But the key word is “living” – we aren’t tourists, not really. What does this mean in practice? It means that we have just as much right to angrily dart between slow-moving theatregoers in Covent Garden as any of the locals, damn it.
UK Life | 7
Whiskey Au Go Go
The controversy continues
CRIME | The Whiskey Au Go Go massacre on 8 March 1973 exposed the rampant violence and culture of organised crime that existed just below Brisbane’s sunny veneer. PAUL BLEAKLEY looks back on this crucial moment in Australian criminal history, and its little known connection to the UK.
It was a scene of abject horror. In the early hours of 8 March, 1973, two drums of diesel fuel were thrown into the foyer of the Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. The drums were set alight, sparking a blaze that would cause the deaths of fifteen people in one of the biggest massacres in Australian history. The fifteen people that died had little chance of escaping through the club’s fire exit: the door and stairs had been coated in grease to prevent them from leaving. The Whiskey Au Go Go fire was a calculated act of murder that shined a light on the culture of organised crime, corruption and rampant violence that simmered just beneath the surface of Brisbane’s sunny veneer. Former private detective and security consultant John Wayne Ryan witnessed the endemic corruption and organised crime that existed in Brisbane throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Growing up in Brisbane he had worked as a doorman and bodyguard at a time when organised crime in the city was beginning to develop, and returned to Brisbane in 1971 to establish his own security and investigation business. Ryan told Australian Times: “Sydney and Melbourne’s organised crime grew because of Queensland’s endemic and protected corruption. In fact, if Queensland hadn’t been so organised, Sydney and Melbourne would have been slower getting organised. Vietnam was a godsend for the lot of them for drug contacts, but some of the annual (criminal) meetings were in Brisbane on the way to Manilla.” When the Whiskey Au Go Go went into liquidation in 1972, Ryan was employed to provide security services for the ailing business. On 4 March, 1973, Ryan was told by the club’s owners Brian and Ken Little that they would no longer require his services. Ryan told Australian Times that after the Little’s regained control of the Whiskey Au Go Go he knew it would not be long before the club suffered an arson attack. Ryan said: “I informed Commonwealth and State Police that it would definitely now be bombed as I had been pulled out. In fact a couple of
employees were not there the night of the fire because I was no longer there. I had passed along prior to this that once I finish there it will go ‘up’. It was no coincidence: it was a total set up and all about buying the other club ‘Chequers’ – the jewel of the clubs, for a song at auction and with no carry over debt problems from Whiskey.” Two men, James Richard Finch and John Andrew Stuart, were arrested for the Whiskey Au Go Go arson attack in the days after the fire. Local criminal Stuart had drawn attention to himself by telling anyone who would listen that the incident at the Whiskey Au Go Go was linked to a fire at another Brisbane nightclub Torino’s a fortnight before. He claimed that both attacks were the work of Sydney criminals attempting to muscle in on Brisbane’s burgeoning organised crime scene. His partner Finch, arrested twelve hours later, was an English national that had been relocated to Australia in 1954 after living in one of Dr Barnado’s homes for children in care. He had met Stuart while the pair were serving time in New South Wales, and the two reunited in Queensland shortly before the Whiskey Au Go Go fire. Finch had been deported to the United Kingdom after serving time for shooting criminal John Regan in 1966. Finch and Stuart’s trial was marred by a string of bizarre incidents: Finch swallowed razor wire and amputated the tip of his finger, while Stuart made history by being the first person in the Australian legal system to be convicted without being present in court. He was in hospital at the time recovering from surgery to remove foreign objects from his stomach. Ryan claims that Finch and Stuart were “rightfully convicted” for the Whiskey Au Go Go fire, however he believes that they were “patsies” – scapegoats for a larger conspiracy by a group of career criminals and corrupt officials to take control of the Brisbane nightclub scene. In sentencing Finch and Stuart to life imprisonment the court in the Whiskey Au Go Go trial also found that the fire was part of an elaborate campaign of extortion and terror against club owners. Ryan told Australian Times that police had originally intended to link Stuart and Finch to the earlier firebombing of Torino’s Nightclub, however were forced to change their approach after realising that Finch had still been in the United Kingdom at the time of the fire.
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He says that continuing to assert that the fires were linked “would have upset the scenario they had built around Stuart.” Many names were linked with the Whiskey Au Go Go fire in the years following the blaze including Brisbane drug dealer Vince O’Dempsey, his associate Billy McCulkin and the ‘Clockwork Orange Gang’ led by boxer Thomas Hamilton and Garry ‘The Fly’ Dubois. The disappearance of McCulkin’s estranged wife Barbara and their two daughters in 1974 was linked with the Whiskey Au Go Go fire at an inquest 1980. Ryan said: “Barbara was on the phone to me twenty-four hours before her disappearance arranging for me to get her and the girls out of Brisbane into a safe house and she would corroborate everything we had. It was gigantic and included Torino’s, Whisky and several other fires. She was present when arrangements were made for many events. In fact her phone at Highgate Hill was used for a lot of arrangements.” Stuart died in Boggo Road Gaol in 1979 after a six-day hunger strike, still considered one of Australia’s most dangerous criminals. Finch was eventually released in 1988, under the condition that he returned to his birth-country: the United Kingdom. Later that same year Finch told The Sun that he was guilty of the Whiskey Au Go Go fire despite having claimed innocence for fifteen years. He also claimed that a Queensland police officer had ordered the bombing, a statement supported by Ryan. It has been forty years since the Whiskey Au Go Go fire put Brisbane’s underworld under the microscope, giving the first indications of the large-scale corruption and organised crime that would be exposed in 1987. What is clear is that the Whiskey Au Go Go massacre was a crucial moment in Australian criminal history, pulling back the veil of innocence to expose the horror that laid beneath. John Wayne Ryan’s book I Survived was published in 2012 and is available for purchase online via a range of websites including Amazon.com.
