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18 - 24 September 2012 – Issue: 430

COME ON AUSSIES!

TWINKLE TOES

The Royal Ballet’s little Aussie dancer

BATH TIME

The healing waters of the most English city

Aus stumble ahead of T20 World Cup

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TRAVEL P8

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ANTI-ISLAM VIDEO SPARKS VIOLENT PROTESTS IN OZ n

Six police officers and 17 others were injured on the weekend as anti-West protests got horribly out of hand in Sydney, where among others, children were seen carrying signs and placards reading “Behead all those who insult the Prophet”.

Australian authorities are wary of fresh violence after Saturday’s brutal anti-West demonstration in Sydney, as police urgently hunt the masterminds behind the riot. Muslim leaders convened emergency meetings in Sydney and Melbourne on Monday night to quell any repeat of the clashes, which were part of global protests over the US anti-Islam YouTube film, Innocence of Muslims. The Lebanese Muslim Association and the Islamic Council of NSW were both due to meet in Lakemba in Sydney’s west to urge calm. The Islamic Council of Victoria was also arranging a meeting of imams in Melbourne. Community groups and politicians of all stripes condemned Saturday’s violence, while lawyer Mariam Veiszadeh launched one of several online anti-violence campaigns. “Our fear is that extremist elements in Australia and other countries are using this YouTube video to incite hatred and incite violence in pursuit of long-held goals,” Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop told federal parliament. Foreign Minister Bob Carr said the violence was the work of a “repugnant, lunatic fringe” while Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said “we don’t need the preachers of hate in this country”. Mr Abbott said newcomers to Australia were not expected to surrender their heritage but were expected to surrender their hatreds. “I think that’s the message that has got to go from every Australian to those people on the streets of Sydney,” he told

reporters. “I don’t believe we saw an acceptable face of Islam yesterday.” Authorities are bracing for more clashes, although NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says he hopes the voice of reason will prevail. “If anyone is stupid enough to try this sort of thing again, I can tell you now, we’re more than ready,” Mr Scipione told Macquarie Radio on Monday. Melbourne police beefed up their presence at several locations across the city on Monday, including at the US consulate. The US consulate in Sydney was a

target during Saturday’s violence, and US ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich thanked police for defending the building. “I’m not in fear of my safety because I have great confidence in lawenforcement personnel that we have here,” Bleich told reporters. “I’ve got family members who want me to be expelled from Australia, but so far they haven’t been very successful. “I intend to stay and, as I’ve told people many times, I love serving this place and they’re going to have to pry me out.” The immediate priority for NSW detectives on Monday was to trace the

as-yet-unidentified figures who used text messages and social networking sites to organise the protests, which quickly escalated into a riot. Messages urged recipients to “defend the honour of the Prophet” and led dozens of people, mostly Muslim men, to gather in central Sydney and voice anger at the Innocence of Muslims movie. They clashed with police who aimed capsicum spray at protesters, some of whom held signs reading “Behead all those who insult the Prophet”. NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell on ...continued on p3

By Lee Crossley FilmFest Australia kicked off on the weekend with packed theatres in Clapham enjoying a smorgasbord of Australian independent film. Given the size of London’s Antipodean community and the growing popularity of Australian film, this event should be a staple of London’s film-loving diet. However, this year’s event nearly didn’t happen. The event ran for 17 years as the ‘London Australian Film Festival’ at the Barbican but it couldn’t be held there this year due to redevelopment of its cinemas, leaving an air of uncertainty around its future. That’s when four Brits, all passionate about Aussie film and the event’s survival, took the reins and created FilmFest Australia, the first independent Aussie film fest in London. Moira McVean, Helen Simmons, Susie Evans and Emma Watkins – all British and all donating their time voluntarily – worked tirelessly to ensure this year’s FilmFest Australia happened. “We decided to launch the festival independently. It’s been really challenging but we’re so glad it’s ...continued on p3

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FilmFest Australia packs an opening punch in London

6/08/12 5:08 PM


2 | News

18 - 24 September 2012

Light at the end of the political tunnel? n

Italians swinging punches and using headlocks in front of aghast schoolchildren. Greeks throwing glasses of water in each other’s faces. Australians pointing fingers, shouting taunts and calling each other names. No, this isn’t a schoolyard. It’s just schoolyard politics. On a global scale. And it no longer has my vote. 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, Amy Fallon, Rose Callaghan, Lesley Slade, Simon Kleinig, Kris Griffiths, Chris Ark,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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By Alex Ivett In recent years there is no question that the global tone of political debate has taken a turn for the worse, and no more so than in Australia. The expectation that both sides of politics will use the public platform to engage in reasoned debate relevant to their constituents needs is consistently unfulfilled. Instead, politicians seem to turn up to class only for the opportunity to denigrate, to accuse each other without basis, to throw away meaningless sound-bites and to see who can come up with the most vitriolic, nasty and inane insults, then see who can shout them the loudest. Indeed, a recent poll from SMH online notes that 77% of respondents considered the tone of Australian political debate to be ‘deplorable’. 19% agreed it was ‘poor’. That leaves only 4% believing it was OK or ‘great’. However, amongst the muck, and the mudslinging – a rare moment of insight. A light at the end of the dark tunnel of abuse and baseless attacks on policy platforms. A call from Malcolm Turnbull to address the ‘deficit of trust’ the debasement of our political debate has caused, from a politician who has himself been subject to accusations of being “a tool of smear and innuendo” and harangued off his own political perch. A possible cause for optimism that should his comments be conceded, I may one day logon online to find a respectful, insightful and informative discussion between politicians on the issues of the day, instead of a system that rewards “spin, exaggeration,

Your Say On: Despite it all, Australia stands tall at London 2012

For years the Brits have put up with the jeers of Aussies and your press about how you beat us at this and that, to be honest it is not in the average Brit’s nature to be so venomous, it is sport after all. Yet I can understand why you feel so deflated since it has been in sport that you have punched far above your weight as a country. Britain on the other hand has been happy to take it on the chin and let you win like a young child. But sorry guys sometimes you just need to know who’s the daddy!! (love ya really) Simon

On: Fifty Shades of Dull

Oh how I agree! Too long, frequently tedious and with an irritating heroine. Yes we do need erotica to help us to escape

Visit: AustralianTimes.co.uk/move-to-australia In association with

? What’s your view

misstatements”. Mr Turnbull has used the opportunity of the recent George Winterton Lecture delivered at the University of Western Australia to tackle what he identifies as the “coarsening in the dialogue between politicians and those who elect them” and the resulting dismay and distrust we as Australians now hold for our Parliamentarians. Singling out ‘Question Time’ for particular comment, Mr Turnbull noted the recent tendency for the debate to become doggedly bogged down in two issues people smuggling and the carbon tax. Considering this to be a consequence of having the Prime Minister the singular focus of the questions, he notes it is to the

detriment of providing the public with an informed debate in a range of issues. As a solution he has advocated a shift to a British style system, in which all Ministers, and therefore their respective departments, are held to account in the House of Commons Question Time on a rotating basis. Though there is some debate amongst commentators whether this would effectively translate to the Australian context, Mr Turnbull’s call for a system that is “civil and honest” that respects, not insults, the intelligence of the Australian people is one that at least demands careful consideration.

to some perfumed world of sex and satisfaction, but overwhelmingly it’s not this book. Try Educating Anna by Elizabeth Forster, arousing, stimulating and with a female lead who is not just a rabbit in the headlights for some man’s somewhat clinical kinky needs. Yes it is my book, but I genuinely think that if you want to sink into a world of punishment, penetrations and smokey decadence, this is the one for you. Liz Forster

to OZ 4 years ago…big mistake. Don’t justify it to yourself you are going home for the kids! Never felt so poor before (well since Uni). Few activities for kids on weekends …. Just decided to go back… Lucky we still have a flat to return to…. Think long and hard about it….oz is full of whingers with skin cancer… Andrew

On: Australians mark 11th anniversary of America’s 9/11 terror attacks

I think those who submit to Islam and suicide do not deserve the gift of life. Henry

On: Don’t head home to Australia too early!

We lived in London for 8 years, had 2 flats (totalled GBP 1.7m) new cars every year and flew Club Class for NYC post Xmas shopping. Returned

Do you agree? Have your say online at AustralianTimes.co.uk/voices

On: Freo hand Geelong an upset for the ages

Awesome Rubdown. Only a couple more to go now! Karen Odonoghue

On: Fred Schepisi and his eye for a storm

Great honour for Fred Schepisi, London will love this work. EOTS-USA

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Authorities fear new anti-West violence Continued from p1...

