Alleged Family Court bomber in case court

  • 02/19/2019

The man charged over the Family Law Court murders and bombings is expected to be given a “significant amount” of the prosecution’s brief of evidence against him by the end of next month.


Leonard John Warwick’s case was mentioned at Central Local Court on Thursday morning – just over a week after the 68-year-old was arrested for a series of crimes that left four people dead.

It is alleged Warwick targeted judges of the Family Court of Australia, their families, a lawyer and members of the public in a series of attacks between 1980 and 1985 in Sydney.

Warwick has been charged with more than 30 offences and is accused of bombing the homes of two Family Law Court justices, the Family Law Court in Parramatta and a Jehovah’s Witness hall in Casula.

Warwick’s string of offences were allegedly sparked by a legal battle between him and his ex-wife Andrea after their relationship broke down.

During a period of five years, he is accused of blowing up the homes of family law judges who issued unfavourable orders, and killing, or attempting to kill, those who aided Andrea.

In one attack in April 1984, Warwick allegedly put a pipe bomb near the doors of Parramatta’s Family Law Court, causing damage to the building.

Three months later, he allegedly murdered Justice Ray Watson’s wife, Pearl, when a bomb went off at their home.

The DPP told Central Local Court on Thursday that it would be serving a substantial amount of the brief against Warwick by September 24.

Warwick, who remains in custody, will have his case return to court for mention on October 8, when he is expected to appear via video link.

Malaysia confirms wing part is from missing MH370

  • 02/19/2019

Malaysia confirmed early on Thursday that a piece of a wing washed up on an Indian Ocean island beach last week was from Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, the first trace of the plane found since it vanished last year with 239 people on board.


“Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370,” Prime Minister Najib Razak said in an early morning televised address.

“I would like to assure all those affected by this tragedy that the government of Malaysia is committed to do everything within our means to find out the truth of what happened,” Najib said.

The announcement, by providing the first direct evidence that the plane crashed in the ocean, closes a chapter in one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history, but gives victims’ families little clue as to why it disappeared.

Families still seek closure 

The family of Perth man, Paul Weeks, who was on board MH370, said they are upset at the way Malaysian authorities communicated the news.

Paul Weeks’ sister, Sarah, who lives in Christchurch, found out the latest development when a reporter rang her for comment.

She said she was disappointed that “yet again” Malaysian authorities failed to inform families before announcing it to media outlets in a news conference.

“[It’s] pretty disgusting really,” she told Fairfax Media.

The father of an Australian on board MH370 says the family is back to square one with the confirmed discovery of a part from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. 

“We were getting over things … and then this happens and (we are) back to square one,” George Burrows, the father of Rodney Burrows, told ABC radio on Thursday.

“It’s not the end,” said Jacquita Gonzales, who lost her husband Patrick Gomes, a flight attendant.

“Although they found something, you know, it’s not the end. They still need to find the whole plane and our spouses as well. We still want them back,” she said.

The airline described the discovery as “a major breakthrough for us in resolving the disappearance of MH370.

“We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found which would be able to help resolve this mystery,” it said in a statement issued as soon as Najib had spoken.

Australian-led search will continue

The fragment of wing was flown to mainland France after being found last week covered in barnacles on a beach on France’s Indian Ocean island of Reunion.

Despite the Malaysian announcement that the wing was confirmed as coming from MH370, prosecutors in France, where it was still Wednesday evening, stopped short of declaring they were certain, although they said there was a very strong likelihood that was the case. A piece of luggage also found in Reunion would be examined by French police.

The Australian-led search for missing Malaysian flight MH370 will continue amid confirmation a piece of wreckage is from the aircraft.

Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said the Australian-led search in the Indian Ocean would continue.

“We are confident that we are looking in the right area and we’ll find the aircraft there,” he told ABC radio.

‘Real work yet to begin’

Investigators looking at the wing flap are likely to start by putting thin slices of metal under a high-powered microscope, to see subtle clues in the metal’s crystal structure about how it deformed on impact, said Hans Weber, president of TECOP International, Inc., an aerospace technology consulting firm based in San Diego, California.

They can examine biological organisms on the wing for evidence about the part’s path in the ocean, he said.

Later, investigators would probably clean the piece and “do a full physical examination, using ultrasonic analysis before they open it up to see if there’s any internal damage,” Weber said. “That might take quite awhile. A month or months.”

