G’day! Over the past few weeks you may have heard a little about the launch of Australia’s newest men’s entertainment title, SHAFT. It’s a magazine for the real people of the Australian mining and resource industries. SHAFT reflects the lifestyles of these guys (and gals): travel, cars, bikes, boats and everything in between, as well as wellresearched mining-related stories, guides on how to find work in the resource sector, and then get the best jobs once you’re there. It’s a go-to guide for all facets of the mining lifestyle.
For a snapshot of the very first issue of SHAFT, we’ve put together a 30-page digital sample. Within, you’ll get a feel for the kind of content featuring in each issue and how it suits your brand. If you get to the end of it all and want to find out more, click on the links on the back page and we’ll do the rest.
how the big guns are firing How the leaders of our mining lives made the news lately. Chances are one of these people is, one way or the other, signing your pay cheque.
Georgina “Gina” Rinehard is the heiress of Hancock Prospecting and generally accepted as Australia’s richest person. According to Forbes magazine Gina’s worth around $US18 billion, and she tends to stay out of the spotlight a bit. She’s quietly funded some charity work in Cambodia, but lately the kids have been playing up, so Gina’s been in the news for:
Clive is a colourful Queenslander, no doubt about that. He’s the owner of Mineralogy and estimated to be worth between $3 billion and $6 billion. Clive has been overshadowed in the news a bit lately, but still, he has a fair bit going on, and he’s courted attention by:
Her children wanting to sue and have her removed as head of the Family Trust; Trying to have the details of the Trust suppressed; Needing 10,000 workers for a new mine in the Pilbara; and Having an anti-government poem mounted on a 30-tonne rock outside her home. The poem copped a bit of a slagging here and there, but we reckon it’s a bad snorter. Here it is so’s you can decide for yourselfs.
Being named a National Living Treasure Of Australia; Claiming the CIA is backing conservation groups to kill off the Australian coal industry; Commissioning a Chinese company to build a luxury cruise liner called Titanic II; and Challenging Treasurer Wayne Swan for his seat at the next Federal election. Go Clive, we say! Yeah!
OUR FUTURe The globe is sadly groaning with debt, poverty and strife And billions now are pleading to enjoy a better life Their hope lies with resources buried deep within the earth And the enterprise and capital which give each project worth Is our future threatened with massive debts run up by political hacks Who dig themselves out by unleashing rampant tax The end result is sending Australian investment, growth and jobs offshore This type of direction is harmful to our core Some envious unthinking people have been conned To think prosperity is created by waving a magic wand Through such unfortunate ignorance, too much abuse is hurled Against miners, workers and related industries who strive to build the world Develop North Australia, embrace multiculturalism and welcome short-term foreign workers to our shores To benefit from the export of our minerals and ores The world’s poor need our resources: do not leave them to their fate Our nation needs special economic zones and wiser government, before it is too late. We reckon Gina’s really on to something here. If you feel like having a crack at an anti-Gummint verse or two, chuck ’em on to our Facebook site and we can all have a say in if we think they’re as good as Gina’s.
twiggy forrest Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest is the big cheese at Fortescue Metals, and in 2010 he bolted past James Packer as Australia’s richest man. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of friends in the press though, and he’s an outspoken sort of fella. Lately he’s caught the media’s attention by: Claiming Julia Gillard did a deal over the mining superprofits tax that would cause a shortfall of $9 billion, and that the shortfall would be felt in superannuation and reduced tax breaks for small business. Forrest was quoted as saying the deal was “the blackest period in Australian politics”. Accusing the Gillard government of reneging on a promise to train thousands of Indigenous people under the Australian Employment Covenant; Announcing a High Court challenge to the Mining Resource Rent Tax (the mining super tax).
Five oF the best one-week getaways Got a week up your sleeve? Tired of sucking dust and fumes and wanna get away from work to blow off some steam? We’ve got five choice-bro getaways that every bloke (and even some ladies) should tick off the list.
South-coaSt Surf Safari: The south coast of NSW plays host to some of the best surfing grounds the east coast of Australia has to offer. The Bone Yard, Aussie Pipe, Potholes, Sussex Inlet the list goes on. Best thing is they are all only a short drive from Sydney. You can fly in, grab a hire car, load your boards and be in the water within hours. There’s some epic camp grounds, brilliant countryside and plenty of nightlife in Kiama, Ulladulla and Nowra if you so desire. Everything is at your fingertips and if the waves go flat, there’s some of the nation’s best fishing to keep you occupied. coSt: Can be done for under $500 if you don’t mind camping and sausage sangas.