Monday ordered Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward to investigate the background of a young child who was pictured holding one of the posters. “We cannot incite our children to violence for any reason, and we cannot use our children to promote messages that incite people to violence,” Ms Goward said. Mr Scipione called it an ‘outrage’. “To see a young child with a placard thrust in his hand calling for the beheading of a person is simply something I cannot comprehend,” NSW Police Commissioner said. “It’s just not what we teach our children. “This is a no-nonsense engagement. If you want to act like you are extremist criminals, we will treat you like you’re extremist criminals.” Seventeen people were injured and six were arrested and charged on Saturday, including champion boxer Ahmed Elomar.

Muslim leaders say they remain mystified about the identity of the protest organisers. Sydney Lebanese community spokesman Keysar Trad said he received a text message on Friday urging recipients to “defend the honour of the Prophet” in Sydney’s CBD. But he did not know who sent the message and he condemned the resulting violence. “This was the dumbest thing that young people could do - all they’ve done is publicised a film that doesn’t deserve to be publicised,” Mr Trad told AAP. The president of the Lebanese Muslim Association, Samier Dandan, told the ABC he also did not know the source of the messages, despite many inquiries. AAP

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The Brits behind FilmFest Australia Continued from p1... finally happened,” said Moira McVean, director of programming. “We’ve had amazing support from all our partners , including Tourism Australia, the Australian High Commission, The Australia Shop, Australian Times as well as Clapham and Hackney Picture Houses.” Why would four British women care so much about an Aussie film festival in London? “It was always our favourite event of the year at the Barbican,” McVean said. “It was the most popular, we loved the audiences and we loved the films. It was one of the first projects I worked on when I joined the Barbican 12 years ago. I just developed a real passion for the unique voice of Australian cinema. “We looked forward to it every year and we were really upset it wasn’t going to be there so we made a stand and now it’s happened.”

Hackney Picturehouse Friday, September 21 6.45pm Not Suitable for Children 9.15pm Toomelah Saturday, September 22 6pm Any questions for Ben 8.45pm Swerve Sunday, September 23 6pm The Eye of the Storm 8.45pm The Hunter

McVean said Australian cinema punched above its weight in global terms, producing stories that were “unpretentious”. “It’s raw, it’s honest, it’s genuine and it’s different,” she said. “It reflects the nation, it reflects people’s beliefs. There’s no need to pretend.” That was certainly the verdict after the European premiere of Not Suitable for Children at Clapham on Friday night, starring Ryan Kwanten (Vinnie Patterson from Home and Away and Jason Stackhouse from True Blood). Other films to feature at Clapham last weekend, and Hackney this weekend, include The Eye of the Storm with Geoffrey Rush, Any Questions for Ben (written by the Working Dog boys Rob Sitch, Tom Gleisner and Santo Cilauro) and indigenous film Toomelah, which McVean is particularly excited about. “Australia is the only place that can do films like this, which is why it’s so important they are given an audience,” she said. McVean said they had hoped for a mix of British and Australians to attend the festival, which is why Clapham and Hackney were chosen as locations. “Clapham has a big expat audience and Hackney has a more diverse audience,” she said. The festival continues this weekend at Hackney Picturehouse. Visit filmfestaustralia. org.uk for more details.

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4 | Voices

18 - 24 September 2012

Ruby UK is putting Aussie women on top an astute aussie in london

> SEPI ROSHAN

By Sepi Roshan The old saying goes that ‘there is strength in numbers’. When those numbers include professional, Australian women, the potency potential is exponential. On 4 September, Ruby UK - a global women’s networking group hosted a reception at Australia House in London. The event was in support of the charity Dress For Success, which assists disadvantaged women find employment. The keynote speaker for the night was the Editor of  Glamour UK magazine, Australia’s Jo Elvin, and she eloquently spoke about her incredible journey to one of the top jobs in UK journalism and how the support of her mentors helped her gain fashion sense and a roadmap to the top. With the recent focus on getting more women on boards of directors, Ruby UK’s launch is timely. Ruby UK is not your typical networking event. For one thing, there is no selling – only the hum of conversation and the occasional hearty, Aussie laugh over pies and wine. It offers a platform to all professional women to exchange ideas, share knowledge and become inspired. The other thing is that we all speak the same language of support and encouragement for our compatriots. One of the benefits of living away from home is the instant connection we make with our fellow Aussies. In the resplendent surrounds of Australia House, we were proud, professional women, sharing stories and finding relief that everyone else finds it hard to explain “daggy” to the English. Ruby UK is the sister of the successful Ruby Connection in Australia, which

was launched in June by Larke Riemer, Director of Westpac Women’s Markets Australia, who is recognised globally for her contribution to empowering women. Currently, Ruby Connections has 23,000 members. The allure of the British affiliate - Ruby UK - is in its roots and in the calibre of women involved in the initiative. Its all female board is made up of representatives from Westpac, Robert Walters, Julia Ross, Hays, the Government of South Australia, HiFx, BDO, Aussiepreneurs and Australian Business. An all female board is a large cry from a typical business organisation. Within FTSE 100 companies, only 17.2 per cent of women hold directorships. The FTSE 100 is aiming to have 25 per cent of its own board made up of women, by 2015. The EU is currently proposing rules that will force larger listed companies to have women represent 40 per cent of their non-executive directors, with harsh penalties for breach. The debate about mandatory quotas has been

raging for years. Although evidence suggests that an even split between men and women on boards can lead to better results overall, progress remains slow. The reasons are multifaceted, including not having a wide enough talent pool from which to pick from. This is where the likes of Ruby UK change the momentum of the debate. Through the simple concept of getting women together to talk about life in London and their professional endeavours, Ruby UK is part of a global movement that is empowering and inspiring professional women to take charge. With access to role models and mentors from whom to learn from and be inspired by, should any of its members wish to move to the next level or sit on a board, there is an abundance of support available. And if we are to help to bring about change, we need to be the change. Women can connect with the network on LinkedIn,TwitterorFacebook: Facebook. com/rubyuknetwork

The capital uncovered – Open House London and some hidden gems n

Our resident adventurer takes advantage of London’s ‘Open House’ weekend to find out what really goes on behind this city’s closed doors, and manages to cross both #16 King’s Place and #10 Wigmore Hall off her Top 100 list along the way. bron in

the don BRONWYN SPENCER

One of my favourite things about this city is that for many of London’s most beautiful and interesting buildings around town, it is free to just wander in off the street, browse around and generally soak up the atmosphere. And for those few that aren’t so easily accessible, the yearly event ‘Open House London’ (#100 on the London Top 100 list) provides a unique opportunity for us London nerds to get in and explore away. For one weekend a year (the 2012 version is happening this weekend, 22-23 September) buildings that aren’t ordinarily open to the public throw open their doors and put on tours to showcase their amazing venues. From towering corporate offices, to new houses featuring incredible design, Open House London is a great way to get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the city’s iconic buildings. Many of these ‘sell out’ quickly, so get in early and enter the ballot to make sure you don’t miss out on a ticket. Having missed out myself on something high up there on my list - the Gherkin, I decided I could still make

the most of a free Saturday to tick a few others off my Top 100 list. First up was a visit to the Lloyds Building near Bank. This building is home to Lloyds Insurance, one of the most long-standing London firms – they even facilitated the Titanic’s insurance! The main feature of the building is the glass elevators rocketing up the outside of the building. Providing amazing views as you travel between floors – it’s a thrilling, if a little creepy, ride! After Lloyds it was on to some more Top 100’s. We headed over to King’s Cross to tick off #16 – King’s Place. With so much construction going on at King’s Cross station it is hard to imagine there is still something left to visit. However, after stumbling across the marketing suite for the project and learning all about the future plans for the area, we continued on to King’s Place itself – a cultural hub for music, art, food and events which is a world away from the cranes and chaos. Located on the canals, it’s a great place to spend time eating at the restaurant, wandering through the gallery or hanging out near the canal in the deck chairs. Unfortunately we couldn’t relax for too long because we had to head over to #10 – Wigmore Hall. Wigmore Hall is located just behind Bond Street and is an intimate concert

hall venue. Lucky enough to arrive just before a performance started, not only did we get to view the gorgeous old building from the inside but also see in action what it was built for. After listening to the musicians play, we continued on to the green room and were rewarded with a backstage look at the stage. While it isn’t as grand as the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall is still a stunning place to hear some music. Marking its 20th anniversary this year, Open House London is a fantastic way to see the city, so make sure to indulge your inner voyeur and head out there to get a private peak at some unique buildings.

