Page 1

4 - 10 September 2012 – Issue: 428

CARNIVAL CARNAGE

GOLD FOR AUSTRALIA

Enjoying the Notting Hill Festival

YOU, TURKEY

Cruising Europe’s hottest destination

Aussie Paralympians doing us proud in London

VOICES P4

TRAVEL P6

SPORT P10

GILLARD LEADS AUSTRALIA’S NEW CRUSADE ON EDUCATION n

Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants Australia to be among the world’s best when it comes to education and is paving the way for some substantial changes in the Aussie school system with her new ‘national crusade’ on learning and education. The federal government has warned the states and territories there will be “no blank cheques” under a new schools funding model aimed at lifting the global ranking of the nation’s education system. Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Monday announced Labor’s longawaited response to the Gonski review of schools funding. The national funding goal would be $6.5 billion a year, although Labor would negotiate with the states over who would pay what. At present, the Commonwealth pays 30 per cent of schools funding. “We should aim to make new money of this order available,” Ms Gillard told the National Press Club in Canberra on Monday. There would also be higher requirements for studying teaching, more power for principals and more information for parents through the My School website. “We will now start discussions with state and territory governments, and Catholic and independent schools, over the details of our plan,” Ms Gillard also said in a joint statement with Minister for School Education Peter Garrett. “The Gillard government is prepared to make a substantial investment over time to deliver this plan for better schools, provided states and territories contribute their fair share and agree to the national plan for school improvement. “There will be no blank cheques.” Ms Gillard said it was the start of a “national crusade” on education. She set a 2025 deadline for Australian schools to be among the top five bestperforming education systems in the world.

OLIVIA’S BACK!

And she’s badder than ever | P6 By then, Australia should be ranked in the top five for reading, science and mathematics. The country is currently in seventh spot for reading and science and 13th for mathematics. Ms Gillard said Asian nations had a relentless focus on education to shape their future economic success. “To win the economic race, we must first win the education race,” she told the press club. “For our children to get the jobs of

the future, we must give them a great education now.” Funding for each school would be based on the needs of individual students. This would be done through a new benchmark amount for every student - a new Schooling Resource Standard - based on the costs of schools that are already getting great results. Schools with students who face challenges would be entitled to extra funding based on six categories. These include low income families,

indigenous students, students with disability and limited English skills, the size of the school, and rural and remote schools. “This additional money would be a permanent feature of the new funding system,” the government’s statement said. “It would help pay for things like teachers’ aides, specialist literacy and numeracy coaches, and special ...continued on p3

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Aus plays down Afghanistan tiff Australia has played down a disagreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, with Defence Minister Stephen Smith declaring an Australian operation was above board and the tiff stemmed from a misunderstanding. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the military operation at the heart of the president’s complaint about Afghanis being killed had been properly authorised, conducted with Afghan partners and in accordance with Australian rules of engagement. She also said she had in the past personally received condolences from President Karzai over the death of Australian troops. “It has been apparent to me in those meetings that he feels those losses very deeply,” she said. Over the weekend, President Karzai strongly condemned what he said was a unilateral military operation by Australian troops which resulted in the death of Haji Roz Mohammad, 70, and his son Abdul Jalil, 30. He said there had been no prior co-ordination or approval by provincial authorities, in breach of the memorandum of understanding between Afghanistan and NATO on special military operations. Australia doesn’t dispute that a military operation was conducted on ...continued on p3


2 | News

4 - 10 September 2012

Take my lead, make the jump n After two years living abroad in London, it’s time to finally call it a day. But I’m testament to the fact that anyone can do the big move across the world, and more importantly everyone should do it. the hard word Publisher: Bryce Lowry Editor: Tim Martin Production/Design: Jackie Lampard Australia Editor: Ashlea Maher Contributors: Bianca Soldani, Shannon Crane, Kate Ausburn, Sara Newman, Phill Browne, Paul Judge, Sandra Tahmasby, Amy Fallon, Rose Callaghan, Lesley Slade, Simon Kleinig, Kris Griffiths, Chris Ark, Nathan Motton, Cameron Jenkins,

Will Denton, Lee Crossley, Shane Jones, Liam Flanagan, Mel Edwards, Will Fitzgibbon, Phoebe Lee, Bronwyn Spencer, Rebekka Hodges, Alex Ivett, Emily Banyard, Justin Ng, Sam Tilburn Advertising Manager: Dominic Young Directors: P Atherton, J Durrant N Durrant, R Phillips and A Laird Additional content:

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

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> NATHAN MOTTON

It seems like an eternity ago, but at the same time it only feels like yesterday. Our decision to move to London was made with more haste than most would make when considering such a serious move. But we left our jobs, our home, our dog and our families, and settled on the other side of the world. It was my partner who wanted us to move here, much more than I did two years ago, but it was a decision that I will be eternally grateful for. Too many Australians (believe it or not) are unwilling for whatever reason to live abroad. Too many Brits dream of moving Down Under, in search of a new life but see it as “too hard”. Too many of us all never consider doing it, or become too comfortable in our own bubbles and never lean out to smell the roses. The Hard Word should know, I was one of them. But I’m here to urge you all thinking about moving to another country to take the opportunity with both hands.

Your Say On: Julian Assange should face his accusers

Assange has not been charged for rape, he is wanting for questioning in relation to allegations. The initial rape/sexual molestation charges were dismissed within 24 hours by a Swedish Judge, which says something for their credibility. Assange appeared only too willing to give his account to the Swedish police, so that doesn’t look like a man who’s trying to avoid onfronting the allegations. There is no reason why he can’t be questioned in Britain as Asange has requested repeatedly. Sweden doesn’t want this as there is very little to question him on. Both Britain and Sweden have interviewed suspects abroad previously, including for murder (anyone remember the litvinenko case?). You say that Assange should face the legal process as the rest of us would have to, but none of us have the potential of being extradited to the US, where the president and many other politicians have called him a terrorist and called for his execution/assassination. Bit of a difference. NF The charges in Sweden are a complete beat up so that the US can have him extradited from there…. fact.He has said that he would talk to the Swedish authorities in London as he han’t been charged