Gold coaSt party tour: You know what? It may seem like the obvious one, but that’s often for a very good reason. Scantly glad girls partying every night of the week? Check. More bars, clubs and gentlemen’s establishments than you can poke a D12 dozer at? Check. Some of the best beaches in Oz? Check. Scantly clad women? Check. Yep, there’s plenty to do on the Gold Coast. You can party your nuts off, surf awesome waves, splash some cash at the Casino or spend hours in the tattoo chair. It’s all within a Frisbee throw and pretty reasonably priced. coSt: Depends how much you party, but set-aside about $1000 at least.
cape york fiSh’n’ride: Wanna chase Barra, Trevally and Mangrove Jack all the while steering a dirt bike from Cairns to Cape York? Well, Cape York Motorcycle Adventures has the perfect trip. Six days of nothing but beers, barra and bikes. It’s an epic outing and one that ideally should be shared with a group of mates. coSt: $4015 per person.
Bali Bound: Ah yes, the ol’ faithful. Much like the Gold Coast, there’s damn good reason Bali’s such a popular destination. Warm water, epic waves, cheap flights, cheap booze and food, thriving party scene and more bikini-wearing backpackers than anywhere else in the globe. Yep, there’s a hell of a lot of goodness about Bali and it’s easy on the wallet, especially if you’re flying out of Perth. It’s all too easy to drop in for a week, surf and party your brains out and be back on the mine before you’ve had to chance to get Bali belly. coSt: If you’re keen and don’t mind slumming, you can do a week for a $1000.
Here’s – some links to get you solid information fast:
weather www.cnn.com Hard-core, up-to-the-minute news from one of the most highly. resourced media organisations in the world.
www.abc.net.au Aussie news from the Government-owned. broadcaster. No taking sides here! www.foxnews.com World news as it happens. www.reuters.com One of the world’s most respected names in news. www.bbc.co.uk A British view.
VeGaS, BaBy! It might sound like a long way to go for a week, but to be honest, a week in Vegas is enough to break a man. Be ready to drop some serious cash on this one, but it’ll be a hell of a good ride. The beer flows free at most casinos while you’re gambling, the buffets are the best spot to eat, the theme parks are a nice break from the gambling and drinking and when it all gets too much, hire a Harley and explore the Sin City a little. It’s a big ol’ town and the strip is only a small portion of it. Sunday’s in the pool at Hard Rock Café is enough to make every man at the knees…trust us. coSt: Anywhere from $5000 and upwards.
www.bom.gov.au Australia’s own.
aussie bargain sites www.ozbargain.com.au Not bargains from the site itself, but alerts to bargains seen around the place.
www.weather.com Find the weather anywhere in the world. www.everydaydeals.com.au – One-day deals, samples and freebies. Updated daily. weatherspark.com Similar to weather.com, but with spoofy graphs, maps and graphics.
www.wunderground.com With satellite info and weather photos.
www.accuweather.com US-focussed, but searchable and with some neat phone apps.
www.1-day.com.au Three deals changed every 24 hours.
www.catchoftheday.com.au A single product each day a great price.
www.zazz.com.au One main deal and a couple of smaller deals each day.
GET INTO IT!
Get into it! Everyone’s talking about mining. All the stories say the money’s so huge that even an apprentice could afford to connect to the NBN. The stories may be exaggerated, but there’s no doubt there’s a good living and a great lifestyle to be enjoyed. What do folks need to do to get a place in this fastgrowing industry? SHAFT had a look at the situation.
Getting a start in mining might seem difficult, but choosing the right training and recruitment agencies can be a huge start. Image: Minco Photography
The first thing to understand is that wages are high in mining because demands on workers are high. It’s not a swirling pool of stray money and anyone can stick their hand in and grab as much as they want. You won’t find groups of miners in hard hats and hi-vis gear enjoying a double-skinny-white-soy-latte at the local Gloria Jean’s, or at the local corner pub during their lunch break. There’s a couple of reasons for that. The first is that the mineral wealth of our nation tends to be in in isolated and hostile environments like the Pilbara in WA and the desert regions of western Queensland. There aren’t too many boutique coffee shops nearby in those places, and a big percentage of workers in these installations will be flown in to work
long, hard days for two weeks or so. Most won’t leave the mining camp during that time. Then they’ll be flown home to enjoy a similar amount of time off. These are the FIFO – fly in, fly out – workers about which so much is said and written. That means long stretches away from family, home, friends and the things that make life so great. Even if you lived close to a mine, it’s unlikely you’d see miners in the pub. The drug and alcohol restrictions are so incredibly tough that a casual lunchtime beer just isn’t possible for mine workers. We haven’t even started talking about skills and training, and already it’s clear why the industry has to pay more than other employers for comparable jobs.