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Entertainment | 5

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Magic is cool, just ask Simon Coronel By Alex Ivett Whether it’s Barney from How I Met Your Mother shooting fireballs to get a girls number, or ‘Dynamo’ pulling a Jesus and walking across the Thames, magic is back! And in a big way. In fact it’s almost impossible these days to take a left turn in Soho without someone turning your white handkerchief into a dove. It seems curls may get the girls, but magic gets the matured maiden. For Simon Coronel however, an Australian IT guru/Management Consultant recently turned full-time magician, the dark arts should never be used purely to impress the ladies. At least not deliberately. And while he recognises “as Napoleon Dynamite so eloquently put it, girls like guys with skills” - he finds it just creepy when magic is used in “an overt Barney Stinson type way”. Instead, Simon hopes that he is able to use his skills to amaze and enthral people. All people. “I would love to get to a point where I’m doing shows that are so captivating and powerful that people are left almost in tears by how amazing the experience was – their lives transformed forever by it,” he told Australian Times. And, with a recent award from the International Federation of Magic

Societies (FISM) World Championships under his belt for “Most Original Close Up Act”, it seems Simon is well on his way there. Awarded for an act the judges consider particularly noteworthy and/or boundary-pushing, Simon said he wanted to create “an impossible moment that lingers forever”, achieved by “creating a permanent impossible sculpture from a playing card.” What does not mean to us nonmagical folk? Well, we’ll never fully know, as illusionists are a secretive bunch. Although mysterious to the rest of us, Simon admits that most of the methods of magicians are at least well known within the industry. These days, he says, the focus is more on the presentation of the trick rather than the trick itself, with the personalised routine of the performer the key to a successful show. He does however acknowledge there are still moments where another magician still manages to amaze him. “Every now and then, someone uses an obscure or innovative enough method that you are genuinely baffled. That’s a pretty exciting moment.” And for the lay person watching these illusions – that moment is every moment of the show. My main thought watching an illusionist perform is constantly “But HOW??” How did you turn that $5 note immediately into a $50? And can you

do the same to my bank account? A more important question, it would seem, is how can one follow in Simon’s footsteps? Quitting your day job pushing paper to join Order of the Phoenixlike Societies such as the Australian Institute of Magic or the Magic Circle and travel the world performing at Magic Championships – how does that happen? The answer to this question is at least, fairly non-magical. Having spent six years as a business consultant becoming increasingly frustrated with the inefficiencies he found in most large businesses, it was not simply a moment of waking up one day and thinking ‘I’m sick of computers, I’m going to be an illusionist’. Instead, Simon said: “It took me a solid two years between deciding I wanted to go out on my own, and

actually making it happen. While I did spend a lot of the two years preparing, researching, planning, etc, most of it was just spent being too afraid to make the leap. It was a big moment to finally find the courage to do it.” Branching out on his own gave Simon the freedom to control his own destiny, to run his business the way he wants, to have “intense periods of performing, and quiet periods of preparation, rehearsal, and hunting for the next gig”. And then of course periods of “sitting on the sofa covered in potato chip crumbs” to recover from a run of shows coming to an end. So, what is his advice for those considering embracing their inner creative and running away to join the circus? “Make sure you’re passionate about your proverbial circus. Intensely passionate, to the point where your friends and family are slightly concerned about you.

HURRY! L A ST C HAN C E

Oktoberfest

The Ron Way round By Gareth Mohen

Ronny Chieng once claimed that if he had his own Wikipedia page all his dreams would be fulfilled and he would stop working. He still doesn’t have a page, so he’s been touring comedy around the world instead, including a recent stint at London’s Soho Theatre with his show The Ron Way (winner of the Best Newcomer Award, Melbourne Comedy Festival 2012). “I actively encourage anyone reading this article to go make a Wikipedia page,” he says. “I think once you’ve got a Wikipedia page you’ve made it. But it has to be more than a stub. It has to be a full on article - a bibliography and references.” Chieng also admits he used to try to impress girls by telling them to go to Wikipedia and look for the definition of ‘Beautiful’, where he had edited in their name. When asked whether this was a successful approach, he confirms the obvious: “Did not work at all!” However, watching Chieng perform, it is evident he is continually trying to understand the female species better, albeit (as his show’s title suggests) he may be doing it The Ron Way. His comedy on the other hand has been done correctly and ties together his experiences growing up in Malaysia and more recently his time studying law at ‘the best university’ - Melbourne University. He is a qualified lawyer and was practising law at the same time he won the Best Newcomer Award in Melbourne, although he has steered clear of using his experiences in the law as fodder. Instead Chieng draws on his life experiences and observations, adapting his material as he travels around the globe. “In

Malaysia, for example, if you make specific local references noone outside Malaysia will get it,” he says. “Comedians there do specific references in languages like Malay, or dialects of Chinese. It’s still English stand up but Malaysian English uses a lot of Malay words or slangs or inflections. “That’s a clear example of stuff that would just destroy a Malaysian audience. People love local references in Malaysia. “Asia and the US are very into quick fast paced comedy whereas Australia, and the UK to some extent, are more patient. They allow longer for set ups.” Watching Chieng have time to work his set ups properly is a real treat. There is a constant struggle between the audience being on board and off board with his sometimes abrasive manner. One particular audience member from Perth was squirming throughout but particularly when Chieng recounted a savage encounter he had with some bitumen on Rottnest. Chieng delights in laying full throttle into outlining the things that have caused him grief, whilst still seeking audience approval. He’s the friend that insults you and checks afterwards that they haven’t hurt your feelings. Of course this is all part of the act. “Backstage I just freak out and drink water and talk to myself,” he says. “If you see me backstage, it’s horrible. I’m just yelling to myself and swearing and running through the jokes in my head and going ‘this is not going to work’. “Before you get on there’s definitely that 10-20 seconds where you’re like ‘none of this is going to be funny’. That moment is the worst moment.” Chieng is a must see comic, and if you’ve missed seeing him recently it is probably worth purchasing one of his ‘Members Only’ towels, off his website, to keep you comfort until he is back. It’s not worth mentioning here what the towel is for. That would just spoil the joke.

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“Also, make sure you treat it as a business. Make sure you know where the money is coming from. There are too many artistic and humanitarian ventures that have failed because people didn’t get their financials right.” In this respect he acknowledges a debt to the School of Creative Startups based here in London. He states the year-long collection of workshops, consultations and training materials designed to help people with creative skills build a working business really helped him to focus his business efforts in a clear direction. “For nearly anyone thinking of making the leap into doing what they love and trying to earn money from it, I really can’t recommend it too highly.” Simon is due back in Europe from October to February to perform at a variety theatre in Hamburg, Germany, though intends also to spend some time back in London. Check his website, Simoncoronel.com , for more information.

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www.topdeck.travel/times

Call 0845 257 5411 Open 8am-9pm

L8291 / Y2992

*Terms and conditions apply. Prices quoted are for specific departures only. All trips subject to availability. Flights not included. See online for full terms and conditions.


6 | Entertainment

18 - 24 September 2012

The Aussie member of Britain’s Royal Ballet The National Gallery at Trafalgar Square is renowned as home to some of civilisations most iconic works of art, from van Gogh’s Sunflowers to da Vinci’s Virgin on the Rocks. The museum also plays host to some of the world’s greatest cultural treasures, from the famed studios of Florence to the dance studios of the Gold Coast. One of those talents, Aaron Smyth, has come a long way in the three years since leaving Australia in pursuit of his dream. The 21 year-old ballet dancer achieved the pinnacle of his career earlier this year when he was invited to join Britain’s The Royal Ballet. He is currently featured as a part of the troupe’s involvement in The National Gallery’s temporary Metamorphosis: Titian exhibition. Smyth is one of several dancers

currently working with The Royal Ballet, and was honoured to be a part of the revolutionary collaboration between the world-famous dance company and the wider artistic community. “I don’t think that I ever expected that I would one day end up in The National Gallery in London as a result of my dancing. It is definitely a surreal experience to see myself dancing in a place as significant as this.” Prior to joining The Royal Ballet in early 2012, Smyth lived in New York City and trained with the American Ballet Theatre’s youth organisation. He first became a recognisable name through his participation in the 2008 series of Australia’s Got Talent, where his self-choreographed dance routines led to Smyth reaching the show’s grand finale. Smyth’s life-long commitment to dance has led to his participation in several international tours with both the American Ballet Theatre and, more recently, The Royal Ballet. “I am living my dream in being able to see the world while doing something that I have always loved” Smyth told Australian Times. “Dancing with The Royal Ballet in London is a huge honour and I am grateful for all of the experiences that ballet has allowed me to have over the years.” The Metamorphosis: Titian installation is a partnership between contemporary artists and The Royal Ballet, in which

the artist Titian’s masterpieces have been reinterpreted as a multi-modal experience incorporating poetry, visual art and movement. The current exhibition and Titian’s original paintings were both inspired by the work of ancient Roman poet Ovid, whose themes of transformation inspired a wide range of prominent Renaissance artists. The Royal Ballet’s contribution to The National Gallery exhibition served to interpret three of Titian’s most famous paintings through the medium of dance. Metamorphosis: Titian includes video footage of the company’s dancers performing their interpretation of Titian’s material, alongside examples of the costumes and sets utilised in The Royal Ballet’s original performance. The exhibition focuses on the processes involved in the choreography of the ballet and the recreation of Titian’s visual style on stage. Smyth found the experience of using dance to interpret Titian’s classical paintings to be a unique way to combine the mediums of dancing and visual art. “Working on Metamorphosis was unlike what we would normally do as dancers, but it was surprising how much that the themes of the paintings could be expressed through movement just like in any traditional ballet.” Metamorphosis: Titian can be found in the Sainsbury Wing of The National Gallery until 23 September. Admission to the exhibition is free.