? What’s your view

London has a lot to do with my incessant nagging. While Australian cities are consistently rated among the world’s most livable cities, the English capital has proved a surprising orgy of history, culture, eccentricity, beauty and surprises. While New York is the city that never sleeps, London is the city that lies awake dreaming of sleep. Everywhere you look this city throws at you another key to its mysterious puzzle, another lesson to learn in understanding its rich, dark history. But it’s more than that. Whether travelling alone, with a friend or with a partner, working and living in another country helps you learn things about yourself. It forces you to put yourself out there, to meet new people, to integrate, maybe to learn a new language, and to appreciate (or not) a new way of living. Of course there are far more challenging moves one can make than that of Australia to Great Britain (or vice versa), but it’s still an incredibly big move. It’s been an absolute joy learning to speak ‘proper’ English, understanding what makes the Brits tick, what pisses them off and above all what makes

them British. My work as a journalist over here has allowed me to understand and appreciate global news on a much greater scale than ever before. I’ve had such an amazing journey over the past two years and will take a piece of Britain back to Australia with me forever. It has stolen a piece of my heart, and I’ve made some friends for life. I’m not one to have regrets or think about ‘what if’, needless to say I’m in no hurry to leave. I’ve said before that I think Great Britain is an incredible country, perfectly situated between two other amazing places known as the USA and the Continent. To all the readers of The Hard Word, to all those who posted their (mostly) intelligent and considered reactions to my columns, thank you for doing so. It’s been a pleasure to write this column and to write about issues that affect Australians living in the UK. So long and goodbye.

with anything – he is just wanted for questioning.I, peronally like that he is standing up to the US as do the government and people of Ecuador. Fitzy

Steak has to be number 1, a close second would have to be a bunnings snag in bread! I loved going to bunnings on a saturday arvo for a $2 sausage in bread! Cassie

Sure, only the rest of us aren’t at risk of being extradited into the hands of a hostile government, tortured and possibly executed. Of course he should face charges. Why can’t it be done in the UK? Why can’t Sweden promise not to pass him on to the U.S. when they have conclude their case? Faye I agree with the comments in the article other than the phrase “however flimsy the evidence”. I hope that is just poorly written and does not express the view that alleged victims statements – which I am sure the writer has not seen – are “flimsy evidence”. For all the ramifications of the Assange case relating to free speech etc, the biggest one I fear at the moment is that future rape victims will not come forward because of this blinkered view. It distresses me greatly that the rights of alleged rape victims can be so quickly dismisssed because the accused rapist is seen as a darling of leftists unquestioning of their messiah. David

On: Australian things I can’t live without…

1.Vegemite on toast 2. Aeroguard/Mortein (as on Louie, the fly) 3. Tea tree oil shaving cream 4. Kangaroos and Holden cars Richie

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1.Tim Tams 2.Papaw Ointment 3.Decent coffee (Although I would argue the best coffee is made in Wellington, NZ) Haylee CHICKEN PARMA and RASPBERRY LEMONADE from the pub. Tim tams (Penquins don’t cut it!) And, BBQ shapes. Kim

On: Australian Vegemite ingredient may fight superbugs

Vegemite may be a good source of synthetic niacin (B3) but to get a therapeutic amount you would need to consume a good part of the jar. A teaspoon = only 5.8mg of niacin. That’s not much. As vegemite has one of the largest concentrations of MSG in any manufactured food on the planet, as well as a high sodium content, you would be ill advised to take this advice. Niacin (B3) can be found in meat, rice, fish, nuts and tomatoes in lower concentrations but as the serving size is larger you will get more B3. Jamin

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News | 3

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‘No blank cheques’ in Gillard’s school revolution Continued from p1... equipment. Schools would no longer need to rely on grants or short-term programs.” Ms Gillard said teachers would be reviewed annually and their skills assessed to determine where improvements were needed. “Every school will have a school improvement plan and will be held to account against it,” she added. Ms Gillard said the government had not accepted every aspect of the Gonski model “because we want funding for all schools to continue to rise”. “But we agree with that broad standard plus loadings structure and that is the new model we will adopt for funding all schools,” she said. The states, however, must put in their fair share. “No sleight of hand, no fiddling of the books to substitute federal funding for cuts by the states,” Ms Gillard said. “And we should take the time necessary to get the right result.” The prime minister said she would not be “held to ransom” by the states, but was prepared to work with them through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). “I will personally lead these discussions and my aim is to settle the funding model through COAG processes,” she said. “I want to conclude these discussions by the time of the first COAG meeting next year.” The government’s so-called National Plan for School Improvement will be phased in over six years from 2014. The key goal to raise Australia’s education system ranking would take 13 years. Labor also plans to introduce a bill into parliament by the end of 2012 to “enshrine our nation’s expectations about what we will achieve for our children”. The Australian Education Act would state the nation’s support for children’s education as one of the entitlements of citizenship. Ms Gillard said Labor took a very different approach to education than the opposition.

“I’m for improving the nation’s schools, I’m for better investing in the nation’s schools,” she said. “They’re for cutting back funding to our schools.” Ms Gillard said Australians will make their choice when they go to the polls next year. “This will be one of the great contests of the 2013 election.” Ms Gillard said work was underway on the definition of the “needs loadings” which would be added to the benchmark amount of funding per student. She said the My School website had generated a lot of useful data, but the final decision would be made through a series of working groups and talks with the state and territory governments. “So if you go on the My School website now you would be able to click up a chart that shows you the preponderance of kids in different quartiles, from the poorest quarter to most advantaged quarter,” she said. “To take disadvantaged children, we are looking at a loading for children who are in the two lower quartiles, from the poorer homes, but there would be a sliding scale. “Each of these loadings is being worked through.” Ms Gillard was asked whether Labor had the “political capital” needed to ask the community to wait for the reforms to be rolled out. “People can judge us on what we’ve done to date, and having seen us do all of that, they can judge our intentions for the future,” the Labor leader said. “People intuitively get it that when you are changing something as large as our education system ... it does take some time.” Ms Gillard said under the proposed changes no school would have its funding frozen - as is the case now for some. “There would be no school that is frozen and experiencing no growth in funds. “(But) in terms of working out what is the appropriate indexation rate, we’ll need to work that through in discussions with state and territory colleagues.” - AAP

Smith says Afghan Karzai spat a ‘misunderstanding’ Continued from p1...

Friday in the village of Sola in pursuit of rogue Afghan National Army Sergeant Hek Matullah, blamed for shooting dead three Australian soldiers last week. Neither is it disputed that two were killed and 12 locals, including an Afghan woman, were detained. Mr Smith said 60 Australian and more than 80 Afghan troops took part in the operation to find Hek Matullah or

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insurgents who had helped him escape. This was authorised following “usual and normal procedures” involving the Oruzgan police chief and governor, Mr Smith said. “Two people who have been confirmed as insurgents were killed,” he said in Perth. Mr Smith said 11 of the detainees had been released, including the woman, the first detained by Australian troops. The man still in detention was regarded as an insurgent leader who helped or tried to help Hek Matullah escape. Defence force chief General David Hurley said Australia had made it quite clear this operation was approved at the provincial level and conducted with Afghan troops, according to normal rules of engagement. General Hurley said Afghan authorities needed to “do some untangling” of their own reporting lines but that the Australians were still in “a very good space” with the Karzai government.