GET INTO IT! A mine doesn’t have to be a dirty and uncomfortable workplace. Some get air-conditioned comfort. Image: Minco Photography
training and certification organisations. Someone looking to make their skills available to the mining companies – mechanics, heav y-machiner y operators, administrators, short-order cooks, whatever – can jump on the web and find a swag of groups and individuals offering the training and various “tickets” or licences that will allow an experienced worker to look for employment in mining. The same goes for those with no experience and no skills. It’s not just safety accreditation that’s being offered. Qualifications for everything from dump-truck drivers to underground drillers is available. The trick is to make sure you deal with a reputable company that trains to meet the likely needs of industry players. There are courses available from TAFE colleges, too, but very few of these seem to be suitable for newbies. For those already in mining, TAFE can be a possible avenue to lifting the current levels of skill and certification, but the courses tend to take a great deal of time compared to similar privately run accreditation.
WritiNG LEttErs »
At the moment there’s no “easy” way into mining work. For all the talk of how the resource industries are booming and driving Australia forward, there’s a lot of growth to come, and demand for skilled and certified workers is going to explode right now prospective employers are still able to find a lot of people by insisting on experience and following recommendations of current employees and associates, and the influx of experienced people from overseas will probably increase while that demand is there. So for newbies wanting to break into the industry, it’s a tough road. You can’t sit back and wait for the gravy road train to back its trailers up and dump a load at your back door, because it won’t happen. But there’s time for anyone wanting to get into mine work to find and secure the training they need, and get themselves into a position where they’ll be able to take advantage of coming opportunities. One thing the rapid industry growth has done is give birth to a big range of
Registered Training Organisations – RTOs – and recruitment firms are starting to spring up like heatrash on a driller’s armpit as finding workers is becoming more difficult, and it’s probably these companies who’ll offer the best options to the serious job-hunter. Safet y is such a huge is sue in mines – in camps and mining areas, not just underground or at work sites – that many safet y qualif ic ations are separate from skills courses, and anyone hoping to work in the mining sector will need to take safety qualifications into consideration when
they’re planning their training. When the cost of the training looks a little scar y, have a hunt around at the typical pay rates that go with the job you have in mind. The training will be a ver y wor thwhile investment, and if the training’s good, your chances of get ting that job are ver y much improved. On the other hand, a few hundred dollars saved in training could cost you a career. Get on the web and Google “Mining training Information”. You’ll get a good cross-section of the possibilities and alternatives. So what do you look for?
FRom thE toP
Paul Goldfinch of GO2 Recruitment puts people in jobs.
» W i th th e in c re d ib l e nu m b e r of agencies and organisations offering training for the mining industries at the moment, how can you boost your chances of picking a good one? You’re likely to be handing over a fair chunk of cash after all, and even though a company may advertise on the Internet, it doesn’t mean they’re reliable. Paul has a few tips: “Talk to as many organisations as you can and ask questions. How long have they been operating? Who conducts the training – what’s the instructor’s background? What companies do they provide training services to? “Look for RTOs that specialise in the type of training you need. “Ask what affiliations the RTOs have. Chamber Of Commerce And Industry? BHP or Rio Tinto approved? Government associations? Endorsements from those organisations will be pointers to a professional training outfit. “Biggest is not always best. Quality and how a course is presented is vital to ensuring you get what you pay for. Remember, this is an investment in your future.”
Pick a WiNNER »
We grabbed hold of Paul Goldfinch, Managing Director of GO2 Recruitment in Fremantle, WA , and asked what he thought were the important things to look for in training and placement companies. “The biggest issue at present is mining companies and contractors taking their pick of the experienced workers,” said Paul. “They also have strategies in place to bring ‘greenskins’ – those not currently employed in mining – into the industry, but they’re mostly aimed at suitably qualified professionals and tradespeople, so just getting a start can be challenging.” A first look at training can be a little scar y financially. As we’ve already pointed out, the cost of a training course can be daunting, so it’s important to choose carefully. “Candidates should research the mining industry and make sure they clearly define the career path they want to take,” advised Paul. “It’s a big decision with a lot of pros and cons to weigh up. Once a decision’s been made about what a candidate wants to do, they can tailor their résumé and training to suit.”
Brrrrrrrrm! Image: Minco Photography
That’s good overall advice, and a great place for hopefuls to start. Once you’ve earnt the qualifications you need for a chosen career path, then comes the tricky bit: actually getting a job. At the moment, that’s almost certainly going to mean signing up with a recruitment agency, and there are plenty to choose from. “Browse through recruitment websites to see who is offering places in the area of employment you’ve chosen,” suggested Paul, “and contact them for information.” That all seemed fair enough, and it’s a straightforward route sheet for anyone looking to make a start. We asked Paul for one more nugget
of wisdom before he turned back to his desk (weekends don’t count so much in the resource industries). We wanted one pearl of advice he thought would benefit all job-hunting hopefuls. “Gain as much knowledge of your chosen career as possible,” he wisdommed. “Knowledge is power and will help in job interviews, and be realistic and patient. Without on-site experience you rarely walk straight into a position.” So there it is. Well don’t just sit there looking at the pictures! Run through the ads and see if you can spot a training company and recruitment agency to get you started! JUNE 2012
A seat in a bogger wonâ€™t get you much of a suntan, but you could be earning $150,000 per year.