Australian Chamber Orchestra muscles in on London

By Will Fitzgibbon

THE ARRIVAL of the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) on stage at London’s Cadogan Hall earlier this month may not have been directed by Danny Boyle or introduced by Stephen Hawking. But at the end of the evening not one audience member doubted that they had witnessed elite Australian performers in action. ACO’s principal violinist and artistic director, Richard Tognetti, opened the night in homage to his muse, the violin virtuoso Antonio Paganini. Tognetti’s original composition, Caprice on Caprices, consists of a simple solo violin line above flittingly falling strings. Tognetti maintained centre stage for the late Australian composer Richard Meale’s Cantilena Pacifica before the ACO artistic director called upon the collective talent of the entire ACO for a courageous arrangement of Ravel’s string quartet in F major. Overall, the arrangement was a success and the 17-odd musicians maintained the subtleties and precision of the original four-person composition. It is not without evident success that these performers spend so much time together; from the audience it was easy to note the attention paid by the musicians to one another as they moved from the dolce of the first movement to the fingerboard-slapping pizzicato of the second. While some moments may be benefited from a stricter paring back of the ensemble, particularly in the last movement, the alternating power and delicateness of the overall work was impressive. Australian soprano Dawn Upshaw joined the chamber musicians for three lieder in the opening of the second half. In a brief but technically diverse performance, Upshaw sang of love, life and death, including an excerpt from Schoenberg’s String Quartet

No. 2, which the composer dedicated to his wife who was sleeping with the next-door neighbour at the time. The night at Sloane Square ended with Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night. This work has become something of a staple for the ACO. Audiences in Australia are regularly treated to the group’s mastery of the complex work and it was clear from the final applause and cheers that London was as wowed by the group as audiences regularly are in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. The ACO have now performed more than 20 times in London as part of their regular international touring. When away from its harbour view headquarters in Sydney’s Circular Quay, the orchestra considers London its principal home outside Australia. The ACO certainly has its fans here; British music critics cannot help but resort to Australian clichés of muscularity, friendliness and warmth in describing the music and the musicians.

But whether the orchestra’s international success lies in its music making or in its memorable collection of hairdos and amiableness, the recipe is obviously working. The ACO posted a surplus of nearly $3 million in 2011; plenty for future tours to London. The ACO’s next stop is Festival Maribor in Slovenia.


Entertainment | 7

AustralianTimes.co.uk

What we’re following

Lifting the lid on the secret world of Sofar Sounds

#NRL

@DanGinnane Benefit of the doubt to the attacking team is the biggest blight on the game. #NRL @rdhinds Ok. Turning off NRL. Refereeing disgraceful. Back to AFL where umpiring is merely baffling. @rob_399 Dear @NRL thanks for getting your dodgy refs to screw up another game. Always good to get manly out of a bind... @pjhelliar Which company/radio-contest ran the competition to referee an NRL semi-final this week??? #NRLmannql @DTelf If you are watching the #nrl, you have just witnessed the worst decision in rugby league history. Check out what we’re following today on AustralianTimes.co.uk and follow us on Twitter @AustralianTimes

What’s On Darren Hayes 24 September @ IndigO2, Temper Trap 4 October @ Hammersmith Apollo Tame Impala 30 October @ O2 Academy, Brixton Julia Stone 5 November @ Scala, Kings Cross Gotye 12 November @ Hammersmith Apollo Ladyhawke 14 November @ London Forum Parkway Drive 17 November @ The Roundhouse The Cat Empire 10 December @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire Tommy Emmanuel 16 March @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

For full details...

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

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AustralianTimes.co.uk/entertainment

By George Katralis As an outsider moving to London, my head was filled with pseudo erotic tales of London’s famous hidden scenes. Places, people, things off the beaten track so secret that word of mouth via a friend of a friend was the only way to catch wind of such things. Lucky for you, today I am playing the role of this friend and I am blowing the whistle on one of London’s best kept secrets. And that is Sofar Sounds. An underground musical movement, Sofar Sounds is a way for the minority who love the purity of music to hear what is often missed when performed on the big stage. By placing the music and the performers in the intimate setting of a pop up style gig held in someone’s living room, Sofar Sounds gets back to the beauty and the basics of live music. In such a small setting, not a word is missed and not a chord is unplayed… Entrance is only gained to this exclusive and secret set via an email ballot. The organisers then help keep it a secret for as long as possible, with the lucky attendees only being told the address of the gig just hours before. And so it was, that a couple of weeks ago - I was one of the lucky few to attend a Sofar Sounds evening. The night began at a north London Hampstead Heath location. Complete with family photos, kids running around and even a cat… the scene was set by some music loving people who welcomed 150 strangers, a handful of musicians and a couple of camera crews into their house with open arms. With each band getting a set of just four songs (a tough ask by any musical standards to impress with such a tight deadline), the night began with local act I Said Yes and their very current hipster musical

style reminiscent and maybe inspired by the Mumford and Son’s folk rock genre. Complete with thudding dulling acoustic guitars, strong vocals, toy pianos and even a xylophone, these guys and gals were the perfect way to ease us into the night ahead. Folk music seemed to be the order of the night and the intimate setting with crowd sitting cross legged on the floor seem to appreciate it. Songwriters Rozi Plain and Rachel Hillary treated us next, both ladies impressed with musical styling, witty banter and clever lyrics, paving the way for an enjoyable first half of the evening. After a quick break to stretch the ol’ legs, Modeste Hugues Randriamahitasoa took to the stage. A softly sung but incredibly charming entertainer, he took us on a journey through the music of his native Madagascar. His music had a way of taking you away, and his unique finger picking style of play with double capos and alternate tuning was something this musician loved seeing in action. The night was to end with Hyperpotamus playing a style of music I have never seen before but what I can only describe as live and instantly recorded/performed beat boxing and dub step with a twist of rap…not my cup of tea but interesting to say the least. His music might not have instant likability or instant appeal to the masses, but his show won us over with his originality, cheeky banter, interpretive dance and very comical facial expressions which accompanied the music he was creating literally live in front of our eyes and without the aid of one instrument. Sofar Sounds is a must for any music lover out there. The chance to see music in this setting is rare and unmissable. To find out more, visit Sofarsounds.com and be sure to thank me later. Images by James Houghton

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travel

8 | Travel

18 - 24 September 2012

tting This week we’re pu

Bath

on the map

By Jennifer Perkin It can only be a testament to the myriad of activities that can fill a weekend in the city that, on my first visit to Bath, I found myself running out of time to do the one thing I had most looked forward to. That is, I found myself so entertained

and occupied that I neglected to do the eponymous, obvious thing and ‘take the waters’. My excuse for visiting Bath was tentative. My Dad went to Uni in Bath in the 70s and his hazy tales of scrumpy-fueled fun had sparked my interest from an early age (scrumpy

being a kind of rougher cider). Years later I passed through Bath on a train and the glimpses of the romantic classical facades put it firmly on my travel list. Still, though just 160km from London, I’d yet to find the right time to visit. Until now. Dad was coming over to visit me in the UK; he hadn’t been to Bath for over 30 years - enough excuse needed. Besides, I wanted to try some of that famous Somerset scrumpy.

Quintessentially English

Driving into this famous UK destination, you very much get the feeling of a city enveloped by countryside and greenery – within 10 minutes of the centre you can be in rolling hillside country. In the city centre the architecture is grand and gorgeous (especially the Abbey) but its size is unimposing, and you can comfortably reach the main sites on foot. The overwhelming impression an (adopted) Londoner gets from a visit to Bath is how English a city it feels, so unlike our beloved multicultural megatropolis. You know as well as I do how easy it can be to forget that London is actually a part of England. Not here though, as this is the classical tea drinking England evoked by Austen – and indeed the author spent much of her life in Bath (though unfortunately for tourism board literature she apparently never really like it much).

