Sexist culture needs to be stamped out

A survey of Australians released October 1 by Plan International Australia shows that, unfortunately, we still have a long way to go to address sexism in Australia.
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That three-in-four young Australian women and girls have been subjected to sexist comments and 28 per cent said they often heard a politician, sportsperson or public figure make a sexist remark is deeply concerning.

When men feel it is OK tobehave disrespectfully, and sexist attitudes against women are common, we create a culture of support for violence against women.

One-in-two young women said sexism has affected their career path and one-third said it would be easier to get their dream job if they were male.

Sadly, none of this is surprising.

VicHealth’s National Community Attitudes Survey on Violence Against Women, released recently, showed more than a quarter of Australians believe men make better political leaders and more than one-in-10 said that when jobs are scarce, men have more right to a job than women.

Sexist and violent behaviour is learnt and it can be unlearned.

If we want to change attitudes and create a culture where young women and girls thrive academically and professionally, we need to reject an Australia where sexist behaviour is ignored or trivialised.

Jerril Rechter,

CEO VicHealth

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

EDITORIAL: Ominous evidence on unions

WHEN the Abbott Coalition government set up its Royal Commission into trade union governance, some labelled it as no more than an ideological stunt.
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It was suggested that the Coalition was simply looking for another way to discredit trade unions as part of its presumed interest in breaking down and deregulating working conditions.

If anybody still believes that, they are keeping their mouths shut and their heads down, as sensational evidence alleges involvement between organised crime and the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union.

It is being alleged that union officials accepted regular ‘‘bribes’’ from criminals, that outlaw motorcycle gangs infiltrated the union and that threats and intimidation were commonly used by union leaders and their business associates to silence protests and shut down whistleblowers.

Last month, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana said police were probing organised crime links and allegations of blackmail and extortion within the union.

The union denies illegal conduct, saying its interests are purely the protection of workers’ rights and safety.

But now as many as five union officials have moved to disassociate themselves from the CFMEU’s senior leadership, alleging bullying, intimidation and pressure to participate in illegal activities.

Recent years have been bad ones for the trade union movement, with the actions and alleged actions of some salaried officials threatening to bring the entire institution into disrepute.

This is problematic for union members who have relied on their industrial organisations to do the heavy lifting for them in wage negotiations.

Every proven instance of union misconduct makes it easier for the enemies of unionism to achieve their goal of undermining the institution, and the harder those in charge of the trade union structure fight to preserve their comfortable status quo without addressing the emerging concerns, the worse the problem gets.

Unions exist because circumstance arose in the past that made their existence necessary. Their birth was troubled, and accompanied by often-ferocious battles between activists and employer groups.

For many decades their presence has been taken for granted in Australia, and although their power has been steadily eroded, their influence is still significant in industrial relations and in politics.

If trade unions permit themselves to be discredited because of their behaviour, some officials will no doubt pay a penalty.

But that penalty may pale into insignificance alongside the price that will almost certainly be paid by ordinary union members who stand to lose some of the valuable advocacy and protection that industrial organisations provide.

Maguire puts faith in rookie to replace Luke

Api KoroisauSOUTH Sydney coach Michael Maguire has backed young hooker Api Koroisau to fill the huge void left by Issac Luke’s suspension for Sunday’s NRL grand final.
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Luke is serving a one-match ban for a lifting tackle on Sonny Bill Williams.

Fiji international Koroisau has scarcely played a full 80 minutes in his 13 NRL appearances, and although Maguire admitted he would have to tinker with his tactics to deal with the loss of Luke, he backed the Penrith-bound youngster to rise to the occasion.

‘‘Api has done a great job when he’s come into the team, and he’s been mentored by Issac, so we know we have a quality player coming into the side,’’ Maguire said.

‘‘We’ve got our plan and processes in place and he’ll slot in and away we’ll go.’’

Koroisau filled in for Luke earlier this season when he was sidelined with a shoulder injury, but he split the role with fellow youngster Cameron McInnes.

McInnes was recovering from an ankle injury towards the end of the season but impressed during his stint in the side earlier in the year and is seen as Luke’s long-term successor.

However, Maguire ruled out dropping a forward from his bench to accommodate two hookers.

‘‘We’ll see how the game goes, but what you see here today is what you’ll get,’’ Maguire said at the grand final lunch for the two teams in Darling Harbour.

The loss of Luke is a headache for Maguire, who was giving little away when asked about contingency plans to give Koroisau a spell on the sidelines for what is going to be a fearsome battle between two sets of powerful forwards.

With no other player with experience of playing hooker, Maguire may have to use five-eighth Luke Keary at dummy-half and move John Sutton to the halves.

Chris McQueen, a former winger, filled the role briefly during Koroisau’s debut in round four against Canberra and is also an option.

‘‘It depends on how the game pans out,’’ Maguire said. ‘‘We’ll obviously have a few things in place. We have options there, but we’ll see how we go.’’

