October, 2019

Rosie Batty to close son namesake charity

Former Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty is stepping away from public life (File).Former Australian of the Year and family violence campaigner Rosie Batty is stepping back from the public eye and closing the foundation set up in her son Luke’s honour.
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Ms Batty set up the Luke Batty Foundation after the 11-year-old boy was murdered by his father Greg Anderson while at cricket practice in Victoria on February 12, 2014, after she had endured year of violence at Anderson’s hands.

A tireless anti-family violence campaigner, Ms Batty was named Australian of the in 2015.

“It has been a gruelling and unrelenting four years in the public eye and I sincerely thank you for being with me every step of the way,” she said in a statement on Friday.

“Unfortunately I realise that I can’t keep going at this pace forever. It is unsustainable and I am tired. I now need to prioritise my self-care and recognise my limitations – advice that has been given to me by trusted friends for some time.”

Ms Batty resigned as chief executive of the Luke Batty Foundation and an interim CEO will oversee the distribution of the charity’s funds to appropriate not-for-profit anti-family violence campaigns.

“The Luke Batty Foundation has supported me on this amazing but bitter sweet journey and has enabled me to advocate and campaign in a way that would otherwise have been impossible,” she said.

“However, it is now taking steps to respectfully close its doors and transition its programs so that Luke’s legacy can continue to give voices to victims of family violence.”

Ms Batty said she was proud of the foundation’s achievements, giving victims a voice and demanding leaders act.

She said she would eventually look at opportunities that do not require her to be in the public eye “quite so much”.

“I shall be supporting the government’s reform here in Victoria as Chair of the Victim Survivor’s Advisory Council and I shall continue to advocate for victims to influence policy reform where I can be most effective,” she said.

In 2015 the Victorian Andrews Labor government held the Royal Commission into Family Violence and upon its completion, vowed to enact all 227 recommendations.

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

Australian Associated Press


Merewether chasing finals success

RIGHT BEHIND YOU: Merewether Surfboard Club star Ryan Callinan races up the beach in vain to the change-over area during the teams section of the Australian Boardriders Battle national final at Newcastle last year. Picture: Max Mason-HubersJACKSON Baker believes a simple approach will be best when MerewetherSurfboard Club shoot for redemption at the Australian Boardriders Battle national final at Newcastle this weekend.
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Merewether will carry Hunter hopes, along with the winner of Saturday morning’s host wildcard trials, into the annual Surfing Australia clubs event.

Third, sixthandthird in the first three national finals held at Cronulla, Merewether narrowly missed the teams decider last year when the contest debuted at Newcastle.

Merewether fell a countback short of making the decisive teams section grand final in 2017 after a time penalty in the quarter-finals proved costly.Final surfer RyanCallinan was left limited time to chase a score to ensure atop-two finish and was late returning to the change-over area.

Avoca, featuring championship tour surfers Matt Wilkinson and Adrian Buchan and 2018 addition Wade Carmichael, went on to win the crown.

Callinanstarred in the skins section last yearandspearheads a strong 2018 line-up for Merewether, who won their regional qualifying event.

Baker, Travis Lynch, Philippa Anderson, junior Madison Poole and Mitchel Ross are also in the 2018 squad, which hasLuke Egan as coach. Thereserves are Jackson Brent, Gus Nicholson, Amelie Burke and Marc Adam.

This year, Merewether meet Tasmanian club South Arm, Sydney’sElouera and Culburra, who include Tyler, Owen and Mikey Wright, in the teams and women’s rounds. In the knockout skinssection, they face Culburra andBurleigh Heads.

Baker, who has been in top form with back-to-back titles on the World Surf League qualifying series, believed Merewether just had to keep a simple game plan.

“We’ve got a good little team this year but we can’t get caught up in that we’re the local team and we have theadvantage of the crowd,” Baker said.

“We’ve just got to surf. I think everyone has just got to get fives and you pretty much win.