“The real work is yet to begin” in inspecting the wing fragment, John Goglia, a former member of the US National Transportation Safety Board, told Reuters.

“They will identify everything they can from the metal: damage, barnacles, witness marks on the metal. They’re going to look at the brackets (that held the flapron in place) to see how they broke. From that they can tell the direction and attitude of the airplane when it hit. There’s a lot to be told from the metal.”

The examination of the part is being carried out under the direction of a judge at an aeronautical test facility run by the French military at Balma, a suburb of the southwestern city of Toulouse, and witnessed by Malaysian officials.

Officials from the United States and manufacturer Boeing were also on hand. Boeing declined to comment.

Flight MH370 went missing on March 8 last year while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, about 3,700 km (2,300 miles) from Reunion.

The Balma test center specializes in metal analysis and is equipped with a scanning electron microscope capable of 100,000 times magnification. It was used to store and analyze debris from an Air France jet which crashed in the Atlantic in 2009.

The Boeing 777 was minutes into its scheduled flight when it disappeared from civil radar. Investigators believe that someone may have deliberately switched off the aircraft’s transponder, diverted it thousands of miles off course, and deliberately crashed into the ocean off Australia.

In January, Malaysia Airlines officially declared the disappearance an accident, clearing the way for the carrier to pay compensation to relatives while the search goes on.

A $90 million hunt along a rugged 60,000 sq km patch of sea floor 1,600 km (1,000 miles) west of the Australian city of Perth has yielded nothing.

The search has been extended to another 60,000 sq km (23,000 sq miles) and Malaysian and Australian authorities say this will cover 95 percent of MH370’s flight path.

(Additional reporting by Tim Hepher, Siva Govindasamy, Praveen Menon, Emmanuel Jarry, Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah, Ebrahim Harris and Alwyn Scott; Writing by Peter Graff; diting by Ralph Boulton)

Adani court case leaves the climate change question unanswered

  • 02/19/2019

Samantha Hepburn, Deakin University

The Federal Court has overturned the federal environmental approval of Adani’s A$16.


5 billion coalmine project in central Queensland.

The court ordered the approval of the Carmichael mine licence in the Galilee Basin to be set aside, meaning that Adani will have to re-apply for the coal licence and the federal environment minister Greg Hunt will have to re-approve the application.

Sue Higginson, principal solicitor of the Environment Defenders Office NSW, said that the decision of the Federal Court was “based on a failure by the minister to have regard to the conservation advices for two federally listed vulnerable species” – the yakka skink and the ornamental snake. The lawsuit also alleged a failure “to consider global greenhouse emissions from the burning of the coal”.

The Carmichael mine received federal environmental approval in July 2014.

Greenpeace has estimated that the mine, operating at full capacity, would extract enough coal to generate 128 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, equivalent to about a quarter of Australia’s current total emissions from fuel combustion.

So what does the order mean for the Carmichael mine?

A skink and a snake

As I’ve explained previously on The Conversation, the Mackay Conservation Group brought an action to the Federal Court alleging that minister Hunt failed to take into account considerations set out in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

The court found that failure of the minister to take account of two endangered species specifically listed in the EPBC Act – the yakka skink and the ornamental snake – was sufficient for it to be overruled.

The ornamental snake – one of the two species that the federal government failed to account for when approving the Carmichael mine. Stewart Macdonald/Wikimedia, CC BY

In reviewing the endangered species the minister was not presented with the correct conservation documents which meant that any conditions that were included in the approval may have been insufficient to satisfy the requirements of the EPBC Act.

One of the specific aims of the EPBC Act is to ensure that endangered species are properly protected and the endangered species list is specifically identified as a matter of national environmental significance.

There are also concerns that the mine will affect other vulnerable species – black-throated finch – and ancient groundwater springs.

Ignoring greenhouse gases

However, one of the other considerations raised by the Mackay conservation group – the greenhouse gas emissions released from burning extracted coal overseas – was left unresolved by the court.

The EPBC Act specifically requires the principles of ecological sustainable development to be taken into account when assessing matters of national environmental significance. Whether this includes consideration of the climate change implications for the Great Barrier Reef National Park that may flow from the increase in greenhouse gas emissions from such a coal project was not resolved.