Video and the instructor’s real-life experience keep the classroom time interesting.
“That’s a big shaft you got there...”
FOR SUCCESS All Images: Minco Photography
Everyone wants to get into mining.
The money’s amazing and there’s lots of time off. But how does a newbie – a “greenskin” – break into the close-knit mining world? Sign up for a course, of…um…course. SHAFT grabbed a pen and paper and tagged along to see how things worked.
» JUNE 2012
“Let’s see...four across...found in the bottom of a bird cage. Something something IT. Grit!”
“Why are you all here?” asked course instructor Andrew Knight. “Don’t be afraid to say it’s for the money.” The attendees all took their turns at introducing themselves, and, some a little sheepishly, admitted it was the high salaries that had them interested in working underground. “Good,” beamed Andrew. “Don’t be frightened to say that in an interview, either. The people looking for mine workers know what’s going on. They’ll appreciate you being honest, and they know it’s the money that gets people underground.” That set the tone. The three-day course was “Introduction To Underground Mining”, and the aim was to get total novices knowledgeable enough about the customs and procedures of working underground, particularly hard-rock mining, to get them a job, even if they’d never so much as built a sand castle when they were kids.
Practical magic Right now breaking into the resources industries is tough. The sector is growing at breakneck speed and there simply aren’t enough people to fill the jobs on offer. That doesn’t mean mining companies can just hire anyone who walks through the door, no matter how desperate the situation. People need to be trained. Because of the incredibly rigorous safety requirements of the work, starters need to be switched on to things as simple as where to stand and how to communicate in an environment where it’s noisy, dark, and entirely alien to anyone but a hobbit. This is such a huge concern that a 18
mine looks very favourably at people with a basic idea of those things. Training them to do the manual work isn’t as difficult as following them around and making sure they aren’t wandering around without a headlamp on, or shutting down the secondary ventilation so they can work in peace. And that’s what this introductory course offers. At the end of the three days, a punter should be able to sensibly answer questions from a potential employer, and show they know the way a mine, the people and the life works, right down to paying for minor muck-ups with cartons of beer.
The Underground Lion Safari didn’t work out so well.
Instructor Andrew Knight shows off his bag.
Boss hog The instructor for the three days, Andrew, was a WA Shift Boss with 18 years’ experience, and right from the outset his experience showed. There was no messing about with niceties; it was straight into looking at safety, who does what in an underground mine, and an overview of how a mine works. The whole thing was brought to life with graphic video and pics of real mines in action. If there was any possibility of anyone not concentrating, a review of typical salaries kept everyone focused. As interesting as it all was – and Andrew’s stories from his real-life
experiences brought everything to life – there was never any attempt to avoid the fact that the salaries are high because the work is dangerous and conditions are tough. In fact, an entire page in one of the supplied textbooks says, in big letters, exactly that. The camp and accommodation might be the latest and greatest, but no matter what, work time is spent in a hole in the ground. Oh, yeah. This course is all about the real world.
Oo-er! A tunnel shot.
A sAfe bet Af ter a morning session of mostly laying groundwork to allow understanding of things to be explained later – and watching some really cool videos of utes being run over by heavy machinery as part of a safety demonstration – it was over the road to a flash pub for a bang-up lunch included in the course fee. Andrew shouted everyone coffee in the morning as well, which made for a good start.
From the re it was back to the classroom and some really good, solid shit. One by one, Andrew counted down the people in an underground mine, and what those people do. Starting with the “Nipper” – who’s basically the most junior member of the team who gets all the odd jobs and runs all the errands (and can expect a salary of something like $70,000) – through people like fitters, charge up, service crew, jumbo operator, long-hole operator and on to
the various engineers, geologists and other “squeezers”. If you want to know what those things mean, you should do this course. And that’s the magic. It’s the kind of information where you can be the new bloke on his first day and have some grizzled, old, hard-rock veteran say, “Get in there and water down. Ask the bogger where he wants you to start,” and instead of having to shout a carton because you have no idea what he’s
talking about, you know where you’re going, what you’ll be doing, and, most importantly, safe practices for getting yourself and your mates in and out alive. It’s not like a first-aid course where you probably won’t need all the technical things you’ve learnt. It’s day-to-day, bread-and-butter stuff that miners live with every minute on the job.
Hands-on instruction is an important part of the course.
Homework At the end of the first day the task was set for everyone to explain how a mine worked to their wives or girlfriends. It actually turned out to be a tricky task. There was so much information, and so much going on, it wasn’t easy to condense it all down for someone to digest easily…especially when that someone keeps gazing off into the distance and sighing, “The starting wage is $70,000…imagine the shoes I could buy…”.
GettinG tHe job Underground parking provided.