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4 | Voices

4 - 10 September 2012

Nothing like London’s Keep left (or face the penalty!) Notting Hill Carnival

n With the Carnival madness behind us for another year, our resident adventurer looks back at Europe’s biggest street party – and #99 on her London Top 100 list. bron in

the don BRONWYN SPENCER

Although most of us Antipodeans try our best to get away over a long weekend, this year I was glad I hadn’t had anything booked. It gave me the chance to attend one of London’s biggest parties and a rare one to tick off on the Top 100. Happening every year on the August Bank Holiday weekend, the Notting Hill Carnival (#99 on the list) is one of the most popular celebrations held in the city each year. Famous for its dancing, parades, food and partying, the festival is celebrated over two days which in my opinion isn’t long enough! I headed to Notting Hill with a few friends on the Monday, which is apparently ‘adults day’ however many people still party on the Sunday even if it is ‘family’ day. We arrived round midday and wandered up from High Street Kensington, as due to the large crowds they close Notting Hill Gate Tube Station. As we were walking we heard the festival before we saw it. We heard the bass of their music being played before we turned a corner and saw amps and speakers stacked high on top of each other. A few streets down there were more music coming out of even more speakers – it certainly helps for a party atmosphere. We wandered through the streets and people were selling souvenirs, flags and whistles - if you are one of the festival attendees that aren’t already dressed up – because, basically, dressing up is certainly what this festival is about. Once the parade starts you can see some amazing costumes. Hugh feather

head dresses, teeny tiny little glitter g-strings, massive butterfly wings and extravagant shoes are just a few things to describe these costumes. You just can’t take your eyes away from them. Watching the people onboard floats in the parade, proudly dancing, drumming or singing their way along the route you can’t help but be caught up in the atmosphere. You can see the pride in their country and culture on their faces, and the enjoyment is catching. After the hustle and bustle of the parade and wandering the streets it was then on to what I thought was some of the best part of the festival – the food! There is so much on offer it’s quite hard to choose just one meal to have. In fact I had two. I grabbed a massive charcoal grilled corn on the cob and devoured it before I found my next meal that offered a selection of freshly cooked Caribbean food. Salads, jerk chicken, rice, dumplings and veggies all for about £6 is hard to say no too. There is also cheap drinks around the place too, from legal off licences selling Red Stripes cheaply, to not so legal establishments popping up to give out drinks to passers-by. Even though I was only there a few hours I had heaps of fun and look forward to next year when I can make a whole night of it!

lost in london > lexxy luther

For those of you that know me, you’ll know that sometimes the mere act of standing upright is a challenge, let alone propelling forward in a horizontal motion (otherwise known as walking). And that’s when there is a clear path ahead of me, and the occasional lamppost to right myself against (that is, when I don’t walk straight into it). Therefore, when I considered starting to walk to work I already knew it would be an achievement just to turn up to work without scabby knees and gravel rash on my face. And this is before I realised that Boris Johnson is possibly using the main thoroughfares of London as his own personal version of the “Hunger Games”. It’s a hunt to the death, except there’s eight million players and I don’t have kickass hair. Or the ability to shoot an arrow through the eye of the cyclist who tried to run me down through a red light screaming “get out of my f*@#ing way, wankers”. In an otherwise law-abiding, protocol-following society, it is like the sidewalk in London is the last medium for the expression of everyone’s otherwise repressed internal anarchist. An opportunity for the buttoned suit bloke or high society lady to throw off the decorum of walking in a straight

line down one side of the footpath and run wild with abandoned glee, zigzagging and sidestepping, slowing down and speeding up, turning left, then back, then stopping suddenly. All whilst laughing manically at the chaos left in their wake. I often feel like standing in the middle of the footpath - Jess from New Girl style - and yelling “these traffic-flows are extremely counter-productive”. There’s another thing I’ve learnt being over here in Blighty. They may follow the rules to the letter everywhere else in life, but waiting until the green man tells you it’s safe to cross – that’s where the English truly love to stick it to the proverbial man. “What’s that flashing

little red man? You don’t want me to cross because there’s a semi-trailer bearing down on me from around that blind corner? Well, you can just stick it up your little red who-ha cause I’m crossing without looking, bitch.” Add to this irate bus drivers with 10 tonnes of red metal in their control and pre-pubescent’s on fixies with a scant disregard for anyone who can’t ride a bike with one hand whilst yelling “I’ll totes be there in five clicks bro” into their mobile phone and it’s a wonder I am still alive. Or at least still upright, and not wrapped around a post with tyre marks across my face. All that’s missing is the killer bees. But knowing Boris, they’re not far off…

Tastes of the Welsh countryside

n Cymru (or Wales as it is commonly known) isn’t just good for

rugby, sheep and pints of Brains ale. Our Aussie chef from Claridge’s kitchen finds out there’s something smokin’ in them thar hills!

chris’s

kitchen > CHRIS ARK

In my role as a top London chef, I have the pleasure of meeting and dealing with many inspirational people in the food and restaurant trade, from

all different parts of the UK. Over the past couple of weeks I have been able to sing the praises of BBQ’s and smoked foods in my weekly Australian Times column, so when I got the call from Jo and Jonathan Carthew of the beautiful Brecon Beacons of Wales, to road test a mail

order hamper of their favourite treats from their Black Mountains Smokery - I could not resist. I road tested the following ingredients and have added a few suggestions to what I would marry these ingredients with:

Smoked Welsh delights

Smoked Duck Breast: Thinly slice the duck breast and toss with freshly blanched beans, sundried tomatoes, shavings of Parmesan and a slash of cabernet vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. You’re mates will be quacking for more. Smoked Salmon: Grab a couple of handful of salad potatoes and cook until tender. Make a fresh mayonnaise flavoured with garlic, spring onion and a squeeze of lemon. Toss the potatoes with the mayo and season with black pepper. Lay the potatoes on a platter, spread the salmon around the potatoes and add a handful of crisp rocket lettuce. Use wedges of lemon to finish and you’ve got a sumptuous salmon dish that’ll have tongues wagging. Oaked Smoked Salmon: This perfectly smoked salmon flakes apart with juicy goodness when ready. Mini bruschettas are what comes to mind to marry with its tasty and aromatic flavour. Toast some thick slices

of ciabatta brushed with olive oil and garlic. Take a cup of mascarpone cream, chopped fresh basil leaves and mix together. Spread the mascarpone mix over the bruschettas and top with the flaked oaked smoked salmon. Perfect for a starter to any BBQ.