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8 | Food & Wine
19 - 25 March 2013
Coffee Cult visits Beer brilliance Wellington Coffee
By Tyson Yates
Having spent some time working as a barista, I know the significance of that carefully crafted leaf you see floating in your coffee. That is, I know it requires some semblance of effort, not to mention skill. The milk needs to be heated to a precise temperature, stretched to the right consistency with all the bubbles stamped out. The crème needs to be thick and extracted from the bean using a quality grinder and a cleaned filter. Only then can the magic happen as you flicker your wrist from left to right when you pour. This is not to be confused with the generic, artificial franchise logo that is planted on top of your cappuccino by an unenthusiastic teenager shaking chocolate through a pre-patterned shaker with one hand while tweeting with the other: “Makin coffee for sum Aussie jerk #puberty”. At Wellington Coffee, located in the heart of Edinburgh’s busy New Town, you get your leaf. You get this because the focus of this small but central independent coffee house is offering high quality java and not much else. There is little in the way of food, there are too few seats, yet I find myself craving more than just caffeine when it comes to finding the right café. I want quality and simplicity, both of which are on offer at Wellington Coffee.
The Craic The key to Wellington Coffee seems to be its minimalist approach, which is a deliberate attempt to shine the spotlight on high quality beans. The little interior space it has holds only two tables for customers while a single, simple rectangular counter is the place for both making coffee and exchanging money. Lining the walls are thin wooden benches designed for a quick sit down as customers wait for their cuppa to be carefully prepared. Also minimalist is the service, which isn’t flowered by false niceties and up-selling but is rather direct and efficient as to cater for its largely take-away crowd. Located in Edinburgh’s bustling New Town, the place for business and high end shopping, Wellington Coffee is at its busiest weekdays before and after working hours. During this peak time the place has the atmosphere of a pestered hive with frantic staff and customers alike so if you hope to snag a seat, try lunchtime. Summer is another story entirely. When the sun makes an appearance so do the tables on the sidewalk which sees Wellington Coffee
From the kitchen of Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, Chef Chris Arkadieff gives us an English twist on an Aussie classic with his beer battered oysters.
> CHRIS ARKadieff
Traditionally back home oysters are eaten freshly shucked with a squeeze of lemon on a hot summer’s afternoon. This week I show you how to give the dish an English twist, so you can enjoy oysters all year round. Tempura or beer battering fish is one cooking technique we are all familiar with. This recipe will show you how to use the beer battering technique to coat fresh oysters, adding texture and flavour to these
naturally salty morsels. Oysters are best bought unopened in their shell, however I suggest asking the fishmonger to open them for you to avoid any nasty accidents. The UK has a wide variety of oysters available. Although they are much smaller than the French varieties, their size make them perfect for this quick bite recipe. Once the oysters are open give the shells a clean under running water and boil the shells for five minutes in salted water to sterilize. These make perfect serving dishes. Although you can choose your favourite dipping sauce to go with the oysters I find fresh Asian flavours work fantastically with this dish.
Beer battered oysters suddenly turn into a sizable establishment where you can choose to sit outside on the street or at basement level.
The Crucials With no lunch menu, Wellington Coffee has little to offer in terms of food. Beside the cashier, on open display is a small selection of sweets which include freshly prepared cakes, brownies, breakfast bars and scones. All mere distractions from the main attraction. Wellington’s big boast is its coffee. It claims is to be the only joint in Scotland to offer London’s Square Mile beans and it is all the busier for it. Though quality beans and expensive machines will only get you so far. What it comes down to are the well trained and knowledgeable baristas who consistently ensure the cappuccinos are foamy, the lattes creamy and the Americanos are served hot.
The Connection Well, funnily enough, Wellington Coffee’s only connection to New Zealand is by its name. This doesn’t stop it being a haven for tourists and backpackers from Down Under who enter its doors in search of a taste of home. What they get however is a satisfying gulp of the cosmopolitan. The coffee machine is American, the beans are from London, the grinder is Italian and the owner is from Glasgow. Not to mention, the barista, who has
just returned from three years of examining Melbourne’s own coffee culture, picking up a few tricks along the way. A welcome consolation was the easy listening soundtrack which was peppered with Aussie artists including Angus and Julia Stone as well as an acoustic version of the Crowded House favourite, Fall at your Feet being a particular highlight. All connections, right?