The rest of the course is much the same. It’s solid, practical, everyday information that’s aimed at getting you to and through a job inter view and the first weeks underground. Once you’ve done that, the course gives a huge head start to a newcomer wanting to do well and earn promotion, but more importantly, to stay alive and keep his mates alive. There’s a final icing on the rock cake.
The guys will take your resume and put it on their own, bright letterhead. It wa s e nj oya b l e, tre m e nd o u s l y informative, and best of all, honest. Not only that, the course moderators are able to boast that nearly 80 per cent of their finishers are getting interviews. www.iminco.net For more inFo
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. e c a f e h t n i e l p o e p g n i h c n u p e k “I li ” . t i t a d o o g y t I’m pret 22
E N Y A W PARR Nine Muay Thai world championships make the difference between bragging and stating simple fact. For a bloke with a ready smile, a quick laugh and an easy-going way about him, it’s hard to imagine Wayne “John Wayne” Parr pounding the van Damme out of anyone, but those world titles prove it can happen. SHAFT decided not to try and be too smart (we were busting to ask how often Wayne had been punched in the ring, but decided it wasn’t a good idea). Besides, what he had to say was plenty interesting.
IMAGES BY: ShAron rIchArdS
E N Y A W PARR SHAFT: How did you get into Muay Thai? WP: My earliest memories are watching Monkey and The Karate Kid. I’ve always had a passion for any form of martial arts. If I went to the video shop I’d hire every single martial arts video one by one. I didn’t care if it was Thai boxing, Tae Kwon Do, ju-jitsu, sumo wrestling...I was passionate about anything to do with any form of fighting. I started Tae Kwon Do in Brisbane when I was 11 and I had a few fights. After about two years the Tae Kwon Do school had to move out of the hall because they couldn’t afford the rent, and it just so happened kickboxing moved in. That’s when I decided to change my training style, and from that moment on I had a passion for kickboxing. At that time it was just kicks and punches. I moved to Sydney and had my first kickboxing fight when I was 14. I kept training and kept training, and we moved back to Queensland when I was 16. In Queensland they fight the pure form with knees and elbows. When I first moved up here I was saying, “You guys are crazy! You fight with knees, you fight with elbows...you’re barbarians!” But once I fought it once or twice, it wasn’t quite as scary as the demons in my head had me thinking it was. Then, after watching the movie Kickboxer with van Damme, I had this dream of going to Thailand and fighting the best of the Thais and one day becoming champion. All these years and nine world titles later I’ve won two of those world championships against Thais in Bangkok. I’ve lived my dream twice. I’ve been very fortunate. SHAFT: You moved overseas to pursue your career. What was it like to live and fight in an alien culture? WP: At the age of 19 I had the opportunity to live in Thailand and fight with the most famous fighter in the world, Sangtiennoi. When I arrived I think there were three people in the whole area who could speak English, and it was broken English at that. You can imagine what it was like to move somewhere and not understand any single person – not the TV, the newspaper or the radio. Everything was Thai. 24
After a month or so I started to get basic words like “hungry”, “shower”, “water”, and I slept on a wooden floor. I put a doona down as a bed and I had a sheet. Training was three hours in the morning and three-and-a-half hours in the afternoon. During the middle of the day we’d have breakfast and a shower and then we were ordered to sleep. If you wanted to go anywhere you had to ask permission. You’d have to try and conserve all your energy so you could put in a big performance in the afternoon. That was seven days a week. There were no days off. You’d do this all the way up to a fight, you’d fight, and then you were allowed seven days off. I’d
usually head out to Pattaya and hang out with all the Westerners and speak English. Maybe I’d eat a hamburger or a pizza. After that, it was back to Bangkok where it was just Thai food with rice or noodles, and back to the wooden floor. SHAFT: Did you get picked on for being a Westerner? WP: No. Because I was a Westerner I was a novelty, and I was lucky enough to win my first nine fights as well, and the Thais really respected me. The camp I was at was very respected because Sangtiennoi was a superstar, and because I was winning the Thais took me under their wings. I was
different, and I was beating them at their own game. Before I made it to the big time I was fighting in the smaller stadiums and I’d be the only foreigner there. People would come up and stand a metre away from me and just blatantly stare me down. They didn’t think they were being rude. They thought it was normal. They’d poke me and feel my arms to see how fit I was, and to see if I was worth betting on. We were just like horses in a mounting yard before they go and race. It was exactly the same. Once I started winning, everyone knew I was there to be serious. I wasn’t just a tourist. I started fighting on TV, and then after that I’d run down the road and people would toot their horns and flash their lights and give me big waves. I won a few more fights and was on TV regularly, and I started making the front covers of magazines. It was crazy. To be a white boy on the cover of the Thai magazines was just ridiculous. It got to the stage where it didn’t matter if I won or lost. As long as I fought as hard as I possibly could, and fought even if I was cut, hurt and bleeding, as long as I never gave up, that would give me respect with the Thais. If I gave up they wouldn’t talk to me. SHAFT: Did you fight with injuries? WP: At the start it was shin splints. When we skip here to train, we skip for five minutes. Over there I had to skip in bare feet on concrete for half-an-hour at a time. It didn’t take long for my shins to blow out. My second or third fight I didn’t have proper strapping on my hands. I just put a bandage on,