There’s loads more products and tasty dishes to come from both the Black Mountains Smokery and the picturesque Brecon Beacons. So get out there into the Welsh countryside, and enjoy!

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Entertainment | 5

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What we’re following #AFL

@renee_gartner AFL players are seriously talented athletes...But I’d like the game more if they could tackle each other, had sets of 6, & was more like NRL @OwenJCarter Never seen so much fuss over a minor premiership as Hawks fans are fussing over it tonight. Seriously, move on people #sourgrapes #AFL @ElizabethHurley A great Melbourne trip: AFL, Puffing Billy, Neighbours set, Scienceworks, Luna Park, Napoleon exhibit, the Sapphires, superb food... @JoshJenTheBlock Oh, you’re hating on #brettratten ? How many AFL teams have you coached? @DamienDemaj Let the finals begin! #hawks primed for an assault on the 2012 flag!! #afl Check out what we’re following today on AustralianTimes.co.uk and follow us on Twitter @AustralianTimes

What’s On Husky 10 Sept @ The Lexington, London Jinja Safari 11 Sept @ Birthdays, Stoke Newington The Necks 17 Sept @ The Barbican Darren Hayes 24 September @ IndigO2, Temper Trap 4 October @ Hammersmith Apollo Tame Impala 30 October @ O2 Academy, Brixton Julia Stone 5 Nov @ Scala, Kings Cross Gotye 12 November @ Hammersmith Apollo The Cat Empire 10 December @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

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Stephan Elliott is Australia’s wedding crasher

n After a turbulent career post-Priscilla, director Stephan Elliott is back with his first Aussie film in over a decade. LARA BRUNT finds out what his new “big, dumb, comedy” is about and what he’s been up to since his infamous “cock in a frock on a rock” movie. Stephan Elliott hates weddings. In fact, he has a phobia of them. Quite surprising really, considering the Aussie director has just made a wedding film and become something of a poster boy for the current gay marriage debate back home. The 48-year-old has been with his partner Wil Bevolley for 20 years, but only came out publicly in January at the inaugural Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (AACTA). “I thought it was time to get involved in the debate because I could see it going backwards,” he says. Unsurprisingly though, Elliott’s new film, A Few Best Men starring Xavier Samuel, Kris Marshall and Olivia Newton-John, is not your average feelgood rom com. Instead, it’s a wedding day disaster flick that sees three British buffoons cause havoc when they fly to Oz for their best mate’s nuptials. “This is a bad taste, fart joke, wedding movie,” says Elliott unapologetically. He’s not wrong – the big day involves binge-drinking best men, a cokesnorting cougar mother-in-law and a sheep dressed in drag. Given that he spent his teens shooting wedding videos, Elliott has plenty of experience to draw upon.

“The amount of bad behaviour I’ve witnessed over the years at weddings has been terrifying,” he laughs. “Part of me was like ‘I want to do a tits-up wedding film because I’ve been to millions of them’. Trust me, the film is not quite the script we started with.” Written by Dean Craig (Death at A Funeral), the most dramatic of Elliott’s tweaks is the mother-in-law character played by his long-time friend, Olivia Newton-John. The role is a huge departure from her usual wholesome image. “O N-J has crossed into the territory of iconic,” says Elliott. “I rewrote the character as the uptight woman who goes completely mad and she kind of embraced it. There was one day on set she looked at me and said ‘Am I ever going to work again?’ and I said ‘No, so you may as well just enjoy it while you’re here’.” Defiling Australia’s sweetheart aside, Elliott says he was attracted to the script because he – and the world – needed a good giggle. “I’d been living in the UK for 15 years and I could see where it was going when the Cameron government came in. They were talking about shutting down film

A Few Best Men

n A new wedding day disaster movie from the director of Priscilla is set to screen at London’s FilmFest Australia this month and will most likely appeal to gross-out comedy fans (and long suffering Olivia Newton-John aficionados). FILM REVIEW: By Lara Brunt The opening scenes of director Stephan Elliott’s new flick A Few Best Men will be familiar to more than a few Aussie backpackers living in the capital. London boy David (Xavier Samuel) meets Aussie girl Mia (Laura Brent) on a stunning tropical island; whirlwind holiday romance ensues; boy proposes to girl (OK, so that’s a bit extreme); boy returns tanned and happy to grey, rainy London (we all know that feeling) to break the news to his three rather unimpressed best friends. “Holiday flings are meant to end at the airport bruv, not at the altar,” moans one. Undeterred, David invites his laddish mates – obnoxious ringleader Tom (Kris Marshall), neurotic Graham (Kevin Bishop) and recentlydumped depressive Luke (Tim Draxl) – to travel Down Under for his hastily arranged wedding to Mia, who just happens to be the daughter of a wealthy, power-mad politician (Jonathan Biggins) and a repressed, trophy wife (Olivia Newton-John). Written by Dean Craig (Death At A Funeral), the film starts off promisingly with some genuine laughs as David’s uncouth mates descend on Mia’s posh Blue Mountains home and meet the future in-laws. Keen to celebrate their mate’s last night of freedom, the boys embark on a carnage-filled stag night, inadvertently ripping off a deranged

drug-dealer and dissing the father-ofthe-bride’s prized campaign mascot, Ramsy the Merino ram. The film begins to go a bit off the boil on the morning of the nuptials. It descends into crude comedy, as the boys lurch from one cringeworthy disaster to another while the hapless David tries desperately to salvage his big day. If you’re a fan of this type of comedy (and there were plenty of laughs in the screening I went to), you’ll enjoy the most toe-curling best man’s speech ever and Olivia Newton-John’s unlikely turn as the closet coke-fiend mother-in-law let loose. Granted, it’s not in the same league as other wedding-themed disaster flicks such as The Hangover or Bridesmaids, but if you know what you’re in for (gross-out, fratboy humour), A Few Best Men will definitely get you giggling. ‘A Few Best Men’ is screening at the Clapham Picturehouse on 14 September for FilmFest Australia and is in UK cinemas now. For more details, head to FilmFestAustralia. org.uk