The Conclusion Wellington Coffee provides efficient service and is entirely focused on quality. It essentially functions as a pop up café that just so happened to find a permanent home. If you are looking for somewhere to linger, best stick to one of the franchise cafés, though you will regret it when your latte bears an unintentionally suggestive phallic symbol instead of that magical leaf. Wellington Coffee 33a George Street Edinburgh, EH2 2HN
What you need
• 6 fresh oysters and the juices reserved • 250g plain flour • 60ml of water • 220ml of warm beer • 60ml olive oil • 2 egg yolks • 4 egg whites • ½ cup of flour for dusting • Salt and pepper
Dipping Sauce • 2 parts fresh lime • 1 part fish sauce • ½ chopped chilli • 1 tsp of fresh coriander
What to do
• Shuck the six oysters. Save the juices and strain through a sieve • Sterilize the shells by placing into boiling water for three minutes • Cover the oysters in a wet towel • Prepare the batter by whisking the
flour, water, beer, olive oil and egg yolk to form a smooth batter. • Cover the batter with cling film and allow to rest for 1 hour • Heat the frying oil in a deep pan to 180 degrees • Whisk the egg whites until they form firm peaks and fold through the batter mixture • Dust the oysters lightly in the plain flour • Using a fork drop the oysters in the batter and gently coat well • Gently place the oysters into the hot oil • Fry until golden • Place on kitchen paper and season to taste Dipping sauce • To make the dipping sauce combine 2 parts lime juice to 1 part fish sauce and add half a chopped chilli. Add a tablespoon of fresh coriander and mix together. • Serve in the shells with a drizzle of sauce. Enjoy!
Entertainment | 9
What’s On The Jezabels 22 March @Barfly Camden Pam Ann 28-29 March @ Hammersmith Apollo Sarah Blasko 11 April @Barbican Centre
The genius of Sink or swim Mariah Gale n
Half-Australian actress Mariah Gale stars as a brilliant but troubled mathematician in a new production of award-winning play, Proof.
Submerge is a new Australian film which explores the pressures facing Generation Y. The film is screening as part of the 27th BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
Chet Faker 21 May @Sebright Arms Xavier Rudd 24 June @Koko Tame Impala 25 June @ Hammersmith Apollo Kate Miller-Heidke 3 July @The Islington Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite 16 July @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds 26 - 28 October 2013 @Hammersmith Apollo
For full details... ...and more Aussie gigs go to: AustralianTimes.co.uk/entertainment
See what we are following this week on
Homeworkgate Michael Want @michaeljwant #shane watson what a joke! get rid of the coach. This is new ground. U can b dropped for not scoring runs or taking wickets but not homework Adam White @White_Adam Words fail me on this latest cricket fiasco. And it looks like words failed Watson, Pattinson, Johnson and Khawaja too. Stewart Matthewson @discostew2009 @bowlologist @ mmmhotbreakfast P Hughes must be able to write a great essay cause he certainly can't bat in India. #wontbedroppedfor3rdtestnow i am sam @samiam23886 @bowlologist I may finally have a chance to earn a baggy green! Awful bat, can't bowl. But man can I punch out a questioner. eddyvenema @eddyvenema C'mon Micky Arthur, even The Grange P-12 College let me represent their school in cricket even though I never did my hw.#MohaliGateHomework
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By Thomas Jones Image by Nobby Clark
By Will Fitz-gibbon Half Australian, half British actress Mariah Gale is currently treading the boards in South London in David Auburn’s award-winning play Proof. Gale plays Catherine, the daughter of an ailing but brilliant mathematics professor. Catherine – in a role that Gale’s high school maths teachers would perhaps have trouble imagining – emerges as a genius in her own right but struggles with concerns she will inherit the mental illnesses of her rapidly declining father. “I’ve been really enjoying pretending to be a maths genius,” Gale told Australian Times during a rehearsal break at the Menier Chocolate Factory in South London. But Gale is quick to assure potential audiences that Proof is more than academics in bowties challenging each other to some sort of E=MC2 duel. It is the parallels of mathematics to other parts of human life that create the dramatic tension. In this drama of obsession, fear and genius, Gale performs alongside other well-known British actors Emma Cunniffe, Matthew Marsh and Jamie Parker. Proof is a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play, and was turned into a 2005 film with glamorous Gwyneth Paltrow featuring in the role of Catherine. The ready associations with Hollywood stars and cherished prizes do not faze the down-to-earth Gale. “You have to forget that it is an iconic role,” Gale says. “You just have to sort of get on the stage and do it.” In any case, Gale has already successfully pulled off more than her fair share of iconic performances. The young actress rose to prominence through her work with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC),
Image by Nobby Clark
earning her from some quarters the moniker “RSC wunderkind.” Gale is particularly remembered for her interpretation of the ill-fated Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Gale is enjoying the challenges of playing the reluctant genius of Catherine. “Catherine is not just reactive but very cerebral. She drives a lot of the play.” “Usually young women play the role of a girlfriend or a bereaved wife,” says Gale. But the challenge of playing Catherine, Gale admits, “is rare and out of my comfort zone”. It is this kind of enthusiasm that has made Gale so sought-after. Gale was recently praised for her role in Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters at the Young Vic, which was directed by Australian director Benedict Anderson. It has been decades since Gale last spent time in Australia where the majority of her relatives still live. But her time in Brisbane has left lasting impressions. “I always look back on it as an amazing time of my life,” Gale says. “I think Australia is so beautiful.” A connection between Proof’s mathematical subjects and Gale’s own mathematically-inclined grandfather make this role particularly personal. “Proof is weirdly connected to my granddad,” Gale says. Gale recalls childhood snippets in which her playful pop challenged her to find the square root of minus 1. Later in life, Gale’s grandfather was convinced he had discovered the mathematical formula for God – a secret, Gale rues, which he did not share with his attentive granddaughter. But while the formula for God may still be out of reach, it appears Gale has cracked the secret to acting success. Proof continues at the Menier Chocolate Factory until 27 April. Visit www.menierchocolatefactory. com for more details.