and I ended up punching this guy in the head to try and knock him out. He put his head down at the last second and I shattered my knuckle. Instead of getting it looked at by a doctor, I just kept training and not using it, saving it. Then I kept rebusting it in fights. Finally I got taken to hospital and got some injections. That made it come good at last. Besides that were the cuts from elbows. I got my first eight stitches, and then the next fight another 10 or 20. I’ve had 113 fights now, and had 260 stitches from fighting with elbows. SHAFT: Tell us about Muay Thai boxing. What is it, exactly? WP: Thai boxing is an ancient form of martial arts
from Thailand. It’s hand-to-hand combat. You can kick anywhere from the ankle to the head, and you’re allowed to use the knees to the thighs and body. You can pull an opponent’s head down and knee him in the face, and you have the added advantage of being able to use the elbows where there’s no form of protection, so it’s elbow bone on either skull or into the chest. You can elbow down into the thigh as well. It’s a very violent but very exciting sport. With the popularity of UFC, all the stand-up strikers have a Muay Thai background with their stand-up fighting. They have ju-jitsu for the groundwork, but Muay Thai being so realistic, all the combatants train in Muay Thai too. JUNE 2012
SHAFT: What was the toughest fight you’ve ever had? WP: I fought the final of a reality TV series called The Contender: Asia. There were 16 guys in a house, and every week two guys would fight and one would go home. I made it all the way to the final. There was a six-month gap between the last show and the final that gave them time to do all the editing and everything, and the idea was everyone would watch the show, and then there’d be a live final in a stadium with 10,000 people. In that six-month period while we were preparing in our home countries, my wife became pregnant, so that was amazing and a bit of stress. She was due two weeks after the fight. Also in that time my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I had to try and see him as much as I could between my training sessions. I had to watch my dad wither away at the same time I was concentrating on fighting the toughest guy in the world. My dad came and said goodbye to me when I left for the fight. In the first round I got knocked down, and all I remember was I had to win for my dad. In the second round I got knocked down again, and I got back up. I gave this guy hell for rounds three, four and five. Because of the knockdowns and the scoring system, he beat me on points. I didn’t care that I lost the reality show, and I didn’t care that I didn’t get the money. I was just so sad that I didn’t make my dad proud. Because I came second I made a bit of money, so I didn’t have to fight straight away and that gave me some time to stay in hospital with him. For the last three weeks I was his carer. When the nurses were busy I gave him everything I could. He passed away while I was holding his hand. That’s the most dramatic thing I’ve ever done. He was proud. He watched the fight. It ended up airing while he was still alive, and even though I lost, he said, “You could fight that guy 100 times and you’d be lucky to beat him once”. I ended up rematching that guy two years later and I beat him. I wish my dad had been alive to see that, to finally see me become the best.
These days UFC has really taken over. They fight in the cage and they use the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) small, fingerless glove. After 113 fights you start getting a little bit stale, and I really wanted to test myself, so I thought I’d try ju-jitsu to learn my ground game so I could hopefully one day fight in the cage and do the UFC. At my first ju-jitsu training I put my hand down the wrong way and my finger got stuck on the floor. It ripped backwards and ended up snapping at the base near the knuckle.
be more cuts and more knockouts. People who are coming to the fight nights are going to be more entertained by seeing a lot more blood and a lot more people concussed. It’s going to lift everyone’s game to a higher standard of fighting, and as a spectator sport, and there’ll be a lot more carnage. SHAFT: How did the nickname “John Wayne Parr” come about? WP: My name’s Wayne Parr, but when I went to Thailand I found out very fast the word “wayne” means “bastard”. And over there every fighter has a fighting name. For instance, the guy that I lived with, Sangtiennoi, his fight name meant “The Small Flame Of A Candle”, and there were guys with names like “A Hundred-Thousand Techniques” or “The Punch Breaks The Hell”. Everyone’s got a fight name. The big boss said, “Why don’t we just call you ‘John Wayne’? With a strong name comes good karma. John Wayne’s the most famous cowboy to ever grace the Earth, so if we call you John Wayne I can guarantee you good things will happen in your life.” And here I am. S H A F T: You have your finger s crossed for a new possibility. Can you tell us about that? WP: It’s not 100 per cent yet, but a few days ago I got a phone call from the producer that did The Contender: Asia program, asking if I’d be interested in working for his company. Being a Thai boxer, I don’t really “work”. I train and fight and look after the gym. I’m pretty happy doing that. But he’s offered me a spot in America. They’re going to start a live telecast every Friday and Saturday night of live Muay Thai fights, and they want to use my personality value in the sport to help get the series off the ground.
winning, “Once I star ted was there I w e n k e n o y r e ev to be serious.”