More than just a spa

The first site we check out is the city’s namesake of course. The Romans utilised the area’s natural hot springs in building the spa town in AD60, and people have been enjoying the purported benefits of soaking until

modern times. The Roman’s went so far as to use the springs a place of worship, though the E n g l i s h later used it more for its medicinal qualities. You can’t swim in the ruins of the ancient Roman baths though - for that you will have to visit the Thermae Bath Spa, an impressive complex utilising the same natural waters and location as in old times. W e ’ d left our swimmers in the hotel but marketing lady Charlotte gave us the tour of Thermae to whet our appetite for later. She gives a concise and entertaining history of the baths surprisingly colorful past. Incredibly, until the city won a commission to rebuild the Baths which reopened in 2006, there was a good stretch of modern history where there wasn’t actually anywhere that visitors could bathe in the city. Can you imagine? Anyhow, they’ve done a great job now. The smart but simple facilities are an exercise in subtlety and good

taste – so well does the new exterior blend in with the old surrounds that we walk right past it more than once. Inside, as well as numerous treatments rooms, we witness blissful people lounging in warm natural waters, darting in and out of scented saunas, splashing about in the rooftop pool (!) and, perhaps most appealing of all, noshing in the café robed in dressing gown and slippers. By this point I’m positively gagging to get my bath on but I attend to some sightseeing first….


Travel | 9

AustralianTimes.co.uk

GETTING THERE Bath is just 90 minutes from London Paddington by train.

SLEEPING

VILLA MAGDALA, just a five minute jaunt from the centre, is unequivocally the perfect base for visiting Bath. Stunningly designed and kitted out, impeccably friendly, this boutique B and B offers just the right amount of luxury while still making you feel at home. Put it this way – we were offered Buck’s Fizz at breakfast. See their website for killer value deals starting at around £ 40 villamagdala.co.uk

Not your average tour guide

So on to the original Roman Baths, where it all began. By no minor stroke of genius someone here decided to give Bill Bryson a channel on the audio tour and his reliably witty and enthusiastic commentary makes a welcome change from your usual drab and dry history walk. Bill gives us an insight into the daily human soap opera of ancient Roman lives as we explore the surprisingly large and endlessly picturesque maze of pools and chambers that culminate in the famous terraced Great Bath. By this time we’ve worked up a thirst, and bypassing the traditional tea houses we make a beeline for The Star Inn, a scrumpy tavern we’ve been given a hot tip for. Cozy, bustling and friendly it’s exactly what we were looking for and Dad chooses a local cider and a perry (pear cider) from the modest but authentic selection. No Magners here thanks! We hit the beer garden and half a pint later the more than 8% alcohol content is already making itself known – no wonder back in Dad’s student days there was a 3-pint limit on this stuff.

Moseying along in narrowboats

The next morning, after an indulgent smoked salmon breakfast at our deliciously posh B and B, I have arranged to tick something off that’s been on my list since arriving in England. Dad and I have a canalboat trip lined up departing from central Bath. Or narrowboat, rather, as I am quickly corrected. The lovely people at Bath Narrowboats are the only company in the area dedicated

to using the canals for pleasure riding; historically the incredible 2200 + mile UK canal system was used for transport until railways nudged it out and traffic dried up post WW2. It wasn’t until relatively recently that the waterways have been revive and used for leisure – and no wonder as it is truly a lovely way to while away a day. Though boats do come in properly pimped up varieties –for large groups, special occasions, longer holidays – we plumped for a modest little guy with a just enough seating area inside for Dad, me and our trusty skipper to enjoy a cup of tea. Drifting about an hour out into the open green outskirts of Bath, we learn not only how to drive the boat (not a huge challenge as it barely nudges 5kph) but also about an alternative lifestyle that I never knew existed – that of the narrowboat people. These gypsies of the water are perpetually moving moor to moor, and passing their inviting looking boat- homes complete with colorful paint jobs, pot plants and bicycles on the roofs appeals greatly to my inner nomad. What a way to live! Back on dry land the plan for our final afternoon was to finally hit the Thermae Spa for our much anticipated taking of the waters. But a quick bite to eat turns into a lingering lunch as we stumble across another Bath gem in The Jazz Café, a cruisy independent café with Mediterranean flavoured specials and great taste in tunes. As we order more tea and dessert and our departure hour gets closer, time for bathing slips away. Besides, who wants to put a time limit on RnR? As if we needed an excuse to come back…

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EATING/DRINKING thebellinnbath.co.uk and star-innbath.co.uk are two of the cities favourite pubs; ask to sample the local scrumpy.

The Jazz Café can’t be beaten for atmosphere and food. Closed in the evenings but occasionally hold live jazz events – see bathjazzcafe. co.uk

Spa package can be tailor made ranging from no frills spa-only starting at about £26, to packages including treatments, food and the works. Good deals can be had in conjunction with First Great Western train tickets, see website for details.

For a change from the classic British fare check out authentic Nepalese restaurant Yak Yak Yeti www.yakyetiyak.co.uk

Bath Narrowboats Can hire for overnight or day trips, as well as restaurant trips and special occasions. A half day hire for up to 6 people starts at around £60 per boat. See bathnarrowboats.co.uk

VISIT

For info regarding all other Bath attractions see visitbath.co.uk

thermaebathspa.com


10 | Travel

18 - 24 September 2012

tting This week we’re pu

Europe

on the map

last but definitely not least, the Olympics! Despite all of this, in late July I found myself boarding a coach bound for Paris, about to take the first leg of Topdeck’s European Wonder tour. What I have learnt since is that Topdeck has a history of doing the impossible (they once drove a double-decker bus from London to Kathmandu!). So driving a coachful of tourists out of London during Olympic season? No worries, mate! The tour was to be a fourteen day exploration of Europe by coach, visiting eight countries, with the itinerary listing its major stops as Paris, the Swiss Alps, Florence, Rome, the Vatican, Venice, Tyrol, the Rhine Valley, Amsterdam and Bruges. Our tour guide and coach driver also went out of their way to stray from the itinerary and bring us to interesting places along the way; we saw the Gotthard Pass in Switzerland, the town of Orvieto in Italy, and we were even able to stop at Pisa for some quick snaps by the Tower! The whole trip offered such a brilliant taster of what the continent has to offer, and its brevity means that it’s ideally suited to recent graduates, or professionals looking to see a lot of Europe quickly. Not to mention, having a bit of fun while you do it!

ride was definitely the soundtrack. Not only did our trip leader introduce us to the joys of Eurovision, Flight of the Conchords and The Sound of Music, but he would play the Mission Impossible theme-song when we were going through a particularly narrow tunnel, and ‘Move B***h’ whenever a Contiki bus was blocking us off. That was pretty funny.

n

While Olympic fever infected most The Coach think the fact that we even had a Aussies living in London, for STEPHANIE Ipregnant couple on the bus with us testament to the ease of this DAVIES, she had other things on her mind. was particular mode of travel. Why didn’t The Food ever tell me that travelling by Those other things included Paris, Venice, anyone The total cost of the trip includes coach is actually easier than flying? a £195 food fund which covers don’t have to worry about things Amsterdam and a whole lot more as she set You 30 meals. These mostly consist of like carry on, checking in, putting hostel breakfasts and some pretty liquids into tiny 100 ml containers, off to explore Europe with a Topdeck Tour. decent packed lunches – we even The tourism industry is not exactly thriving in today’s economical climate. And for those in the business of international travel, the last few months have been a particular sore

point, what with the collapse of Australian-based travel company Kumuka Worldwide, the UK government blithely recommending ‘staycations’ all year round and,

struggling with a suitcase on a foreign underground system...the list goes on! You can simply just sit back in your air-conditioned seat and relax. It is true that there is a lot of time on the road on these kinds of trips, however it does give passengers the opportunity to catch up on sleep, get to know each other, and learn to play ‘Bogan Bingo’. The most memorable part of the

had a picnic by the Eiffel Tower! Additionally, restaurant meals in Paris and Amsterdam mark the start and end of the tour like delicious parenthesis. What surprised me most about the dining experience on the trip was that the best food actually came from the Topdeck on-site chefs in the evenings. Fondue, tiramisu, rösti – each dish was incredible and better than the last. On our free days, tour guide Jamie was quick to recommend the best places for pizza or a Florentine steak. More importantly, he knew where the good coffee was! 

The Accommodation

Accommodation on this European ‘wonder trip’ exceeded my expectations. Most of the time we were staying quite centrally in hostels

or bungalows and the rooms were same-sex share for the most part, with two or four to a room. I found the campsites in Italy to have a real Schoolies vibe about them, with lots of young people (mostly of the Antipodean variety) lounging by the pools. The sites didn’t feel very ‘authentically Italian’, but they were a lot of fun, with the campsite clubs hosting toga and masquerade parties in Rome and Venice respectively. The castle in Germany was a little disappointing – despite having a spectacular view of the Rhine Valley - it looked just like every other hostel from the inside. Austria and Switzerland were the nicest places to stay. Waking up to postcard views of the Alps and knowing we were in Paris the day before was a surreal experience in Lauterbrunnen, and the Austrian Gasthof had a pleasant homey atmosphere. With perfect timing, we also managed to be there for the town’s summer festival! The hotel in Paris was also very comfortable – and a tip for young players - get your power showers in on the first night in Paris because the plumbing in the rest of Europe can be quite sporadic!