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Gen Y has been the subject of much debate over the years. You either love us, or you hate us. One day we’re an asset, the next we’re a burden. Our lives have inspired writers, musicians and now filmmakers. Director and co-writer of the new Australian film Submerge, Sophie O’Connor believes, “heaps of people say that Gen Y are all really lazy and I actually think the total opposite of Gen Y. I think they’re really smart. They want it…they see the opportunities out there and they’re not afraid to go and grab them.” O’Connor explores this more favourable side of the generation in the film, which follows Jordan, a young woman with a strong desire to get what she wants. “She really has that drive and passion to succeed where it becomes almost unbearable, where it becomes all-consuming – I want to be the best. I want to be the best at this. I want to be the best at that. That was the core essence of Jordan,” O’Connor explains. The film also examines the risks associated with both the societal and self-inflicted pressure to succeed. The potential consequence of living a life under this pressure can be quite soul destroying, as Kat Holmes, the producer and co-writer of the film suggests. “They say that there are two types of people in the world – the people who externalise their failures onto others and blame others, and then there are those that internalise their failures and blame themselves and punish themselves.” Holmes says Jordan as a character is very much the second. “She’s always pushed herself and now she’s going down that route and pushing herself into more and more extreme situations as a way of beating herself up for not getting everything she wanted,” Holmes says. The more extreme situations involve Jordan engaging in the subculture of fetish and anonymous sex. When asked how audiences have responded to these scenes, O’Connor says, “a lot of people identified with it. Doing something really stupid, probably something you are going to regret, but a means of making things stop.” Nine years since it was originally conceived, Submerge had its world premiere in March at the ‘First
Time Fest’ in New York, and has recently had its European premiere at the BFI as part of the 27th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (LLGFF). For O’Connor and Holmes, who are both first time feature filmmakers, their “baby” a term used by Holmes, has been well received. “So far the feedback we’ve got has been really positive.” One stand out feature of the film is its soundtrack. “Music is a major passion of mine,” O’Connor explains. “I was a musician before I was a filmmaker and so music is heavy in the film’s soundtrack.” The soundtrack contains only Australian artists. “They’re all independent. Some of the work has only just been released or is about to be released. It gave it that really contemporary quality, which is what I always wanted it to have,” O’Connor says. Despite being shot on location in Melbourne, and the exclusively Australian soundtrack, the film itself crosses borders and cannot really be labelled as a quintessential Australian story. This should be seen as a credit to the filmmakers. “Talking to some people last night after the screening who were expats who had been here for about 10 years the one thing they said that they enjoyed was the fact that they recognised Melbourne but that they didn’t think it was a real Australian film,” O’Connor says. The film’s global reach is further emphasised by Holmes whose desire it was to “portray things that are happening in the world and turn them into an entertaining and interesting story that people everywhere relate to.” The film will have its Australian premiere at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival in the coming weeks. Following that the film will screen at a number of festivals throughout the world – from North America to Europe, through to the Middle East. A general release of the film is planned for the end of 2013. Submerge screens on Tuesday 19 March at the 27th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. The festival runs from 14 – 25 March 2013. For more information of films screening at the LLGFF visit whatson.bfi.org.uk/llgff.
10 | Travel
19 - 25 March 2013
Italy is a jam-packed country full of culture, scenery and gastronomy. However, if you only have a few days to visit, AMBER ROSE recommends heading to Florence to get the best flavours of Italy, in one stunning location.
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• 4 star hotel accommodation • Breakfast • City walking tour • Bus transfers to festival • Tomato ﬁght • Gift bag
Travel | 11
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4 DAY Queen’s Day Amsterdam
4 DAY Amsterdam Easter
28 April - 1 May 2013
29 March - 1 April 2013
Amsterdam beckons on this amazing value Easter break. Canals, clogs, bikes, world class museums, the Red Light District… and did we mention the nightlife? Don’t let Easter go to waste – spend it with Topdeck in Europe’s party capital!
Join the orange madness of Queen’s Day with the locals and tourists! There’s no better time to experience all Amsterdam has to offer along with the carnival atmosphere for this unique event.
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Visits Ypres, Lille, The Somme, Villers-Bretonneux & Amiens.
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5 DAY ANZAC Patrol 22-26 Apr 2013
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Visits Istanbul & Gallipoli.