The environment minister is required under the EPBC Act to give regard to the social and economic impacts of issuing a coal licence in such an environmentally significant area. In making this assessment, the minister is required to consider the principles of ecologically sustainable development.

This means that the minister must evaluate not only how the land will be impacted, but also broader issues relevant to intergenerational equity. The EPBC Act also specifically mandates that the precautionary principle be taken into account in making decisions and approvals in areas of national environmental significance, like the Great Barrier Reef National Park.

Previous decisions of the Federal Court in this regard have held the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal does come within the scope of the EPBC Act and should be assessed, despite the fact that emissions are difficult to measure and that climate change is caused by a range of different contributors. The focus is the extent of the greenhouse gas emissions rather than the location where they are emitted.

Climate change is a global rather than a domestic concern. The impact of climate change is one of the biggest threats to the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef.

A “statement of reasons” issued by minister Hunt to the Mackay Conservation Group doesn’t refer to the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from burning the coal outside Australia. It appears the minister felt that the direct emissions were properly controlled by strategies proposed in accordance with the National Greenhouse Gas Reporting requirements.

What does it mean for Adani?

The decision by the Federal Court to overrule the licence means that the Federal Court felt that the exercise of power by the Federal Minister in issuing the coal licence to Adani was improper.

For Adani to continue with its coal project it will need to re-apply for the coal licence and the Federal Minister must re-approve the licence taking proper account of the mandated relevant considerations set out within the EPBC Act.

This is likely to involve a more detailed evaluation as to how the coal project, should it proceed, will impact upon the federally listed endangered species and to include robust conditions regarding the future management of those species.

Hopefully, any future assessment will also involve a more detailed evaluation of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions at both the global and domestic level. This is an increasingly crucial concern given the importance of mitigating fossil fuel emissions in response to climate change imperatives.

Samantha Hepburn does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

Champions Chelsea resist temptation to spend

  • 02/19/2019

Jose Mourinho’s side had paid lavish sums to bolster key areas by this time last year but, having claimed the title at a canter, the motto of this transfer window seems to be: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


The club’s marquee signing of the close season has been a loan deal for Colombia forward Radamel Falcao, who, like seven-million-pound goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, is likely to feature only as a back-up in the coming campaign.

Their spendthrift summer contrasts markedly with previous years when owner Roman Abramovich has spent freely building a squad that is estimated to be worth around 400 million pounds according to the statistics website transfermark杭州夜生活,.uk.

Their habitual rivals have not been shy about bringing out the chequebook.

Manchester City, who finished second and start their season at West Bromwich Albion on Monday (1900), broke the bank to bring Raheem Sterling to the club from Liverpool in a deal worth up to 49 million pounds.

Manchester United, who host Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (1145), have spent in the region of 70 million on four players, while Liverpool, whose campaign begins at Stoke City on Sunday (1500), have forked out nearly 80 million, principally on Christian Benteke from Aston Villa and Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim.

Arsenal, who beat Chelsea in the curtain-raising Community Shield last weekend and host West Ham United on Sunday (1230), are the only potential title challengers who have not spent heavily so far.

Yet they have stolen a psychological march on Mourinho’s side by signing their keeper Petr Cech, who played second fiddle at Stamford Bridge last season, to fill a long-time problem position.

Not that Chelsea are feeling the pressure. If anything, Mourinho’s show of confidence in his squad has merely added to their sense of self-belief if you listen to captain John Terry.

“The players are mentally and physically ready but it’s going to be tough, other teams have strengthened, we have seen the players they have brought in and spent a lot of money,” he told Sky Sports.

“Other teams needed to strengthen, we were that much better than other teams last year that maybe we’ve forced their hands a little bit. The manager feels we have a good enough and big enough squad to deal with it and we’ll give it a good fight.”

Bournemouth embark on the first top-flight campaign in their 116-year history at home to Aston Villa on Saturday, while fellow newcomers Norwich City host Crystal Palace and Watford visit Everton (all 1400).

(Editing by Clare Fallon)

Police kill gunman after Nashville cinema attack

  • 02/19/2019

The gunman was identified as a local 51-year-old man and was pronounced dead at the scene, police spokesman Don Aaron told reporters.


“The only person who was shot was the suspect as he emerged out of the rear door of the single movie theater,” he said.