councils, Europe was falling apart, and I’d had a very bad skiing accident in 2004 that had knocked nearly a decade out of me,” he says. The accident in the French Alps, which saw him break his back, pelvis and legs, topped off what had been a pretty tumultuous decade. Following the global success of The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert in 1994, Elliott’s next two films - Welcome to Woop Woop (1997) and Eye of the Beholder (1999) bombed. Disillusioned, he quit showbiz and lived in self-imposed exile abroad, before his near-death experience on the slopes gave him the perspective to enter the lion’s den again. “I realised I was basically lucky to be alive – I shouldn’t be alive, I shouldn’t even be walking,” he says. Four years of physical rehab followed, during which Elliott wrote the stage adaptation of Priscilla that has wowed the West End, Broadway, and audiences back home. In 2007, he finally got behind the camera again to direct Colin Firth, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Jessica Biel in the acclaimed comedy Easy Virtue. With A Few Best Men, Elliott hasn’t so much as answered his critics, as gotten into a spat with one of them. He

took umbrage when veteran film critic Jim Schembri from The Age branded the film ‘’a witless, brainless, gormless, senseless, tasteless and – worst of all – laughless comedy’’. Ouch. Elliott retaliated publicly at the AACTA Awards and the controversy continued for several days with both sides having their say. “For the first time in my career I said ‘that’s enough’,” says Elliott. “As far as I’m concerned your job as a reviewer is to know what the genre is. If you don’t like the movie, that’s fair enough, but you’ve got to know what the genre is.” Elliott’s self-described “big, dumb comedy” went on to gross a respectable $5.4 million at the Aussie box office; Schembri resigned in March, after 28 years with the paper, following allegations he had intimidated people who criticised him on Twitter. While the film may not be to everyone’s taste, you’ve got to admire Elliott’s chutzpah. Gloria Gaynor’s iconic disco anthem “I Will Survive” featured on his first hit, but it could well be the soundtrack to Elliott’s life. And whatever more life throws at him, somehow you know he’s going to do just that. ‘A Few Best Men’ is in UK cinemas now and screening at FilmFest Australia


travel

6 | Travel

4 - 10 September 2012

Talking Turkey A blue cruise with a difference tting This week we’re pu

Turkey on the map

n You’ve sailed Croatia. You’ve cruised the Greek Islands. You’ve punted London’s canals and standup paddle boarded the Thames. So, where to next? ALEX IVETT finds out that Turkey is the new European hot-spot to get excited about. “I’m on a boat! I’m on a boat! Everybody look at me, ‘cause I’m sailing on a boat!” Say the words ‘cruising the Mediterranean’ to me and I’m immediately picturing myself up the front of a yacht, Rhianna style, in a gold lamé bikini with a bottle of Bollinger in hand, krumping along to Lonely Island’s “I’m on a Boat”. The camera pans around to reveal brilliant blue azure seas bathed in speckled sunshine and an endless coastline, while Andy Samberg rides a dolphin past the bow. A difficult image to live up to, right? Luckily, when escaping a London “summer” that has felt remarkably similar to a Sydney winter for my four day, three night “blue cruise” down Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast with Alaturka Tours, the reality did not disappoint. Ok, there was no dolphin riding. Or Rhianna. Or for that matter, Bollinger. There was however, unrelenting sunshine and acres of stunning coastline, ancient ruins and hidden coves of transparent waters. And importantly, there were sunset mojitos. Close enough! The term “blue cruise” is a clumsy

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attempt to capture in just two words the magic of a voyage on a traditional wooden two mast sailing ship (a ‘Gulet’) as it hugs Turkey’s southwestern coastline. The trips usually head south from Fethiye, a relatively quiet harbourside town when compared to the foam parties and bacon butties of nearby Oludinez, with the end destination of Olympos. Fethiye, with an excellent fish market where fresh fish is cooked to order, is a good place to stop for the night and prepare for the next four days of ...... doing nothing. Sign me up!

Sail away the blues

I’m reliably informed at the comfortable and clean Fethiye Guesthouse that I’m going to hate this cruise. That is, of course, unless I like swimming, and relaxing. And relaxing and swimming. And eating. And then swimming again. Hey, if it’s good enough for Ri Ri, it’s good enough for me. Collected at the dock the next morning, our group of 16 are led onto the Alaturka 81 before being shown to our en-suited cabins. The ship is 28 meters of polished wood, canvas awnings, white finishings


Travel | 7

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Introductions done, the trip gets underway, and we’re soon cutting quickly through the biro blue water. Rows of mountains layer up along the coastline and the distant heat haze blurs their edges. It is scrubby, and constant, but beautiful in its monotony. Butterfly Valley is the first up, a hidden cleft in the rock accessible only by boat or scaling a sheer cliff wall. The beach is covered with more tents than Reading Festival, and after you’ve picked your way past these you have the option of hiking up through the valley to the ‘waterfall’. With a water trickle sadder than a European showerhead, I would recommend this sojourn through the humid heat only if you, like this Australian, miss the incessant sound of cicadas on a hot summers day. Or if you particularly enjoy that unparalled feeling of diving into clear cool water after being turned into a human sweatball. Another cove, another swim, another few hours spent lazing in the sun, and now it’s sunset. The beauty of Turkey, well, besides its actual physical beauty, is that even

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and multiple areas of sunbaking lounges and seating. Even at night, when escaping the heat of your cabin to sleep under the stars, there is still enough room to feel like you have the boat to yourself. The group is the usual assortment of young Australians, Canadians and English, with a Turkish couple and a few mother-daughter pairings to even the balance. Most are recovering from various European odysseys and the first half-hour is the inevitable comparison of capital cities visited. I’m unusual in having come straight from London, but with Dalaman airport only a four hour plane ride, it was easier for me to transfer the grey gloom for cloudless sky than to get a Murrays coach from Canberra to Sydney.