19 DAY Ultimate Egypt Dep. 2 April 2013
Includes US$345 food fund
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*Terms and conditions apply. Prices quoted are for specific departures only. All trips subject to availability. Discounts are off the base trip price only, and do not apply to food funds and local payments. Flights not included. Egypt trip price includes local payment based on $1 = £0.618, which must be paid locally in USD. For full terms and conditions please visit www.topdeck.travel The ‘March Madness Discounts’ are valid for new bookings paid in full between 12 March and 31 March 2013 only. The 7.5% ‘March Madness Discount’ applies to all EuroCamping trips and the Discover France Explorer trip listed in Topdeck’s 2013 Europe brochure; all available departures. The ‘March Madness Discounts’ can be combined up to a maximum of 17.5% with any one of our standard brochure discounts with the exception of the ‘Early Payment Option’. The discount does not apply to Food Fund, Sailing Fund, local payment or pre/post accommodation. This offer is subject to availability. New bookings only. Normal cancellation conditions apply. Topdeck reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time. For full terms and conditions please visit www.topdeck.travel
12 | Travel
19 - 25 March 2013
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Professional Life | 13
Where has all the talent gone? n
When it comes to finding the best people for the job, many organisations struggle to find the right people and many people are finding it difficult to find the right job. By Jesse Crooks
Australian buoyed by local data ahead of Cyprus jitters
> SEPI ROSHAN
On 13 March 2013, the Qantas Australian Woman of the Year in the UK Award celebrated the achievements of Australian women in the UK. The judging panel were hard-pressed to choose a winner as the 28 nominees were exemplary. The conference room in the ME Hotel on The Strand, was awash with a pool of talent. Yet there has been talk in some circles that even in this economic climate, there is not enough talent to fill available roles. When it comes to finding the best people for the job, many organisations struggle to find the right people and many people are finding it difficult to find the right job. Choice is a valuable commodity. We choose our careers, our partners, our homes and our coffee. Most Generation X’ers will remember the scene from LA story, when Steve Martin’s character, Harris, orders a half double decaffeinated half-caf with a twist of lemon. The absurdity of that coffee scene illustrates just how much choice we have today. And when times are good, our choices seem abundant. However many businesses still claim there is a lack of choice regarding talent for particular roles, leading to a talent paradox: a mismatch between available talent and available roles. Is this a symptom of not enough employable people or is the talent not making themselves known?
It makes economic sense to widen the talent pool from which employers seek talent. Some employers need to address their entry requirements and talent management strategies when it comes to women. In Australia, the 2009 report Australia’s Hidden Resource: The Economic Case For Increasing Female Participation (Goldman Sachs and JB Were) states that we need “policies aimed at directing women joining the workforce into more productive sectors of the economy and retaining women in the workforce for longer would narrow or even eliminate the productivity gender gap”. Qantas, as well as supporting the Awards, is a leader in tapping into female talent. Alison Webster, Executive International Customer Experience, states 52% of the Qantas graduate intake in 2013 are women
and 31% of its Board of Directors are women. This makes economic sense. The Goldman Sachs and JW Were report found that closing the gap between male and female employment rates would boost the level of Australian GDP by 11 per cent. A recent McKinsey review of 100 companies against the Organisational Health Index found that companies with three or more women in top positions (on the executive committee or board) scored higher than their peers. There are other untapped talent pools available, too. For example, in the UK, the Office for Disability Issues found in a 2012 Labour Force Survey, that 46.3 per cent of working-age disabled people are in employment compared to 76.4 per cent of working-age non-disabled people – that is an untapped talent pool of 2 million people. Some employers are already tapping into the talent. A recent article in the Guardian indicates that City Law firms and banks are seeing the benefits of hiring people with autism.
THE Australian Dollar nearly hit a five-week high last week on the back of strong local data before losing most of its gains by week end. The Aussie opened on Monday 11 May at 1.459 against the British Pound. It managed to touch a high for the week of 1.439 on Tuesday before closing at 1.452 on Friday.
GBP/AUD: 1.457 EUR/AUD: 1.248 USD/AUD: 1.037 NZD/AUD: 1.257 09:20 GMT, 18 March 2013 billion by taking a small amount from all Cyprian bank accounts, thereby driving investors to safer havens, and away from currencies such as the Aussie. “The concern is that this bailout plan was forced upon deposit holders, taxing them and therefore an involuntary support for the bailout,” Imre Speizer of Westpac Banking Corp told Bloomberg. There is little local data expected out of Australia this week, other than the release of the minutes from last week’s policy meeting. Direction for the currency will most likely come from external factors, including further developments from the Cyprus situation.
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.
So what choice does the working population have? The best choice to make is to put yourself out there. Whether by applying for roles that interest you, up skilling or developing a reputation as an expert, it is important to put yourself in the running. This does not mean being the centre of attention or making a scene. Rather, making the right connections with the right people in both formal and informal settings to increase your odds of getting your foot in the door. Gail Gibson of True Expressions says “since I set up my business in 2005, face to face networking has been my number one marketing tool of choice to connect, explore opportunities, collaborate and ultimately, do business with others”. Whether missed opportunities are due to demand or supply issues, may be a chicken and egg dilemma. However it is true to say that both employers and employees have a choice as to how they make their interests known and where they look for what they seek. Talent is out there. One party must seek and the other must make itself available.