“It’s not hard, but we’ve done it before and thought about it way too much.”

Huge north-east swell is predicted for the event and Anderson, who will take on world champion Tyler Wright in the women’s, hoped local knowledge would pay off.

“Hopefully we can get it together,” Anderson said.

“We’ve got a pretty solid team and all of us have surfed Newcastle quite a bit so if it gets bigger, hopefully we’ll be able to handle it and just have some fun.

“It’s always a good event.It’s just the grassroots of surfingand, as a kid, probably the first events that you do are boardriders.

“I know all the groms from Merewether are always down there cheering at club events, hoping that once they get older, they can compete in the team one day. So it’s just a really good vibe.”

​Twenty-four clubs, manyfeaturingcurrent and former championship toursurfers, will compete.

The Australian Boardriders Battle final will be shown live on Channel 9’s GO! channel onSunday from1pm. Fox Sports More (Channel 507) will broadcast the entire weekend live from8am to 6pmdaily.

The qualifiers are:

























Who will take responsibility for Joyce?

Barnaby Joyce and Malcolm Turnbull have strained relations leaving no one to fix the problem.Who will take responsibility for the harm Barnaby Joyce’s actions have done to the government?
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Clearly it won’t be Joyce himself, who chose to call his own prime minister “inept” and is refusing to resign.

Either Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has to back away from his stinging criticism of his deputy, or the Nationals have to cut loose a man they are strongly backing.

Neither looks likely, so what looks to be an irreparably-damaged relationship at the top of the government is going to drag on.

Regardless of the rights and wrongs, Joyce’s affair with a staffer and the fallout from it has consumed the government for 10 full days.

Sussan Ley lasted 10 days before quitting the front bench over claiming travel expenses to buy a house on the Gold Coast.

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop lasted 18 days before her inevitable resignation over taking a helicopter to a Liberal fundraiser.

How many more days will Joyce last?

For about 24 hours in the middle of the week, Joyce and coalition MPs thought he had pulled out of the death spiral.

The flood of revelations about his affair with staffer Vikki Campion had seemingly dried up.

The 20 other Nationals MPs lined up behind their leader, after some grumbling from a small group.

They see him as an electoral asset, a man who bombastically stands up for the regions, delivering money and votes.

Liberal MPs privately said they thought this scandal was going to end with a resignation until Joyce appeared to pull it out of the fire on Wednesday.

Despite his mistakes, one MP summed up his worth to the coalition:

“We’re better with him than without him.”

Then the pressure ratcheted up.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told parliament Joyce would be taking personal leave next week instead of being acting prime minister while Turnbull was in Washington.

More questions were raised about a rent-free townhouse Joyce was given to live in for six months, thanks to his rich friend Greg Maguire.

Then there were questions about a function his department paid for at Maguire’s Armidale hotel.

And it was revealed Joyce’s push to move the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to Armidale meant taxpayers have spent almost $15,000 putting staff in that same hotel.

Turnbull had just spent nine days defending Joyce, in parliament, to journalists, to anyone.

But as each latest revelation came out, the prime minister had to ask himself why he was defending the increasingly indefensible.

A passionate and strident Turnbull waited until 4.55pm on Thursday to unload.

The PM said Joyce humiliated his wife, daughters and new partner, in making a “shocking error of judgment”.

Turnbull told Joyce to consider his position on his week off and when asked if the Nationals leader should resign, he offered this: “Barnaby is the leader of the National party, okay? They are our coalition partners. They have a coalition agreement.”

The message was extremely clear.

Quit, Barnaby, quit.

Instead of heeding that call, Joyce returned fire on Turnbull’s comments.

“I believe they were in many instances inept, and most definitely in many instances unnecessary,’ he said.

He refused to resign, and said there is nothing worse for the Nationals than someone trying to interfere in their internal party affairs.

Turnbull can’t sack Joyce because he’s the leader of the Nationals, and only the Nats can choose their boss.