Aaron said police officers working an accident scene nearby quickly responded to the reports of a gunman at the theater. One of them entered the cinema, encountered the gunman and “may well have saved multiple individuals inside.”

When confronted, the gunman fired at the officer, who then returned fire and waited for backup.

The gunman appeared to be shot dead in a hail of bullets when he tried to exit the cinema and encountered police, a witness said.

“There was dust flying everywhere,” said plumber Sean Oliver, who heard a volley of shots and was able to see the back of the cinema.

Three people were treated for exposure to pepper spray, including a 58-year-old man who also suffered a superficial wound to his shoulder, likely from the ax, Brian Haas of the Nashville Fire Department told reporters. None of the victims was taken to hospitals.

“This could have been a lot worse,” Haas said.

The man also had a backpack strapped to his chest that police said they later detonated to eliminate any possible threat.

The shooting comes less than two weeks after three people were killed and nine were wounded when a gunman opened fire in a cinema in Lafayette, Louisiana. The gunman was among the dead.

The incident was on the minds of many in Tennessee.

“This makes me want to hug my mother,” said Calvin Johnson, 17, who was at a restaurant about 50 yards from the shooting.

Two employees of a nearby Starbucks restaurant said they heard three or four gunshots and saw several police cars, fire trucks and ambulances responding.

The Tennessee and Louisiana shootings come three years after 12 people were slain and dozens wounded by a gunman at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Ex-NSW MP Stoner drops suit against Jones

  • 02/19/2019

Ex-NSW deputy premier and former state Nationals leader Andrew Stoner has dropped defamation proceedings against broadcaster Alan Jones and Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.


Jones was not in court to see Justice Lucy McCullum order that the proceedings be vacated, but Mr Buckingham was in the public gallery and spoke outside court.

“This is a great day for me personally and, I think, for free speech in NSW,” Mr Buckingham said.

“There were no conditions on the settlement. We did not provide an apology, we are not paying any of Andrew Stoner’s costs, and he didn’t get one red bloody cent out of the Greens, myself or Alan Jones … we’re claiming it as a profound victory.”

The case was withdrawn days after Mr Buckingham and Mr Jones filed their defence, which Mr Stoner’s lawyers sought to block from public release because it was “scandalous”.

It is understood the defendants’ lawyers had flagged an intention to cross-examine Mr Stoner about recent revelations he had been targeted while in office by online extortionists.

Mr Buckingham said the suit – launched in response to a series of monologues and interviews on Mr Jones’s radio show – was a “political attack” that should never have been brought.

The claims aired included that the since-retired MP was “gutless” and favoured the mining industry’s interests over those of the community.

“This case came within days of the election, when both Mr Jones and myself were vigorously holding the government to account over the issues of coalmining in the Liverpool Plains, coal seam gas, and (the coalition’s) standards of governance,” he said.

The Greens MP has called for defamation laws to be reformed and for NSW Premier Mike Baird to thoroughly investigate the blackmail allegations that have enveloped Mr Stoner “because it goes to the integrity of decision-making at the highest levels of our government”.

Comment is being sought from Mr Jones.

MH370 find validates search: Abbott

  • 02/19/2019

Experts say a wing part from flight MH370 found off the coast of Reunion Island is consistent with the theory the plane went down in the southern Indian Ocean area currently being searched by Australian authorities.


Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed overnight a wing part found on the French island of Reunion was from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, but he gave no indication that analysis of the debris yielded any clues to the cause of the disappearance.

French prosecutors used more cautious language, saying only there was a “very high probability” the wreckage came from MH370.

The Australian government’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre says the finding of the wing part, called a flaperon, is consistent with the search area in the southern Indian Ocean.

“Thorough and methodical search efforts will continue in the defined search area,” the JACC said in a statement.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the find vindicates the Australian-led search for the missing plane that vanished along with its 239 passengers – including six Australians – 17 months ago.

“The fact that this wreckage does very much look like it’s from MH370 does seem … very consistent with the search pattern we’ve been using,” Mr Abbott said.

A French-led investigation team is continuing to finalise its analysis of the wreckage, while an expert from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is in France to aid the international investigation team.

University of Southampton oceanographer Simon Boxall said the Reunion find made sense.

He said the flaperon would have taken 15 to 18 months to reach Madagascar after it was pushed north by ocean currents.

“La Reunion is an island not far off Madagascar, so it’s about spot on,” he said.