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8 | Travel

4 - 10 September 2012

AFTER 1 SEPTEM BER

without trying, you find yourself surrounded by history. The kind of history foreign to Australians – of ancient civilizations whose ruins lie scattered over the island next to where you’ve parallel parked your boat for the night. Walking up through the crumbling archways of long forgotten amphitheaters and stone tombs, the reward is a perfect viewing spot from the top of the hill as the sun dips behind the mountains in the distance. The next day, another cloudless sky. It quickly falls into an easy routine, where concepts of time and distance lose relevance. An early morning swim before breakfast, another swim after. Endless stretches of scrub covered mountains. Hours spent in the beanbag on the boats tip watching the horizon and soaking up the sun. A book finished. Another swim. A game of cards. ‘Where are we?’ someone asks. In a cove. A fishing village. By an island. Somewhere on the Mediterranean.

on dry land. Kas is a busy town of narrow streets, shops full of Turkish delight and magic eye trinkets, and some ancient tombs for good measure. Kekova is a bougainvillea covered fishing village visited after a lumbering journey over the “sunken city”, a historic city tumbled into the water by a past earthquake. Without the cooling sea breeze the thick heat immediately wraps you in a hot sweaty hug. Most wander the tiny alleys in a heat-induced stupor before taking refuge in the waterfront cafes. I fight the urge to lie under a flower-covered trestle and take a long nap, to climb to the top of the ruins of a medieval castle. I’m rewarded with a 360°view out over the bay and a homemade ice-cream from “Momas kitchen” on the way back down. And suddenly it is the third night. The trip is coming to an end, and we’re moored in the secluded and undeveloped Gokkaya Bay. That is, except for the one place that the other 20 boats moored alongside us are there for too – the Smugglers Inn. Tucked amongst the hills, it is a loose open-aired wooden structure packed with alcohol, a dance floor, and something we haven’t seen for a few days – other people. It is accessible only by dingy that collects patrons from the nearby boats and deposits them in this mirage of a bar under the stars.

Relentless perfection

The day is broken up only by the ring of the big brass bell for meal times. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Afternoon Tea. Like schoolkids at the end of recess we gather from the lilos in the water, from lying prone on the deck, from reading in the shade, to rush at the communal table that sits in the middle of the boat for hours of eating and talking and comparing stories. The food is multitudinous platters of fresh everything. A traditional Turkish breakfast of boiled eggs, sliced tomatoes, cucumber bread and olives followed before you’re even hungry again by a lunch of salads, rice or pasta and plates of delicious sautéed vegetables. Dinner the same, but more. More vegetable dishes. More salad. More mains - including one night of 16 separate BBQ’d fish expertly done on the BBQ that hangs off the bow, followed by another of chicken sautéed in tomato and the unusual but surprisingly refreshing combination of yogurt and carrot. If that’s not enough to keep you going, there’s also the entrepreneurial Turkish women who trawl the moored boats with their floating Gozleme stalls – Turkish handmade pancakes with lemon or nutella, or feta and spinach, eaten hot off the grill with your legs swinging idly off the deck. At one swimming stop someone lazily wishes for an ice-cream. A man appears in a boat beside us bearing Magnums.

All ashore!

For those wishing to exercise those sea legs, or even just use your legs at all at some point, the boat does dock Alaturka Tours run everything from four day Turkish ‘blue cruises’ to Istanbul, Cappadocia and Gallipoli trips. For more information, head to AlaturkaTurkey.com

But first – the goodbye dinner. While most boat companies running blue cruises follow a similar four day itinerary of swimming stops at secret beaches and ruined covered islands, for me the devil is in the detail. With nine years experience running cruises in this area, Alaturka Tours appear to have perfected the subtleties that make a trip great. Following a Turkish feast - a hollowed out watermelon turned jack-a-lantern is presented by the friendly crew and the sparklers that accompany it help turn the deck into an impromptu dance party. Following one last swim the next day, everyone says their farewells to the crew and to each other. The lucky ones continue their journey with another Alaturka Tour, on to the moonscapes of Cappadocia or the rich culture of Istanbul, and I trundle reluctantly back to the grey city I left only five days earlier, albeit now with a better tan.

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Jobs & Money | 9

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Hard decisions made easy By Sepi Roshan Your contract has been going along smoothly. An initial three month contract has rolled over and 12 months later you are still with the same organisation. The money is good and the work is interesting. Does life get any better? Then it happens. You get a phone call from your old manager who thinks your skills would be a great fit in her new team. She asks whether you would be interested in an interim or permanent role as she searches for staff. Your contract ends in a month however indications are that there is a new project which means your skills will be in demand. What seemed like a comfortable situation, now requires active decision making as you weigh up your options. You are faced with the choice of whether you take that new role or stay where you are comfortable. So what do you do? Everyone says listen to your gut. But what do you do when your gut is not talking to you? One thing you can do is avoid the decision and let it be made for you. Maybe they won’t renew your contract. Decision made. Or maybe you can ask your friends what they would do. But this can be more confusing as they may not have all the facts and their point of view may not be aligned with your needs.

Another method is to use a systematic way of making decisions. This removes the emotion and allows you to consider the facts, decluttering your thoughts and feelings, and freeing you to make a decision that takes your context and your bigger picture into consideration. There are many systematic ways of making decisions. A few simple questions are often the best. Ask yourself: 1. What would happen if you stay where you are? 2. What could you be missing out on if you stayed where you are? 3. What could you gain if you were to take up the new contract? When we are faced with decisions that we did not expect to make, it can really throw us off kilter. Rather than being a victim of circumstance, take a systematic approach, de-clutter your thoughts and find your own solution. Sepi Roshan is Director of Astute Coaching & Development, helping professionals become fearless presenters and leaders. SepiRoshan.com

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Dollar Review

Aussie Dollar slips and tumbles

THE Australian Dollar traded between 1.029 and 1.040 US Dollars and between 0.650 and 0.658 British Pounds over the period of 27 August and the 3 September 2012. The Aussie Dollar dropped to its poorest level in over a month against the USD and a two month low against its Euro counterpart as Australia’s biggest trading partner, China, released three year low economic indicators. “We continue to hold some Australian dollars, but it’s certainly not as attractively priced since there are more headwinds now,” Axel Merk, founder and president of Merk Investments LLC told Bloomberg. By close of business on Monday, the Australian Dollar was down by half a cent against the USD from close of business on Friday. This came on the release of falling retail sales figures (negative 0.8 % as opposed to positive 1% for the previous month). “Today’s data provides a worrying sign that retail spending growth

has taken a backward step,” wrote economists at St George Bank. Compounding the weakening of the AUD was the fact that Chinese manufacturing data released on Saturday showed subsequent contractions, weakening the currency further. Another factor that investors will be keeping a close eye on is the RBA’s (Reserve Bank of Australia) policy

meeting on Tuesday the 4 September, with many economists predicting the RBA to hold the rate at the 3.5%.

GBP/AUD: 0.650 EUR/AUD:0.820 USD/AUD: 1.032 Exchange rates as of 09:00 GMT+1, 3 September 2012

Composed by Matthew Cridge of 1st Contact Forex :: Note: The above exchange rates are based on “interbank” rates. If you want to transfer money to or from Australia then please register/login on our website, or call us on 0808 141 2335 for a live dealing rate. Make use of a Rate Notifier to send you alert when the Australian exchange rate reaches levels you are looking for.