The Itinerary

You have to love European tour operators because all of the main sight-seeing bases are covered in the price of the trip. These include a bus tour of Paris and walking tours in Florence and Rome, as well as various other bits and pieces to give you a flavour of the local culture. And, as they had with the rest of the trip, Topdeck over exceeded. The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial in Germany provided time for reflection over some of the more harrowing aspects of Europe’s history. There was no pressure on anybody to actually go inside, but I think that it’s so important to include it on the itinerary and I’m glad it’s something they offers.


Travel | 11

AustralianTimes.co.uk

In Florence our tour was led by a local guide who gave us a lot of insight into the sights he showed us, like the Baptistry, with its bronze doors that allegedly begun the Renaissance, and the Accademia which contains Michelangelo’s ‘David’. Not to be outdone, our own trip leader took us on a walking tour in Rome that lasted for six hours! The entire trip also offered some optional activities in the host cities which included a cabaret show in

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Paris, a gondola ride in Venice, and a sex show in Amsterdam. In Tyrol there was also the opportunity for paragliding, canyon-jumping and sky-diving! One experience that I would definitely recommend is the Jungfrau Railway excursion to the Jungfraujoch, the train station in the Swiss Alps which marks the top of Europe. The first 2k of the train journey from Kleine Scheidegg runs through the picturesque open terrain of Switzerland. After the first 2k there is a 10k journey through a tunnel actually hewn out of the alpine rock. At the top, the beauty takes your breath away – literally. It was an incredible experience, especially for those that had never seen real snow before! I would also recommend visiting the Vatican. Our Vatican tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and imparted so many interesting facts

that she barely stopped for breath. She also enabled us to surpass the crowds outside so there was enough breathing room to truly appreciate Michelangelo’s ceiling frescos in the Sistine Chapel. Our guide made sure to stress that the ‘optionals’ were in fact optional, so nobody felt like they needed to spend money that they didn’t have. They also made a point of giving us as much free time as possible to explore the cities at our own pace, armed with one of their maps and a ‘get lost’ sheet for when the inevitable happens! So, did I miss not being in London for the Olympics? With an amazing trip like this to keep me occupied, not on your life. Stephanie Davis travelled on the Topdeck European Wonder tour courtesy of Topdeck. 


12 | Jobs & Money

18 - 24 September 2012

Dollar Review

Aussie rallies after QE3 announcement THE Australian dollar has seen it highest rally over the last week against the US Dollar, reaching 1.054 to the US dollar. It also hit a high of 0.65 to the British Pound. This movement came largely on the back of the announcement by the US Federal Reserve of its new plan to stimulate the world’s largest economy. This third round of quantitative easing, or ‘QE3’, is a programme to expand open-ended asset purchases to the effect of $40 billion of mortgage debt a month. It is in effect increasing the money supply which adds downward pressure to the Greenback. Ray Attrill the co-head of foreign exchange at NAB expressed his views that what the Fed has done will be sufficient to keep the US dollar weak and probably treading weaker in the near term. While this is the case, one would expect the Aussie to remain well supported near or even above these current levels. The outcome of this week’s September policy meeting of Australia’s reserve

bank will be crucial. The Reserve bank has warned that the strength of the Aussie over the last month despite the continued decrease in commodity prices is becoming problematic to growth in the Australian economy. Speculation persists that the RBA will consider further interest rate cuts in an attempt to ease the pressure caused by the strength of the Australian Dollar. Market sentiment suggests that given

the Fed’s QE3 rollout, the Australian Dollar will remain relatively well supported against its US counterpart. GBP/AUD: 1.5378 EUR/AUD: 1.2450 AUD/USD: 1.0544 AUD/JPY: 82.655 Exchange Rates at 08.39, 17 September 2012

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Sport | 13

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Only way is up for Australia as T20 World Cup looms Continued from p16... Spinner Brad Hogg and paceman Mitchell Starc claimed two wickets each but the bowlers struggled for accuracy and conceded 14 wides. Australia replied with 6-163 at Colombo’s Nondescripts Cricket Club ground. David Warner made a third-ball duck but fellow opener Shane Watson (37 off 26 balls) gave Australia an excellent start by hitting three sixes in a brisk 74-run stand with Hussey. Cameron White continued his run of low scores when he was stumped for nine to Danny Briggs after making 20 runs in the three-game Pakistan

series and eight in Saturday’s warmup match against New Zealand. Hussey put Australia back in the run chase with a 24-run effort in the 16th over which included three consecutive sixes over mid-wicket as spinner Danny Briggs’s figures blew out from 1-15 to 1-39. But England captain Stuart Broad struck in the following over to trap Hussey lbw at 4-140 after a 51-ball innings that included three fours and five sixes. George Bailey (three) and Glenn Maxwell (18) soon followed. Dan Christian and Matthew Wade were faced with the task of scoring 22 off the last over but Tim Bresnan

Continued from p16...

conceded only 12. Steven Finn bowled well for England, taking 2-26 including a maiden. David Hussey’s omission seems a victory for Christian who’s set to play in Wednesday’s opening Group B match against Ireland alongside fellow allrounder Glenn Maxwell. - AAP

Davis Cup disappointment for Australia

Lleyton Hewitt re-opened the debate surrounding his playing future after suffering one of the dirtiest days of his Davis Cup career. The nation’s greatest Cup servant succumbed to German world No.127 Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-4 6-1 6-4 in a flat, error-filled performance in the deciding rubber in Hamburg. Even one of his greatest fans, former Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald wondered how much longer the former world No.1 would carry on. “He’s like a worn-out warrior,” Fitzgerald said. The 3-2 defeat on clay condemned Australia to the tennis equivalent of the boondocks, a sixth straight season in the second tier of Davis Cup. That Australia let slip a 2-1 lead in a World Group playoff for a third straight year only added to the pain after Bernard Tomic was earlier wiped off the clay court by Florian Mayer.

Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter and Hewitt were shattered figures at their post-tie press conference at Rothenbaum Stadium. The thought of fighting through regional qualifying one more time is hardly an appetising prospect. Rafter admitted it had been a gamble to pick his great mate Hewitt with the scores locked at 2-2. “I was a little worried after the doubles match how much energy Lleyton used out there,” Rafter said. “It was a very intense doubles match and a must-win doubles match. “It is very hard to come out and play singles the next day. “But we had to roll the dice and the Germans are a very good team. “We had to take chances somewhere along the line and unfortunately it bit us a bit.” Asked about his future, Hewitt said his attention would turn to the

Two NRL semis to savour

Australian summer. Understandably so. He must want to delete his straight set losses to Mayer and Stebe from his memory so soon after his encouraging performances at the US Open. The left-handed Stebe is Germany’s 11th-highest ranked singles player and was going to be dropped following Friday’s four-set defeat to Tomic. Only an injury to Philipp Petzschner in Saturday’s doubles and Benjamin Becker’s horrible form in the middle rubber handed him the chance to be a national saviour. Former Wimbledon and US Open champion Hewitt led 3-0 earlier in the match before tightening up and losing 11 of 12 games to Stebe, who enjoys clay better than any other surface. Hewitt, 31, said he found it more difficult to back up these days. “It does not get any easier,” he said. - AAP

place in the preliminary final with a 38-16 win over Canberra on Saturday night - and they are now just one win away from their first grand final in 41 years as they attempt to add to their NRL-best 20 premierships. On the other side Bulldogs coach Des Hasler is attempting to become the first coach to steer two different clubs to premierships in consecutive seasons. “I’m sure it’s going to be pretty big next weekend,” Souths prop Sam Burgess said. “We’ll enjoy it but we’ve got to stay composed, not get overawed in that arena and just enjoy the occasion.” In Melbourne on Friday night, the NRL’s most dominant clubs of recent years will go head-to head. While the Storm have been stripped of the two premierships they won in 2007 and 2009 due to salary cap breaches, along with the Sea Eagles they have combined to win five of the last six grand finals. With no AFL clash in town on the night, AAMI Park should be bursting at the seams with both teams expected to be at full strength for the match with Manly’s Steve Matai returning from suspension. Meanwhile Roy Asotasi insists the current crop of Rabbitohs are not weighed down by