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A larger-than-expected growth in employment bolstered demand for the currency, with Richard Grace of Commonwealth Bank of Australia telling Bloomberg, “It’s a very strong employment number, and somewhat surprising given the challenges the Australian employment market is facing.” The figure is indicative of underlying economic strength in the country, he explained. The Pound regained some of the strength it has lost in recent weeks as Bank of England Governor Mervyn King announced possible central bank asset purchases after the Eurozone policy makers put together a rescue package for Cyprus. The rescue package included a plan to raise EUR5.8
14 | Sport
19 - 25 March 2013
RUBDOWN McGuire says AFL star needed ‘tough love’
2013 Season Preview
By Will Denton
Aaaaaaaaaand we’re back. Just as the white smoke bellowing out of the Vatican was signalling a new dawn for Francis and his mates, it was also unknowingly identifying a far more significant event in the course of modern history. No longer do we have to fill our deprived lives with such offerings as basketball, tennis and lingerie football. Yep, you guessed it; AFL for this year is finally here. Now some of you may jump up and down and say it’s already been here for the last four weeks. Well yeah, that’s technically true, but in a watered down, who really cares, dancing with your sister kind of way. The NAB cup was won by Brisbane, but only because nobody else could be bothered with it. The pre-season comp is just a good run around to make sure the legs still work, see what haircuts you can get away with and to catch up with the latest ink on display. What we learned from the NAB cup is that full bush beards are the go, frullets are not, and Mick
Malthouse is still completely mental. Anyway it all kicks off fresh, clean (though I’m using this term loosely…) and even stevens. At the beginning even the most bitter, scarred, toothless, spiritless supporters have a wee bit of hope for their club’s chances for the season. Even Richmond fans. Fortunately for them the AFL has decided to stretch out round one over a two-week feast of football, with the entrée being served this week when Adelaide host ASADA’s favourite team Essendon. The next day Perth will resemble a warzone when battle lines are drawn for the Western Derby. The full degustation menu is on offer next week, with the tastiest morsel being saved for last: Hawthorn vs Geelong. So it’s all ahead of us, and with so many questions and predictions, theories and statistics, mullets and Spiderman tattoos (really), all I know is footy is back to replenish the soul and fill the chasm that’s been left gaping since last years mighty Grand Final. Good.
This could be yours!
To launch the upcoming Easter Series matches in London and Copenhagen, AFL Europe and Australian Times are giving away a signed Sherrin game ball from last year’s Western Bulldogs vs Port Adelaide match at the Oval. The ball has been signed by the coaches and captains of both teams on the day - Hamish Hartlett and Shaun Higgins. To grab your tickets to the big Australia vs Europe match in Guildford on 6 April, go to: afleasterseries. eventbrite.co.uk We hope to see you there supporting the future stars of the AFL and our European challengers including the best of the GAA.
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COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire felt it was obvious to give star player Dane Swan a rocket last year over his AFL future. Asked if he told Swan at a meeting that his future at the club could be in jeopardy, McGuire responded: “Why wouldn’t you say that? Of course, that’s self-evident.” There has been speculation about Swan throughout the off season and the Brownlow Medallist enraged the Magpies earlier this month when he gave a media interview without their permission. In the interview, Swan denied he has an illicit drug problem. McGuire told FoxSports that Swan was his favourite current Collingwood player, but he worried about some of the people around the star midfielder. “He can live his own life, he
doesn’t have to live my life, he can live whatever life he wants,” McGuire said. “But he’s a good guy, he has a good heart and I want to make sure he has enough people around him who genuinely are looking after him as opposed to those who might be boosting him. “That’s not having a go at managers or anything - he has enough people around him who are going to be pulling his coat.” McGuire admitted that he did not mince his words in the meeting with Swan and his manager Liam Pickering. “I might have showed the ultimate love ... sometimes tough love is involved,” McGuire said. McGuire added AFL players in general needed to change the way they looked at the game.
“I came back from the (London) Olympic Games with a completelychanged attitude,” he said. “I realised over there that Australia is the only country in the world that still has a Generation Y. “Everyone else has 30 per cent unemployment - it’s why we were flogged at the Olympic Games. “Footballers have to have a big reality check. “We have a great game ... the only thing that can blow football up is football itself.” McGuire also said former Collingwood player Craig Kelly could one day take over the presidency from him - but he would have to stop his extensive involvement in player management. “Could he be the president? Absolutely - and I think he’d be great at it,” McGuire said of Kelly. - AAP
Form, not experience, priority for Test selectors ...continued from p16 Test rugby. Only a couple of uncapped players were included in the Wallabies’ extended 49-man squad for a logistics camp earlier this year and Deans has admitted it would be a difficult arena for a rookie to make his Test debut. But Wallabies captain James Horwill shone a light on the issue when he stressed form - not experience nor reputation - should be the priority for selectors when they pick their squad for the three-Test series on 1 June. “Oh definitely; you want the best guys picked,” Horwill said, when asked whether uncapped players should be chosen on form. “We’re in a performance-based industry and guys need to keep performing to continue to get their spot. “That works at this level and any level. “You have to keep performing to keep your position and that’s the most important thing. “It is positive for Australian rugby, as a whole, that there are guys who are putting their hand up who were not mentioned in that Wallabies space.” Deans has admitted Brumbies trio Christian Lealiifano, Ben Mowen and Jesse Mogg have put themselves into contention with their tremendous starts to 2013 while numerous rising teammates could also be in the frame for Test debuts. In contrast, the large majority of Wallabies who played in the last Test against Wales on 1 December have