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10 | Sport

4 - 10 September 2012

Matt Cowdrey becomes Australia’s most successful Paralympian

Matthew Cowdrey momentarily allowed the magnitude of his achievement to hit him. The uber-professional swimmer struggled just for a moment to form his words after being asked about becoming the nation’s most successful Paralympian. The South Australian secured his 10th gold medal by delivering a storming anchor leg to lead Australia to victory in the 4x100m freestyle relay. “I am blown away to be honest,” he said. “It has been an honour to be a part of the sport for past ten years and it is slowly starting to sink in what I have been able to do,” he said. “But I don’t want to think about that at the moment. I still have a long way to in this meet.” That he does. He still has four events to go, including his two pet races. Cowdrey has also collected seven

silver and two bronze medals during his career. Compatriot Tim Sullivan has won ten gold medals but has no silver or bronze medals to his name. “Out of all the ten golds, that has got to be up there with the sweetest,” Cowdrey said. “After going down in Athens (in the event), going down in Beijing, to .... get one at Paralympic level is fantastic for the team.” Cowdrey also matched Kingsley Bugarin’s national record of 19 medals. At the track, Kurt Fearnley took silver in an engrossing T54 5000m battle with Great Britain’s David Weir just proving too strong at the death. Weir’s triumph was a sign the home side’s campaign was kicking into gear as they claimed second spot on the medal table and pushed Australia to third. Jacqueline Freney provided her coach and dad Michael with the best type of

Father’s Day present by collecting her third gold of the Games in the SM7 200m medley. She set a new world record with her nearest rival finishing 10 seconds behind her while Kelly Cartwright earlier claimed her maiden Paralympic title in the F42/44 long jump. Already one of the faces of the Australian team, Cartwright boosted her profile by producing a world record jump of 4.38m to win in front of a full house at the 80,000-capacity Olympic Stadium. Sprinter Evan O’Hanlon provided the headline act at the Olympic Stadium by defending his 100m title in a world record time of 10.79 seconds. O’Hanlon, who suffers from mild cerebral palsy, defended his Beijing title by smashing the opposition. ‘’For me, it would not have been a win if I did not run a world record in the process,’’ he said, after blitzing the field by more than three-tenths of a second.. - AAP

Try Tag Rugby All-Stars go back to back in Malta

By Phillip Browne London’s Try Tag Rugby All-Stars successfully defended their 2011 title when they claimed the 2012 Malta International Tag Rugby Festival with a 6-1 win over Malta’s Birkirkara Falcons in the final on the weekend. A slight breeze eased the 30 degree plus Maltese summer conditions for the 10 participating teams; including eight from Malta and one from Gozo - as the Try Tag Rugby All-Stars went through the tournament undefeated for the second successive year at Hamrun’s Victor Tedesco Stadium. For the Try Tag Rugby All-Stars, London Australia representatives Sarah O’Neill and Belinda Walmsley were amongst the tournament’s best players, as the Pat Ginty led team of English, Irish and Australians, diverted all eyes to their pitch when putting in dominant displays in each of the pool fixtures. The Try Tag Rugby tour to Malta included the 2012 Malta International Tag Rugby Festival and also featured a guided pub crawl, Malta sightseeing tour & Comino boat party whilst many new friendships and lasting

memories were made. The Try Tag Rugby All-Stars team in Malta: Phillip Browne, Phelim Gallagher, Pat Ginty ©, Karen Howard, Gary Jeffrey, George Katralis, Steve Leary, Catherine McNerney, Sarah Miller, Sarah O’Neill, Gary Phibbs, Tracey Smith & Belinda Walmsley In other news, Try Tag Rugby are turning three and to celebrate are holding a third birthday party Thames River cruise this Friday, 7 September. The cruise will also double as a Tag Rugby World Cup fundraiser for the Great Britain & Ireland Mens and Mixed teams who head to Auckland in December. All players, partners, friends and supporters are welcome. Tickets are available at Trytagrugby.com If you would like to get involved in one of the fastest growing sports in London, new team and individual registrations are welcome. This is a great chance to develop a network of friends if you are new to London. To register for a Try Tag Rugby competition or event, go to www. trytagrugby.com or email info@ trytagrugby.com for more details.

Captains agree it’s between Manly, Barba and the Dogs

Continued from p12... chance of taking home three individual honours including the night’s major gong. Barba is the overwhelming favourite to win the Dally M player of the year and the 23-year-old is already guaranteed one award after tying with North Queensland winger Ashley Graham with 21 tries in the home and away season. Barba is also expected to win fullback of the year and nobody is happier for him than Ennis, who is in line for captain of the year. Bulldogs mentor Des Hasler could well join the blue and white show as coach of the year after claiming the

minor premiership in his first season with Canterbury since defecting from defending premiers Manly. There appears little opposition to South Sydney No.7 Adam Reynolds for the rookie award, the local junior playing all 24 games as he steered the Rabbitohs to the finals in his debut campaign. - AAP Who do you think will win the 2012 NRL Premiership? Tell us now on the website.

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Sport | 11

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RUBDOWN Sam Stosur to face world No.1 at US Open

THE

Footy gods smiling for AFL finals By Will Denton If you ever needed proof that there is in fact a footy god, then Round 23, the last of the regular season, had the most divine intervention seen since Jules and Vincent not getting shot in ‘Pulp Fiction’. With the final eight long settled, all that was left to decide was where the finals would be played, against who and whether Jonathon Brown would settle on a Chewbacca or Jason Akermanis costume for Mad Monday. Hawthorn were in a position where all they had to do to claim the minor premiership was beat West Coast. The Eagles were trying like buggery to finish top four, and only victory gave them any chance of doing that. The Hawks won, possibly due to Nic Naitanui down on his ‘how is that even possible’ average. However, the first signal that the gods were pulling some strings was when Hawks hard man Brent Guerra, a player that has been hospitalising others for near on a decade, cruelly tore his hamstring with five minutes to play, putting him out for finals. Unlucky or karma? We will never truly know in this realm. This opened the door for the Pies to slot into fourth, all they had to do was beat the Bombers who had more resemblance to a bunch of battery

hens than a footy team. Unbelievably, Hirdy pulled off a scam Arthur Daly would be proud of and instructed his team to not play like hermit crabs. The plan almost worked had it not been for Travis Cloke getting confused, kicking a bag and be best on ground. This left the mouth-watering equation – if Kangaroos win by plenty, and Freo win by a bit less plenty, we would be having two elimination finals both with genuine home wrecking implications. A Western Derby final, and a Scott (Cats coach) vs. Scott (Roos coach) final. Unfortunately the footy gods were having none of this, so North have to travel to play the Eagles and Freo are off to the MCG against the Cats. Adelaide host Sydney after the Crows made the most of their Sorbent draw (lovely and soft), and getting two go’s at making a Prelim. As for the rest of the games, most teams could almost smell the sleep ins, and probably the biggest indication of a higher plain, when Richmond, a team that invented new ways to lose footy games this year, took on everyone’s 15th team, Port, for one last dance. Jack Riewoldt claimed the Coleman medal for being the most selfish forward in the land, no surprises there, however the Gods had one last laugh when they decided to not let either of them win and dish out the first draw for 2012. Hallelujah.