Sunday’s game will be the last for Sam Burgess before he heads to play rugby in England, capping off a superb five years in the NRL.

Burgess, who finished third in Tuesday’s Dally M Medal voting behind joint winners Jarryd Hayne and Johnathan Thurston, said he had not thought about anything else apart from going out on a high note on Sunday.

‘‘The clock has been ticking down all year, I guess,’’ Burgess said. ‘‘But this week has been cracking and I’ve been able to spend some good, quality time with the team and I’ve really enjoyed it.

‘‘I am pretty relaxed. It’s been good around our place. We have a good mixture of young and old and I am somewhere in the middle.

‘‘We’ve got some great lads around, and it’s been very easy and brought us closer together,’’ he said.

Dangers of government cutting the RET

South Australia is one of the states with the most to lose if the Federal Government slashes the national Renewable Energy Target (RET) following the recommendations of a review by formerCaltex Chair Dick Warburton.
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Despite the review concluding that the RET was working effectively and that reducing the target would result in higher prices to consumers, it still recommended slashing the target.

If the Federal Government goes down this path, it will be much harder for mums, dads and small businesses to install solar power and solar hot watersystems to help reduce theirpower bills.

Not only that, but more than 2000 South Australian solar jobs and dozens of local solar businesses would also be at risk if the policy is cut.

Billions of dollars in investment will be created if the RET is left alone, generating jobs, providing work for contracting businesses and solar installers.

Australians want a solar future, so Tony Abbott, let’s not blow it.

Kane Thornton,

Acting Chief ExecutiveClean Energy Council

TOPICS: Bear beats belly bulge in time for summer fun

BACK IN FORM: Bear, the three-legged dog from Carrington, makes the most of the attention from his personal trainer, Shoko Kasanami, and owner, Miwa Haas, at Cafe Inu. Picture: Darren PatemanWALK through Carrington and you’ll know you’re in Bear country. Over there, Bear the three-legged dog is a big deal – too big, lately, for his owners’ liking.
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Peter and Miwa Haas – who also own the popular Cafe Inu – soon realised doting customers were behind their American staffy’s burgeoning belly.

‘‘He was just getting bigger and bigger,’’ staff member and Bear’s personal trainer, Shoko Kasanami, told Topics.

‘‘He was getting burgers and chips from people, and next thing we knew, he was like a big barrel.’’

Not only do patrons spoil him (Topics once witnessed a man who resembled a Hell’s Angel cooing ‘‘who’s a good boy, yes you are’’), but Bear was also showing up at the neighbours’ for snacks.

Already a leg down and predisposed to arthritis, Bear had to get serious. So Shoko made him a handy red neckerchief – ‘‘Don’t feed me,’’ it reads – and put him through his paces.

‘‘I’ve been taking him for walks, taking him up the Carrington hill,’’ she said.

‘‘He’s a workaholic. He wakes me up at 6.30am.’’

For a dog who’s just turned four, Bear’s been through a lot. A collision with a shard of metal protruding from a yard last Australia Day cost him a limb, but he was out of bed and running up stairs within weeks.

And with summer almost here, he’s looking svelte and there are even reports of him frolicking with a fetching young staffy. You old dog.

You can follow his adventures on the Facebook page ‘‘Bear the 3-legged Wonder Dog’’.

EVEN IN TURKEY: There was a guy in a Knights jumper at the Lone Pine Cemetery for Anzac Day 2001.

NOVOCASTRIANS Abroad Syndrome is real and it’s been happening for years, confirms Fran Faulkner. She can think of three instances off the top of her head.

‘‘First one, we were at Heathrow when I noticed a lady who looked like my husband’s ex-workmate. Turned out it was her,’’ Fran says.

‘‘Second trip, lady on our tour of Venice set me straight that we had worked together 20 years ago.’’

Again in London, Fran heard a familiar voice – and turned to see a lady from the chemist in Charlestown.

While not abroad, Paul Weaver found that two of three caravans queued at Roxby Downs, WA, belonged to people from the Hunter. He later met travellers from Maitland, Blackalls and Cameron Park. At Marble Bar, he had a beer with Dungog’s favourite son – Doug Walters.

Elaine Street, of Merewether, didn’t expect to find a Hunter connection in Cinque Terre, Italy.

‘‘But I started a conversation with an Australian couple,’’ she says.

‘‘The wife told me she had a sister in Newcastle. The sister was the wife of a retired minister of my church at Scots Kirk Hamilton.’’

Browsing a shop in Calgary, Canada, Nancy Wright, of Tarro, met a woman she recognised from Georgetown. Turned out, she now lived in nearby Red Deer and was keen for word from home.

Finally, Novocastrians Barry and Glenys Martin travelled to Turkey for Anzac Day 2001.

EVEN IN TURKEY: There was a guy in a Knights jumper at the Lone Pine Cemetery for Anzac Day 2001.

‘‘At the Australian Service at Lone Pine Cemetery, we spotted this guy in a Knights jumper,’’ they report.