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans been well off their best. Only Brumbies front-rowers Ben Alexander and Stephen Moore, Reds prop James Slipper, and threequarters Ben Tapuai and Digby Ioane have been in good form. The biggest form problems are at the NSW Waratahs, who boast 11 incumbent Wallabies, where their stars have stumbled so far this season. Queensland playmaker Quade Cooper, unable to repeat his scintillating form prior to the 2011 World Cup and a knee reconstruction, has created a different selection headache for Deans. Cooper’s normally-sharp passing game is awry, while his confidence as
a ball-runner has flagged. Deans has used Cooper, James O’Connor and Kurtley Beale all at five-eighth when they were last fit and it remains the most contentious selection for the Lions series. Reds director of coaching Ewen McKenzie expects Cooper will improve once he renews his combination with fit-again halfback Will Genia. “He’s a bit off the pace from `11 but a lot of things have happened since then,” McKenzie said. “There’s different people around him every week so it will settle down with combinations.” By Jim Morton
Watson says he has burning ambition ...continued from p16 “The way we came out and fought with the ball today is amazing, but once again the Indian batters showed us that once you get in, you have to score big.” Clarke also noted the team had played well in home series, but had been unable to transfer this to wins when on tour. Dhoni made mention of the work his bowlers did in securing India the win and felt they had “exploited the conditions well”. “Bhuvnesh’s wickets in the second innings helped us win the game,” Dhoni said after the win. “Even the fast bowlers have done well despite conditions helping spinners.” Dhoni made it clear India wanted to
make it a clean sweep of the series by taking out the fourth Test in New Delhi starting this Friday. Australia will welcome back vicecaptain and new dad Shane Watson to the squad for the final match. He may even assume the captaincy if Clarke’s back strain does not improve. Watson returned to Australia after he was dropped for the third test for not completing a team assignment set by management. The vice-captain was one of four players who were suspended for the Test in Mohali including Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Johnson and James Pattinson who had been Australia’s most successful bowler in the series. Watson now says his commitment to the Australian team is not in question
despite earlier voicing doubts as the ‘homework’ controversy erupted last week when he flew home. “I have a burning ambition to be an Australian Test player for as long as I can be and help Australia win those big Test series as well as the big ICC tournaments,” Watson said in a statement released on Monday. With India having now claimed the series, the Australians are left to play the fourth Test for pride and confidence with the Ashes tour of England just months away.
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Fans to have say in selection of A-League squad ...continued from p16 Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop confirmed the Socceroos would have preference. But Postecoglou was confident the A-League still had the depth to field a very competitive side. “I think there’s enough talent in our league,” said Postecoglou, who is looking at a one-week camp for the selected players. “If anything I think it gives us an opportunity to showcase some of the players who we believe may be emerging Socceroos. “There’s plenty in the league at the moment. You just have a look at the weekend. “Terry Antonis was fantastic for Sydney, (Central Coast’s) Bernie Ibini. “Those kind of players. Aaron Mooy of Western Sydney. “If they are not part of the Socceroos it gives us a chance to have a look at them at the highest level.” Postecoglou was excited rather than daunted at the challenge of beating one of the world’s best club sides, but
made it clear he wasn’t interested in a damage limitation policy. “We won’t be parking an All Star bus,” Postecoglou said. “I think people who know me and have watched me coach the last few years know the type of football I want to play. “I think sometimes in these games it should be a celebration of football. “I don’t want to go out there and stop Man United playing their football. “I also want to showcase what we can do. There’s no point us going out there with a conservative nature.” A two-time A-League championship-winning coach with Brisbane, Melbourne Victory’s Postecoglou (36.8%) shaded Western Sydney mentor Tony Popovic (36.2%) in a fan vote of over 15,000 people to determine who will guide the All Stars. The fan vote will also have a 50 per cent weighting in the selection of the squad, with 20 per cent going to an expert panel, another 20 per cent to the players via the PFA Team of the Year, with the remaining 10 per cent going to Postecoglou. He will also have 100 per cent
Barba out for finals clash ...continued from p16 encounter at AAMI Park. “Is he going to play against Melbourne? No he won’t play,” Hasler said on Monday. “This early in the competition we won’t be making any rash decisions related to Ben’s welfare. “So at the moment I can’t give an answer on his immediate comeback. That will probably come midway through next week when he has got some solid training under his belt.” Hasler said the two weeks Barba had spent dealing with his issues at a private clinic had been worthwhile but he was not yet ready to return to the NRL.
“The program that Ben underwent was just fantastic for him so we are really pleased,” Hasler said. “I don’t think the time away would have set him back a long way at all. In fact, it might not have set him back at all. “Physically, he is OK so (the decision on when Barba returns) it will be made by our HP (high performance) department. And we will be making that decision halfway through next week.” Hasler said premiers Melbourne have maintained their high standards of 2012 across the opening two rounds this season which have produced wins over St George Illawarra and North Queensland. “No thoughts of revenge ... we just
RUGBY LEAGUE ON YOUR DOORSTEP
All Stars coach Ange Postecoglou (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) jurisdiction over an additional three players in the 18-man squad for the July 20 match at ANZ Stadium. Gallop was adamant runaway English Premier League leaders United would bring their biggest stars like Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney to Australia. By Adrian Warren want to play well down there,” Hasler said. “I don’t mean to be flying under the radar but they are playing very well. “They have picked up where they left off last year. It’s a good test for us and we need to bring our `A game’. I don’t think it is difficult for any side to get up for a game against Melbourne.” Five-eighth Josh Reynolds echoed Hasler’s sentiments. “Last year was a big game for us but this is just another game,” he said. “We just have to go into it with a calm mind. They are already on the ball and it is only round two.” Hasler also said Sam Kasiano and Frank Pritchard (both leg injuries) were both not yet fit to return.