Samantha Stosur is the irresistible force, Victoria Azarenka the immovable object and they will clash in the quarter-finals of the US Open on Tuesday. Stosur survived a daring challenge from giant-killing British teenager Laura Robson to set up the heavyweight showdown with her Belarusian nemesis and world No.1 with a tense 6-4 6-4 fourth-round triumph. Victory came on Stosur’s ninth match point after the defending champion had to fight back from a service break down in the opening set and then weather a late storm from the free-wheeling Robson in the second. Stosur is now riding an 11-match winning streak in New York and has dropped only 21 games in her first four outings this campaign - but she

has never beaten Azarenka. Or even come close in six encounters. Australia’s big hope is about to face her US Open acid test. “I have not done well against her in the past,” said Stosur, not hiding from the fact. “There’s a few things I’ve learnt over those last few matches. Hopefully I can put all those into play and have a better match - and hopefully a very good one. “I’ll look forward to that opportunity again. Quarter-finals of another slam, you’ve got to give it everything you’ve got.” Stosur says her tough battle with Robson, who attacked the titleholder at every opportunity, was a great dress rehearsal for Azarenka. “A bunch of the girls play like that nowadays. It’s one of these game

styles you have to get used to,” the Queenslander said. “If you’re going to win tournaments like this, you’re going to have to play against someone who plays that way. “Laura tried to attack, stay at the baseline, and especially at the start was really going for it. “It was a really good match and definitely one that I maybe needed going to the quarters.” If Stosur can navigate a way past Azarenka, she will play either French Open champion Maria Sharapova or Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli for a spot in the final. Third-seeded Sharapova overcame a rain delay and third-set deficit to beat fellow Russian Nadia Petrova 6-1 4-6 6-4 in their fourth-round match, while 11th-seeded Bartoli upset Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova 1-6 6-2 6-0. - AAP

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Tag All-Stars do it again in Malta P10

BULLDOGS ARE FAVOURITES BUT MANLY MAY YET UPSET n

NRL minor premiers the Canterbury Bulldogs are being tipped as the team to beat in the 2012 rugby league finals series, but reigning premiers Manly could yet disrupt their charge. The captains of teams involved in this year’s NRL finals agree the competition winner will come from this Friday’s grudge match between Canterbury and Manly. The pair, going head to head at ANZ Stadium in a qualifying final, were the overwhelming favourites in a poll of the team leaders at Monday’s captains’ call. Premiership favourites the Sea Eagles were favoured by Canterbury’s Michael Ennis and Cronulla’s Paul Gallen as the team to beat, while North Queensland’s Johnathan Thurston and Canberra’s Terry Campese like the chances of this year’s minor premiers. “I can’t go past Manly obviously with

the side that they’ve got,” Gallen said. “It’s a pretty good side and they’ve been there and done it before.” South Sydney’s Michael Crocker summed up this year’s premiership race perfectly when he admitted he couldn’t pick a favourite between the two. The Raiders only just squeezed into the finals on the back of a five-game winning streak, but they’ve been dubbed the dark horse of the competition, alongside the Rabbitohs, who emerged from a slump with two wins to finish the regular season. “Souths have got a really good style of play and I reckon they’re the smokies,” Thurston said.

“They’ve flown under the radar. “Every team goes through a period like that (where they lose a few) but they’ve bounced back.” After witnessing the Raiders pile on 36 unanswered points against last year’s grand finalists the Warriors, Crocker admits he will be keeping one eye on the Green Machine. “The way the Raiders have been playing, they’re a scary prospect,” he said. “If you look at their performance in the second half yesterday, when they were 22-6 down at halftime, to come out and score 36 points, they’ve got that ability and so many class players across

AUSTRALIA’S PARALYMPIC GOLDEN BOY

Matt Cowdrey becomes our most successful Paralympian ever | P10

the park.” The Bulldogs and the Sea Eagles will meet at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Friday before the Storm and the Rabbitohs clash in Melbourne on Saturday. The Cowboys will face the Broncos in Townsville on Saturday in an all Queensland affair and Cronulla will travel to Canberra on Sunday to face the Raiders. Meanwhile minor premiers Canterbury are set to scoop the pool at Tuesday’s Dally M awards with Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba a big ...continued on p10

Hawks Pies clash tops AFL Finals showdowns

The first week of the AFL finals has been set with a blockbuster top-four clash in Melbourne, interstate battle in Adelaide and elimination matches to take place in Melbourne and Perth. Collingwood secured fourth position on the ladder with their 32-point victory over Essendon at the MCG on Saturday night and that books the Magpies in for a battle for a preliminary final berth against minor premiers Hawthorn back at the MCG next Friday. Adelaide’s 91-point win over Gold Coast at AAMI Stadium on Saturday and Sydney’s 34-point loss to Geelong at Simonds Stadium allowed the Crows to clinch a home qualifying final against the Swans next Saturday. The battle of survival next week between the bottom four teams in the eight has West Coast hosting North Melbourne at Patersons Stadium on Sunday afternoon and reigning premier Geelong taking on Fremantle at the MCG on Saturday night. West Coast dropped out of the top four after their 25-point loss to Hawthorn and Collingwood’s win over Essendon. The Kangaroos travel to Perth to take on the Eagles after only managing to beat Greater Western Sydney by 28 points. Fremantle could have set up a clash with the Eagles in Perth if they’d lost against Melbourne on Saturday night but the Dockers ran out comfortable 61-point winners to seal seventh and a match-up with the Cats. It’s a rematch from the two team’s 2010 semi-final when the Cats won by 69 points. The winners of the HawthornCollingwood and Adelaide-Sydney qualifying finals will advance straight to hosting a preliminary final with the losers to host the victors of the West Coast-North Melbourne and Geelong-Fremantle elimination finals. - AAP Who will win the 2012 AFL flag? Tell us now at

AustralianTimes.co.uk/sport

Australian Times newspaper: 4 September 2012 edition  

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

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