Dr Boxall said it was good fortune that it washed up on a populated beach.

The part could have washed up in a remote part of Madagascar or east Africa, or it could have continued in a gyre and made its way back towards Australia over three or four years.

“So it could have found itself back to where it started,” he said.

Malaysia Airlines said in a statement it both expected and hoped more objects would be found.

“This is indeed a major breakthrough for us in resolving the disappearance of MH370,” the airline said in a statement, offering deep sympathies to the family members of passengers.

Wednesday marked 515 days since the plane vanished.

Families still seek closure 

The family of Perth man, Paul Weeks, who was on board MH370, said they are upset at the way Malaysian authorities communicated the news.

Paul Weeks’ sister, Sarah, who lives in Christchurch, found out the latest development when a reporter rang her for comment.

She said she was disappointed that “yet again” Malaysian authorities failed to inform families before announcing it to media outlets in a news conference.

“[It’s] pretty disgusting really,” she told Fairfax Media.

The father of an Australian on board MH370 says the family is back to square one with the confirmed discovery of a part from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. 

“We were getting over things … and then this happens and (we are) back to square one,” George Burrows, the father of Rodney Burrows, told ABC radio on Thursday.

“It’s not the end,” said Jacquita Gonzales, who lost her husband Patrick Gomes, a flight attendant.

“Although they found something, you know, it’s not the end. They still need to find the whole plane and our spouses as well. We still want them back,” she said.

The airline described the discovery as “a major breakthrough for us in resolving the disappearance of MH370.

“We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found which would be able to help resolve this mystery,” it said in a statement issued as soon as Najib had spoken.

Doping tests for athletes evolve but gaps remain

  • 02/19/2019

Increasingly, these are genetically-engineered products that mimic the body’s own hormones and proteins.


One such drug popular among athletes is Epogen. Made by Amgen Inc it is a recombinant version of erythropoietin (EPO), a substance produced in the kidney and used by the body to form oxygen-carrying red blood cells. It is used to treat anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease.

Some athletes misuse Epogen to increase endurance and boost performance. It is on the list of substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

“We have a way to detect EPO but it’s difficult,” said Dr. Don Catlin, former director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory. “It takes a couple of days to do and it’s expensive, so sports organizations who pay for the testing don’t like to order it.”

Concerns over doping resurfaced over the weekend after Britain’s Sunday Times and Germany’s ARD/WDR said they had obtained data from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suggesting extensive doping in athletics between 2001 and 2012.

The IAAF on Tuesday described the European reports as “sensationalist and confusing” and said there was no evidence any athlete had failed a drugs test. It refuted any notion that it had not used all available tools to target suspected dopers.


Among the problems facing testers are the costs and difficulties of detecting drugs.

An EPO test, for instance, will only identify the drug if it was used within the previous 48 hours, said Catlin, who is considered one of the most prominent anti-doping experts in the field. A single EPO test can cost $300 or more. Human growth hormones are also hard to identify and expensive to test for, added Catlin.

Anti-doping experts are increasingly turning to a new approach that monitors an athlete’s blood profile over time and can detect changes in its overall composition that could be the result of doping, whether or not a specific banned substance is discovered. This profile is known as an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP).

“Unusually large disparities between an athlete’s historic values and values obtained from a recent test may alert officials of doping or a medical condition requiring closer examination,” the Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses, which helped develop the ABP, explains on its website.

Cycling was one of the first sports to introduce the ABP in 2008.

The ABP has various modules. The most advanced is the Athlete Hematological Passport, which measures an athlete’s blood profile and could alert testers to attempts to boost the blood’s oxygen-carrying capacity, the Laboratory says.

Another module of the passport is based on hormones secreted by the athlete’s endocrine system. A subsidiary of the endocrine module is a steroidological passport used to detect the abuse of testosterone. New markers may be introduced in the future.


The ABP is a useful additional tool, but it has limitations too, said Catlin, whose lab helped create many of the tests currently used to detect performance-enhancing drugs. An individual’s haemoglobin levels can vary from day to day. Low haemoglobin could be due to anaemia or some other condition. If that were the baseline, a bounce back to normal could look suspicious if the test is not used carefully.

To avoid incorporating normal shifts into the suspicious category the level constituting a positive test has to be set so high that there is room underneath to avoid detection.