v HULL FC Saturday March 23rd, kick-off 3:00pm at the Twickenham Stoop, TW2 7SX londonbroncosrl.com
By James Macsmith
Tag rugby spring season in full swing By Jennifer Lawton Spring leagues across London are now up and running with some tight competitions developing. Actual spring weather has been slow to arrive, but this hasn’t stopped the hardy taggers taking to the field. Despite the below freezing temperatures and light dusting of snow both Borough and Tooting Bec competitions kicked off last week. Borough has seen the return of some great teams and welcomes two new teams, the Southwark Slayers and Ballz Up. Tooting Bec has an early front runner for the trophy with Trip and Chase taking the lead with two from two. With the rain on Wednesday our West London competition at White City was a muddy delight. The teams managed the conditions well and we saw some great tag rugby being played. Tumeke is out in front but new team #almost winning following closely behind in second place. Shoreditch Park has two nights of competition with men’s and mixed leagues on Tuesday and mixed on Thursday nights. Both competition nights are shaping up nicely. In the men’s division on Tuesday nights
THE NRL IS BACK & IT’S BIGGER THAN EVER EVERY GAME
FROM INCLUDING THE GRAND FINAL
Patrick Quigley are early leaders, while The Lollabies and ~dirty tagtics~ are top of their respective mixed competitions. On Thursday, EMAP are running first in the A Grade, but the mixed beginner grade sees four teams with equal points. It looks like it is going to be an interesting competition. Down in Barnes, it’s shaping up to be another tight contest, especially between last season’s finalists Colin and Born to be Taggers. They may also have to watch out for TAGata Whenua who have made a great start to the season. In other news, summer registrations are now open for teams or individuals interested in playing tag rugby.
Leagues are running at Acton, Balham, Borough, Canada Water, East London RFC, Finsbury Park, Fulham, Highbury, Reading, Richmond, Shoreditch, Southfields and Wandsworth Town from the week beginning 29 April. Get in quickly as spaces are filling up fast. New team and individual registrations are welcome as this is a great chance to develop a network of friends if you are new to London. If you would like to register for a spring league, go to www.trytagrugby. com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
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AUSSIES TAUGHT A LESSON n
Michael Clarke insists battered Aussies showed character despite losing third Test in a row and the series against India following the ‘homework’ debacle as Watson prepares to return. By AJ Climpson-Stewart INDIA secured an emphatic series win over Australia, after taking out the third cricket Test in Mohali on Monday. Despite some signs of fight in the their first innings and a deserved five wicket haul for Peter Siddle in India’s reply the Aussies were outplayed again, losing the match in effectively four days after the first day was washed out. The tourists will now be hoping the reinstatement of the ‘Mohali four’ who were disciplined for failing to do their ‘homework’ will boost the team’s chances of salvaging some pride in the final Test of what has become a disastrous tour of the sub-continent. Australia set the hosts 133 runs in 27 overs to claim victory on the final day in a game that developed into a tight finish. Clarke’s charges managed to take four wickets, but could not stave off the inevitable as Indian captain MS Dhoni emphatically brought up the winning runs with five fours from six deliveries, with two overs to go and six wickets in hand. Phil Hughes finally put in a strong performance with the bat, notching up the highest score for the second innings with 69 runs. He was unsupported though, with Australia only managing 223 in their second dig. It remains to be seen if it was enough to save Hughes’s Test career. A last stand by Mitchell Starc, the unlikely 99 run hero of the first innings, and Xavier Doherty gave the Aussies some chance at forcing the draw, adding 44 runs in a defiant last wicket stand, but it was not enough. India shared the wickets in the bowling with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja taking three second innings scalps each. Jadeja took the wicket of Michael Clarke, who was nursing his recurring back injury, for the fifth time in the series. The Aussie skipper said he was disappointed with the loss, but made mention of the efforts of the bowlers in trying to keep the game alive. “I think we showed character,” Clarke said. ...continued on p14
Image by AAP Image/Martin Philbey
All Stars prepare for Man Utd clash A-LEAGUE All Stars coach Ange Postecoglou says an understrength side won’t “park the bus” just to limit the damage against mighty English club Manchester United in their July clash in Sydney. The All Stars fixture on 20 July will clash with the East Asian Cup finals tournament which runs from 20-28 July in South Korea. And with Socceroos coach Holger Osieck expected to pick a primarily Australian-based squad of players, the All Stars could be robbed of up to 15 candidates. ...continued on p15
Doggies bark up a Storm
NO Ben Barba and no thoughts of revenge - that’s how Canterbury say they are preparing for Thursday’s NRL grand final rematch against Melbourne. Barba trained with his Bulldogs teammates on Monday for the first time since he was suspended indefinitely on 25 February over gambling and alcohol issues. But coach Des Hasler said the club was putting Barba’s welfare first and would not rush the superstar fullback into his side for the highly anticipated round three ...continued on p15
TOUGH LOVE FOR SWAN All Footballers need
a reality check, says Eddie McGuire | P14
EDDIE GIVES HIM A ROCKET: Collingwood player Dane Swan denies he has an illicit drug problem.
Wallabies form a worry for Deans
ROBBIE Deans’ tried-and-true Wallabies favourites need to significantly lift their acts if they hope to be involved in this winter’s British and Irish Lions series. Very few of Deans’ established Test team which ended last season would be picked in a form Australian 15 after the first five rounds of Super Rugby. While the coach is weekly picking the best side of each round as a selection exercise, he ideally wants to rely on preexisting combinations and bank on experienced soldiers for what ranks among the most intense battles in ...continued on p14