South Sydney’s barren run between NRL premierships as they attempt to carve out their own piece of history. The most storied club in the NRL is hoping to end a 41-year premiership drought – the longest active streak without a title save for Cronulla’s search for a maiden title. Reaching the penultimate stage for the first time since 1989 – Asotasi says the Bunnies are determined to reach their first decider since 1971. With each failed campaign the pressure has seemingly mounted on the club to add to a league-best 20 premierships, but the players say they are only concerned with what they can achieve. “We don’t even talk about that,” veteran prop Asotasi said of the drought. “It’s a new South Sydney, it’s 2012. “(Coach) Michael Maguire’s got the squad and there’s 30 players there – to compare it to 40 years ago, that’s only stats, that’s something that we’re not overly focussed about. “Since the start of November (Maguire) pretty much said `it’s a new start, all the stuff in the past, it’s gone.” - AAP Can the Bunnies win on Saturday to secure a grand final berth? Tell us your thoughts online

Joel Parkinson in surf chase for No.1 Fanning

Brett Holman shines in Villa win, as Schwarzer keeps cool Hard-working Socceroo Brett Holman produced a man of the match performance in Aston Villa’s drought-breaking 2-0 English Premier League win over Swansea. The Birmingham side has endured an awful run in recent times with Saturday’s win at Villa Park ending a run of 13 straight EPL matches without a victory. Coach Paul Lambert praised Holman’s ability to back up after travelling to Amman for Australia’s disappointing 2-1 World Cup qualifying loss to Jordan on Tuesday. “Brett needed another lung the way he was performing,” Lambert said. “He was exceptional considering he has been away with the national team. “The travelling Australia have to do is ridiculous. His effort was exceptional.” Holman joined Aston Villa from the Netherlands in the offseason after being signed prior to Lambert’s arrival. There had been concerns about how Holman would fit in under the regime of the former Norwich boss. However any fears have been quickly erased with Lambert starting Holman in three of the opening four EPL matches of the season. The Australian impressed with his best showing in a Villa shirt on Saturday as Lambert’s decision to play fresh faces paid dividends. Holman caused all sorts of headaches for the previously unbeaten Welsh side on the wing with the goals coming from fellow newcomers Matthew Lowton and Christian Benteke.

The Australian received a warm reception after being substituted in the 79th minute. “You need time to get the team to gel and get used to each other,” Holman said, “We definitely, in some parts of the game, played some nice football.” He said it had been important to win back the home fans after Everton dished out a 3-1 drubbing in the opening home league match of the season. “Having the fans behind you gives you energy,” he said. Meanwhile reports that Fulham are set to bring in a new goal keeper did not faze Australian Mark Schwarzer in a 3-0 win over West Brom. Accounting for West Bromwich Albion 3-0 in Saturday’s home match in west London, a faultless Schwarzer was repeatedly tested over 90 minutes. Now in his fifth season at Craven Cottage, the 39-year-old stalwart was playing after news broke that manager Martin Jol is shopping for his replacement. Despite Schwarzer’s commitment to play on, several British news outlets reported Jol was eyeing 24-year-old Turkish international keeper Sinan Bolat. ‘Fulham are expected to make a move for the Standard Liege keeper during the winter transfer window,’ boxscorenews.com reported. ‘The former Genk stopper could be

brought in to provide competition to the ageing Schwarzer, but it is rumoured that Jol is looking for a ready-made predecessor to the veteran of over 500 games in English football,’ another website said. If the news disturbed Schwarzer, the ever-dependable Australian wasn’t letting it show on Saturday, demonstrating that he’ll be hard to shift from the job. While Fulham’s new recruit striker Dimitar Berbatov - netted a double up front, helped by a third from Steve Sidwell in the closing minutes, Schwarzer kept up his part of bargain. A desperate West Brom attack kept the Australian on his toes early, tipping a long-range effort over the crossbar while the post took care of a close corner shot. He faced some low and hard shots in the second half. With two wins from four matches, Fulham sit eighth on the Premier League table. - AAP

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Australian surfer Joel Parkinson faces a sudden-death match-up against American Conner Coffin in round two of the Hurley Pro at Trestles as he attempts to keep the heat on best mate Mick Fanning. Parkinson trails countryman Mick Fanning on the ASP world rankings race with Trestles the sixth stop of 10 on this year’s tour. Fanning pipped Parkinson for the Billabong Pro title in Teahupoo last month and leads the rankings on 34,750, ahead of fellow Gold Coast surfer Parkinson on 31,700. Parkinson was put on the brink of elimination in California after Australian Bede Durbidge won their round one heat with a combined wave score of 14.16. Fanning meanwhile continued his strong form from Teahupoo, cruising into round three with a heat-winning combined wave score of 15.60 in round one. The 31-year-old two-time world champion and current rankings frontrunner unloaded his renowned forehand attack on the long righthanders of Lower Trestles. However Fanning made it clear he’s looking over his shoulder in the race for the overall crown - with Hawaiian

John John Florence and American Kelly Slater also in pursuit. “The race is really tight,” Fanning said. “With everyone counting a few good results and in a really good rhythm at the moment, Joel (Parkinson), Kelly (Slater), John John (Florence), Taj (Burrow), you’ve got to just keep trying and just keep plugging away.” Fanning, a former Hurley Pro at Trestles winner (2009), admitted several surfers in this draw (ranging from veterans to rookies) will be tough to contend with at Lowers, but feels equally comfortable in the lineup himself. “You’ve got to just look at track records and Kelly (Slater) is probably the gnarliest guy, he just knows the wave so well,” Fanning said. “Then there are guys like John John (Florence) and Kolohe (Andino) lives here and surfs amazing out here, so those are probably the main guys I look out for.” Slater, 40, the reigning 11-time ASP World Champion and defending fivetime Hurley Pro at Trestles winner, built momentum throughout his opening heat to advance directly to round three. - AAP


14 | Sport

18 - 24 September 2012

RUBDOWN Magpies coming good at right time: Buckley THE Continued from p16... Jolly, who is making a mockery of the workload that comes without a backDrawing every last drop “We believe over the last two or up ruckman in the team. three weeks, we’ve played as good “He’s almost in career-best form. from the AFL season footy as we have all year, and it’s a His ruck work has been outstanding. good time to be doing that.” And in an ominous sign for Sydney, Swans coach John Longmire agrees, noting the challenge awaiting on Friday night would be more immense than the test they failed on 11 August when the Pies beat the Swans by eight points. “He (Dale Thomas) didn’t play much against us last time, and (Dane) Swan didn’t play either,” he said. “So their midfield has been strengthened since last time we played.” The Magpies also boast ruck talent and former Sydney player Darren

He’s running around now doing 95 per cent of the ruck work, if not more,” Longmire said. “He’s been fantastic. That’s a real challenge for our ruckmen, to make sure Darren Jolly’s influence on the ground is reduced.” Longmire confirmed on Monday key defender Heath Grundy would take hamstrung Ben McGlynn’s place in the side that defeated Adelaide by 29 points in week one of the finals. He wouldn’t rule out further changes to the team that will battle the Magpies for a place in the grand final.

By Will Denton

“Heath will come straight back in and what else we put around that we’re still yet to settle on that,” he said. Meanwhile Hawthorn are eagerly awaiting their chance to confirm an AFL Grand Final spot when they meet the Adelaide Crows at the MCG on Saturday. - AAP

AFL Grand Final

Party 2012

Its official. It has begun. Panic has set in. And more often than not, it’s always around this time of year that it hits you. If you’re a Richmond fan, you’ve probably been looking forward to it for some months now. Obviously, I’m talking about ‘cricket season’. Two words that can only mean one thing – THE FOOTY IS ABOUT TO FINISH! Semi finals weekend in the AFL usually equates to a ho hum affair with the two losers from the top four making amends for being complete rubbish the week before and towelling up the winners from the eliminations, still stoked to be getting a bit of media. Well, if ever there was to be a season that this theory was to be thwarted, this was it. Adelaide were first up and the folk in South Australia looked like they had overdone the Dagwood dogs at the Royal Adelaide show, because bugger all people bothered to show up. Port’s tarpaulins nearly got one last gig for the year, however enough Freo fans made the journey to bump up the crowd to a tick above 30,000. The Crows were under immense pressure to not go out in straight sets and it showed early as the Dockers kicked away to a five-goal lead. The Crows were spiralling out of September and needed something

special. Enter ‘the Mullet’. Taylor ‘Tex’ Walker had his magical mudflap enchanted once more by a Persian witchdoctor (selling his soul to Ifrit in the process) and went on to become not only the match winner with five goals but officially won ‘bogan of the year’. The Dockers looked a tired mob by the end, however they were just happy it was time to get out of Adelaide. The other WA hope, the West Coast Eagles, were looking to finally get a win at the G. But that would be no easy task with Collingwood in the way. If the West Coast fans had held the ‘most feral’ mantle for a while this year, it was swiftly taken from them with interest to the rightful owners - as the blackand-white army booed, flailed and exasperated every last drop of venom available to anything that did or didn’t go their way (which even included the Pie boy forgetting the sauce). Sheer brutality was on display by the end and luckily for the Melbourne CBD’s sake the Pies found a way. The Eagles were gallant, but just lacked the killer instinct when required, something the home crowd would’ve had plenty of had they lost. And with that, just three games remain in 2012. Hawks v Crows. Swans v Magpies. And then the GF. Only three more games til cricket comes again... Now that’s a truly frightening prospect.

at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes Beamed in live from the MCG in Melbourne, Australia

5 Large Screens Footy Marathon of classic Grand Final’s Past Half Time Handball Competition Hot Pies & Sausage Rolls from the Fleet River Bakery.