SHAFT: Where are you at in your career now? You’re still an active fighter? WP: Yep. I’m injured right now, but I’m still fighting, and I have a bit to think about just at the moment. I’ve gone as far as I can in the Thai boxing world. I was lucky enough to be on a documentary on Nat Geo that was viewed by 500 million people worldwide. I fought in the final of the reality TV show that was viewed by 500 million people. I fought in Japan 16 times, in front of crowds of 60,000 to 70,000 people, and I won my ninth world title in December 2011. 26
So while I’ve had some time off to repair I’ve been doing a lot thinking about how I could fulfil this dream to one day fight in the cage. And then I thought, “Why don’t I just do the promotion myself?” My wife and I have done kickboxing promotions for 10 years with the Boonchu Amateur Tournament for the younger guys. I thought it was time to step up and become a promoter with the big boys and put my name on the world scene. I’ve created a new sport that’s hopefully going to be a new sensation. It’s Muay Thai, the rules don’t change, but we’re going to replace the ring with a cage, and take away the traditional boxing gloves and use the lighter MMA fingerless gloves. There’ll
SHAFT: What will that mean to your fighting? Will you have to stop? WP: It’s going to be hard. The series will consist of living in a lot of hotels and travelling a lot. There’ll be no real base where I can train twice a day like I do here, and the hours are going to be nuts. There are seven different locations we’ll travel to every weekend. I’ve done everything in the sport twice. I’ve lived my dream multiple times over. I’ve fought the toughest opponents you could ever think of, and I’ve done really well. There’s nothing left for me to prove. I’ll be 36 by the time this new adventure takes off. It’s better to leave while I’m on top instead of having 10 fights too many and being remembered for getting knocked out by guys I should’ve been cleaning up back when I was at my peak. I think the timing’s perfect, and I really hope it takes off. If you can make it in America, you’ve pretty much done it worldwide. I’d be crazy to pass it up.
UAVs ARen’t UFOs…OR mAyBe they ARe. In the nORtheRn RIVeRs RegIOn OF nsW A sWItched-On cOUple hAVe A BUsIness thAt’s FlyIn’ hIgh. Best OF All, It cOmBInes hIgh-tech WIth WhAt lOOks tO Be A stAck OF FUn – In A seRIOUs WAy, OF cOURse. Remote-control stuff rocks, and that’s all there is to that. Boats, planes, cars, those inflatable sharks you can fly around the donger…they all offer huge amounts of harmless fun and heaps of larfs. But there can be a serious side to RC. Simon Jardine and Felicity Durham are at the forefront of a revolution in what’s called “multi-rotor civilian aerial photography”. For those of us who were away the day they did English, that means remotecontrolled helicopter-things carrying cameras around, and these guys are pioneers in the development and field testing of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – known broadly as mikrokopters or aerial robots (which is heaps sexier and more exciting sounding than UAVs, we reckon).
Fly in Fly out the idea, according to Jardine, is to make it affordable and practical for photographers “to park a camera in any given 3d space, on the most secure, stable aerial platform possible”. In terms we thickies can understand, that means remote-control helicoptering a camera somewhere, and having it stable enough so’s we don’t get those blurry, offcentre pics like the ones from midnight at the last Christmas party. It’s not easy to hover or fly anything anywhere and keep it steady enough for clear, sharp photos, but the mikrokopters make that possible, and without pilots risking their necks. The firm, Aerobot, is of fering p h oto g r a p h e r s p i l ot tr a i n i n g to, i n Jardine’s words, “be able to competently and confidently fly a camera over, under, through and around any given target”. That sounded frigging awesome to us. We can think of heaps of things we’d love to fly a camera over, under and around (Danni Minogue, for one). “Mikrokopters,” vocabularied Simon, “are fast resolving cost and practical difficulties and limitations faced by a photographic industry restricted to this point by the use of all manner of conventional aerial platforms, including fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, balloons, blimps, dirigibles, rockets, kites, 36
poles, parachutes and vehicle-mounted concertina booms.” It’s like he’s downloaded dictionary.com straight to his brain (which we wouldn’t be surprised at, ’cos he’s got a string of brainy qualifications), but it’s clear to see what he means. Helicopters and planes are frigging expensive and difficult to get into tight places. Mikrokopters can do it at a fraction of the cost and without risking any lives. Aerial photography’s a big plus in lots of industries these days. Things like mapmaking, geology and surveying all reckon it’s the bee’s knees. “A nd, increasingly,” gyros Simon, “mikrokopters are the key to providing cost-effective, essential, high-definition and high-resolution aerial imagery with a closer and far more precise perspective than conventional platforms.” He’s in the final stages of design and construction of his own airframes and will offer “the best and most-reliable, multi-rotor UAV in the world”. Even without looking up what those words mean we’re as impressed as hell!