“The passport is constantly being modified to make it better and stronger,” said Catlin, a former member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical Commission. “You just have to be darn careful as to how you set the rules.”

According to the IOC, the sports world spends about $300 million on testing a year. Yet WADA figures show the number of adverse findings in 2014 was just 1.1 percent, down from 1.3 percent in 2013.

“Sports organizations set aside only so much money for testing and when that’s gone, it’s gone,” Catlin said. “There are wide open spaces when people don’t order tests.”

Mark Adams, an IOC spokesman, said the answer may not be more testing but “smarter, more targeted” testing.

The IOC now keeps samples for 10 years and re-tests them periodically as new technology becomes available, he said. Already some athletes have been caught years later.

(Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Andrew Hay)

eBay removes listing for Adam Goodes’ ‘imaginary spear’

  • 02/19/2019

The satirical listing on eBay listed the item’s selling points including its capability of “terrifying an entire small-minded crowd with an implied lob in their direction”.


The seller, based in the ACT, posted the item at an initial price of $8.50.

The item garned 57 bids, pushing the selling price to $20,200 before the listing was taken down.

A spokesperson for eBay said the listing had been removed because it breached the company’s policy on the sale of “intangible items”.

“eBay is a place where people buy all sorts of items, and it’s important that sellers create listings that offer physical items or actual services,” the policy reads.

“We don’t allow listings that don’t offer anything for sale or those that have intangible items (generally things that don’t physically exist).”

A similar listing to the first was also posted on eBay before being taken down.

eBay said it would be monitoring for any new listings of non-existent items.

The war dance peformed by Adam Goodes triggered a national debate on racism, sport and culture. 

Consistent booing against the dual Brownlow Medallist and former Australian of the Year ignited debate on whether the booing was motivated by racism. 

Aboriginal leader Warren Mundine called for sports teams to adopt an Indigenous dance to promote team spirit and respect for cultures. 

He said Goodes’ war dance was wrongly viewed as menacing.

Mr Mundine said the adoption of a dance across the Leagues, like had been done with the Haka in New Zealand, would help change perceptions.

“One thing about the Haka is it’s performed by non-Maori New Zealanders as well as Maori-New Zealanders and they come together and share this cultural experience,” he told ABC Radio.

It has since been revealed that the war dance performed by Goodes involved the throwing of a boomerang and not a spear.

Choreographer Mark Yettica-Paulson told NITV News the war cry was developed by an Indigenous youth football team with the goal of reflecting the spirit of AFL and maintaining culture.

“The move is around brandishing a boomerang, it is one with the long part and a very short part like a number seven,” he said.

“The significance of Adam doing that dance in the Indigenous round to show cultural pride is really a reference to the cultural pride these 15-year-old boys have developed. Their pride and strength in who they are to teach the All Stars that.”

Female-friendly workplaces ‘may put men off’

  • 02/19/2019

Creating a positive working environment for women in some workplaces may actually be detrimental to retaining high-quality male employees, a study has found.


The Workplace Gender and Equality Strategy, funded by the federal Employment Department and carried out by the Centre for Workplace Leadership, has concluded some organisations think it’s just about making work female-friendly.

In the majority of occupations this may create a positive environment, its final report released on Thursday said.

However, that was a simplistic approach that can cause problems in male-dominated industries such as science, mining and engineering.

“This focus on creating a positive environment for women may result in a failure to attract and retain high-quality male employees,” the report said.

Therefore equality needs to be viewed more broadly as creating a work environment for both men and women.

The centre worked with 10 organisations, including The Myer Family Company, the Sydney office of the Asia Development Bank and The Hospitality Group, on their existing gender equality policies.

All demonstrated a basic understanding of the importance of gender equality to their work, but most hadn’t linked their strategies to their core business activities, it said.

Others focused on measuring their gender representation overall and at managerial levels, but don’t look at other areas such as implementing flexible work practices.

Group vice-president of Jacobs Group (Australia) Michael Shirley said his company’s involvement in the study was a valuable exercise enabling it to assess its progress.

“This project came at an opportune time, helping us to think more about what an inclusive culture entails to unlock the potential of all our employees, male and female,” said Myer Family Company’s human resources director Clare Bird.

The minister assisting the prime minister for women Michaelia Cash, who released the report, said promoting gender equality in the workplace had clear economic benefits.