Continued from p16...

Australian Craft Beers Post Match Analayis on stage On-Site Barista serving Monmouth Coffee

Saturday 29th September 3:30am - 8.00am Tickets £7.00 Buy tickets from wegottickets.com www.bloomsburybowling.com Basement of the Tavistock Hotel, Bedford Way, London WC1H 9EU Bloomsbury Lanes are proudly Australian owned and operated

Watch the Big Game LIVE FROM THE MCG Saturday, 29 September Doors @ 4:30am for 5:30am kick-off Tickets: £10 and includes a FREE pie Drinks: £2.75 Fosters/Strongbow/Snakies BOOK TICKETS AT THE BAR OR OVER THE PHONEGet More Tel: 0207 3719585 | Email: enquiries@thelarrikinnfulham.com Sport Address: The Larrik Inn, 425 New King’s Road, Fulham (Putney Bridge Approach) AustralianTimes.co.uk/sport


Sport | 15

AustralianTimes.co.uk

Cooper may pay for Wallabies bloopers Continued from p16...

It was Cooper’s most error-prone performance of his 38 Tests, save for his World Cup quarter-final shocker against South Africa last year, and had Deans seriously considering dragging him from the field. The highly-talented five-eighth did lace his game with some typicallyskilful attacking play but was guilty of a string of unforced, fundamental errors that placed huge pressure on the Wallabies. With the versatile Berrick Barnes making a fine fist of fullback and Kurtley Beale desperate to return from the bench, there’s no guarantees Cooper will wear No.10 against the Springboks on 30 September in Pretoria. It was Shipperley’s dislocation and

compound fracture which led to Deans sticking with Cooper for the final 20 minutes, where he helped spark the fightback with a deft ball for Pat McCabe to score. The Queensland winger will be named in the 28-man squad to tour South Africa and Argentina but will race time to be fit, making Beale a likely replacement in an injury-riddled backline. Deans admitted he was most disappointed that Cooper allowed the Pumas the first try after being charged down by Tomas Leonardi. But he didn’t subscribe to the theory Cooper was trying too hard to spark the attack against the fast-rushing Pumas defence, instead pointing to confidence issues after a nine-month rehab from knee surgery. “We shouldn’t under-estimate; it does

North London too good in Origin 2012

take time to come back from significant injuries like that,” Deans said. “Maybe that’s in the back of his head. I don’t know. “Some of the unforced errors you wouldn’t expect of a player of his background.” Asked whether there were just two starting spots for creative trio Cooper, Barnes and Beale, Deans said: “We’ll have a look at the whole picture. “Dom’s hand may have a bearing. It just depends how quickly he can get comfortable.” James O’Connor’s gradual return from a hamstring tear has also given Cooper extra breathing space but he’s more often than not Australia’s most dangerous player against South Africa. The Wallabies’ escape act did move them to second place on the standings,

and another victory over the Springboks will virtually ensure they finish the inaugural tournament as runners-up to New Zealand. Hooker Stephen Moore and lock Sitaleki Timani have been cleared to

return from hamstring injuries which makes for a tough second-row selection following Kane Douglas’s powerful Test debut. “He showed he was a Test footballer last night,” Deans said. - AAP

Dan Lydiate Power Session. His way...

NORTH ON TOP: The victorious North London Origin Mixed A grade team in 2012.

By Phillip Browne Last Saturday produced yet another fantastic London day with plenty of sunshine and blue sky across the capital. Perfect conditions for the 2012 London Tag Rugby Origin series! This year’s series was held at Wandsworth Common which is on South London’s home turf but the home ground advantage wasn’t enough for the Southerners, who were swept aside in a North London clean sweep. The North London Mixed social team paved the way for a successful day for the Northerners with a commanding 19-3 victory in the first fixture of the day. North London’s Aussie captain Ben Crilly-Hargrave was named best on ground. The next fixture was the Men’s which started off well for South London, taking an early 3-0 lead after a matter of minutes. Going into the half time break down 5-2, North London bounced back and sealed a nail biting 9-8 triumph in true origin fashion. Dave Twohig of South London was named best on ground. The much anticipated Mixed A grade fixture which had London’s finest Tag Rugby players on show had plenty of fantastic tries and tagging on display to the delight of the spectators. North London opened the scoring in

the first minute of the match and never lost the lead with a dominant 25-11 win over South London. London Australia & North London representative, Tom Parsons was named best on ground. The eligibility guidelines for London Origin are that if you live north of the Thames River, you qualify to represent North London. If you live south of the Thames River, you qualify to represent South London. In other news, Try Tag Rugby will be holding the inaugural Wasps Tag Rugby Festival on Saturday, 13 October at Twyford Avenue Sports Ground in Acton. This one day festival will see teams from across London & Reading try and defeat the Acton teams on their home turf to claim the title. At the conclusion of the tournament there will be an after party at the nearby Chatsworth Pub. 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.

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MAGPIES BUILDING OMINOUSLY AHEAD OF AFL BLOCKBUSTER

n

Collingwood’s come from behind victory against West Coast overshadowed Adelaide’s win over Fremantle, as the Magpies find form at exactly the right time. Collingwood say they are building the right way towards a third consecutive AFL grand final appearance. Magpies coach Nathan Buckley believes his side has improved 10 to 15 per cent per match over the past three weeks, and can improve further in the preliminary final showdown with Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Friday night. Collingwood’s hard-fought 13-point semi-final win over West Coast at the MCG has lifted them to within a victory of the grand final. And despite just a six-day break

ahead of the preliminary final, they have an excellent recent record against the Swans - beating them in their past 11 meetings. “We think that one has us building to where we want to be,” Buckley said. “We still feel there’s some upside in us. The last three weeks have been 10 or 15 per cent (improvement) on top of each other. “Now we’ve got to go again. “Internally we could feel the difference in the way we played against Essendon, against Hawthorn and now.” The Magpies’ up-and-down season

and slow burn over the past month was encapsulated perfectly in Saturday’s 10.13.73 to 9.6.60 win. Trailing by 23 points early and struggling, the Magpies lifted their tackling pressure in an enthralling second quarter, before Dale Thomas lit up the match with three goals in six third-quarter minutes to swing the match Collingwood’s way. Yet again they fell behind in the fourth term before more guts finally led to glory. Buckley felt Thomas’ contribution was important and timely after a difficult season marred by niggling

injuries. “Like the club itself, Dale’s been scrutinised and criticised fairly heavily over the last period of time,” Buckley said. “Great quality, (he has) a great deal of pride in his performance, he’s the type of guy who loves the big stage and has always played well in finals. “He and the club would have liked to have had a smoother season. “But sometimes it’s not about where you start, it’s where you finish. ...continued on p14

ON

THE HOP

Bunnies bounce through to NRL semi-final | P13

Wallabies just escape Argentinian embarrassment A sickening finger injury to rookie winger Dom Shipperley may save playmaker Quade Cooper from being the latest Wallabies star to feel the axe. Cooper endured a horror first hour at Skilled Park on Saturday night when Argentina threatened to pull off an historic Rugby Championship upset by leading Australia 19-6. A great escape, thanks to 17 unanswered points in the final 20 minutes, denied the Pumas and spared under-pressure coach Robbie Deans a week of immense scrutiny. ...continued on p15

Top four battle for NRL Grand Final berths. The ARL Commission’s finals wish has been granted with a pair of blockbuster clashes to decide who will fight it out for this year’s NRL premiership. The competition’s fiercest rivalry will continue when premiers Manly travel to Melbourne on Friday, while next Saturday night will be one for rugby league’s romantics when Canterbury take on South Sydney before an anticipated crowd of 70,000 at ANZ Stadium. The Rabbitohs confirmed their ...continued on p13

England beat Australia in T20 warm-up The Hussey brothers endured mixed fortunes on Monday as Mike top-scored with 71 in Australia’s warm-up loss to England, while David was left out of the side with his World Twenty20 selection hopes now in doubt. After being invited to bat in steamy conditions, Alex Hales (52) and Luke Wright (35) shared a second-wicket partnership of 88 in England’s 6-172. ...continued on p13

Australian Times weekly newspaper | 18 September 2012  

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

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