Now that’s what we were thinking!
Simon and Felicity.
One of Simon’s mikrokopter creations. That shark doesn’t stand a chance!
SERIOUS In Australia, Aerobot has been chinwagging wit h t he Civil Aviat ion Authority and will soon offer accredited RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) courses. We can’t wait for that to happen! Imagine being qualified to fang your eight-rotored mikrokopter about the place! Phwoar. Simon was a mad-keen RCer as a young tacker, and modified and improved all kinds of shop-bought gear. Then he built his own high-spec equipment, and now he’s an engineer with a stack of
qualifications in business management and helps out other companies with multi-rotor systems, multi-rotor airframes, motors, propellers and materials. He’s sunk a heap of cash into his own designs and built awesome UAVs, and that’s what we’re seeing here, right in good ol’ Aussie. S a y s J a r d i n e: “ O u r d e s i g n a n d manufacturing objective for Aerobot’s next generation of multi-rotor UAVs is to provide all-purpose, reliable, costeffective systems suitable for hobbyists and recreational fliers, while also being
capable of safely and successfully carrying out complicated and challenging civil and commercial radio-controlled airborne operations for professional and amateur photographers/filmmakers and other industry specialists.” We hope these guys rage on, because out of that last bit we understood “hobbyists and recreational fliers”, and that’d be us, chasing that slow-poke inflatable shark around the office and rotoring its arse!
BARE ESSENTIALS Safety is a big issue for those breaking rock. It’s an issue of absolutely vital importance. So we thought we’d grab an insanely gorgeous girl, get her wearing the tiniest shorts we could find, and ask her to review some top-flight safety gear from the guys at ProChoice. If it feels as though your SHAFT’s swelling, it’s only your imagination. It’s still 98 pages, just like when you started. Images: Tyronne Fitzgerald
PROFit RazoRback Gloves Peaches looks like she’s going to pounce! At least her hands would be well-protected as we furiously didn’t try and fight her off. The run-down from ProChoice on the Razorbacks is hilarious: “We don’t want to boar you with too much information sow we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty! “The new PROFit Razorback gloves by ProChoice has been developed with the oiland gas industry in mind (although they’re so comfortable, hard-wearing and versatile, we believe workers in all industries will want to wear them). The bright-yellow gloves are made from tough, breathable, washable, Repelite material, which is oil- and water-resistant and with a silicon palm for enhanced grip. “The PROfit Razorback incorporates a hand impact-protection system, which comprises of soft thermoplastic rubber on the back of fingers, knuckle and hand. The double-layer water/oil resistant palm includes a layer of Nitrile for absolute water/oil repellence with Silicone grip. The glove is pre-curved for added flexibility and reduced hand fatigue and the Neoprene cuff provides additional wrist and forearm protection.”
SHAFT: Yo Peaches! You’re 28, live on Queensland’s Gold Coast, and you’re so gorgeous you could make a gay politician turn straight and honest. What do you know about miners? PeAcHeS: They’re wealthy people who work hard in remote places. And they’re lots of fun. SHAFT: That’s exactly true. What about mines? PeAcHeS: I know we have coal mines, and there’s underground mines. SHAFT: You’re awesome! How did you find the beaut protective clobber we asked you to wear? PeAcHeS: It was great! I felt really safe! SHAFT: Really? Even with the editor making those strange noises when you asked him to clip the gloves to your shorts? PeAcHeS: Nothing was getting through those gloves! SHAFT: What about the glasses? They were hard to see through, right? PeAcHeS: It was a fantastic range of glasses. Some of them had a really modern look. I could see through them really well. SHAFT: Oh. Those gestures weren’t aimed at you… PeAcHeS: I couldn’t really see any gestures. The lights were in my eyes and I was concentrating. SHAFT: Phew. The earmuffs? PeAcHeS: They were great. I couldn’t hear a thing. The sound was totally deadened. SHAFT: No low-frequency grunting? No grinding of teeth or girlish squeals of release? PeAcHeS: Nope. I didn’t hear any of that. Just the photographer calling directions. SHAFT: OK! Have you ever worked in a mine? PeAcHeS: I’m a full-time dancer and model, and I dance in Mackay and Rockhampton, too. I meet a lot of miners out there. I was a topless barmaid in Kalgoorlie years ago and all the miners used to come in. It was a lot of fun. The locals always expected you to remember what drinks they were having. If you didn’t remember they’d get a bit upset. SHAFT: You were standing there topless, and all they could think about was you not remembering their drink? The Superpit must be the driest frigging mine in the world!
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