The Nationals were originally banking on voters feeling the humanity of a no-win situation.

Admittedly Joyce did have a tough choice – to leave his wife of 24 years for his pregnant girlfriend, or stay at home and put her out on the street?

Either story is a bad look, although Joyce should be criticised for refusing multiple media offers to confirm the pregnancy and get out in front of the issue.

But the scandal has created a rift and it is not clear the relationship can be repaired.

Joyce is stubbornly clinging to his leadership, Turnbull is unlikely to make an apology, and the Nationals are so far backing their man to the hilt.

Something has to give – or the scandal will drag on and on.

Australian Associated Press


Gary Harley’s Newcastle racing preview

Sydney trainer Mark Newnham is enjoying a stellar season in only his second year of training and is confident that the quartet of three-year-olds he is sending to Newcastle on Saturday all have winning chances.
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The former jockey’s Newcastle team includes Key to Glory (1200 metre Maiden Handicap) Pulang Pula, (1400 metre Maiden Handicap), Kung Fu Master (1850 metre Maiden Plate) and Divine Breeze (1400 metre Class 2 Handicap).

Newnham has trained 29 winners in the first half of the season.

“I am confident that all four will go close to winning, with Pulang Pula my best chance,” he said.

““The filly went great when a close second first-up at Kembla. She raceson the pace and has trained on well since.

“Key to Glory was all over the place when a close third, first-up at Kembla.

CONFIDENT: Mark Newnham

“The trip was short of his best and he will go much better on Saturday with the blinkers back on.

“Kung Fu Master needs every bit of 1850 metres. He was a bit one-paced over the 1600 at Kembla last start. The horse has never run a bad race and the blinkers come off on Saturday.

“There was no depth in the three-horse race that Divine Breeze won on debut at Gosford recently. However, she won easily and it was a confidence booster for her.”

Newcastle’s leading trainer Kris Lees has five horses running on his home track as he closes in on a century of winners for the season.

Lees has already saddled up 91 ½ winners for the season and he is

on track to break the stables best ever season in 2016/2017 when he prepared 161 ½ winners. At

Newcastle on Saturday Lees Racing will be represented by Lets Get Nauti Gal (race 2), High Power (race 5), Clevanicc (race 7), with Chilly Cha Cha and Unbridled Power in race 8.


At last justice for boys who weren’t believed

ROYAL Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse data released in 2017 on offendingrates against the Catholic Church in Australia shocked the nation.
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It shocked the church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council chief executive Francis Sullivan to the point of tears as he delivered a final address on the church’s behalf to the commission.

For years Catholic leaders argued strongly that the church was unfairly targeted by the media, and child sexoffending rates for the church were comparablewith rates in the general community.

The royal commission blew that myth away. The commission found that across Australia between 1950 and 2009 the rate of priests accused of committing child sex offences was 7 per cent.

But it was the offending rates among religious orders that produced the most horrifying figures, with 20 per cent of Marist Brothers and 22 per cent of Christian Brothers accused of offences. But both these orders –and all other churches and institutions in Australia investigated by the commission –did not reach the truly appalling rate of the St John of God order.

More than 40 per cent of its representatives, or two in five of its members, were accused of child sex offences over six decades.

In a courtroom on Friday the true nature of what that figure represents in terms of the number of victims, and the trail of destruction left by this one Catholic group, was laid bare. The former Brother Bernard McGrath, 70, was jailed on Friday for the fourth time on 64 offences against 12 victims at the notorious Kendall Grange boys’ home at Morisset between 1978 and 1986. McGrath was principal for almost all those years.

McGrath recklessly and opportunistically groomed, assaulted, attacked, humiliated and discarded some of the most vulnerable young children in the community, because he could.

One of the most sobering aspects of Friday’s sentencing of McGrath to 33 years’ jail for his crimeswas the fact that so many boys reported the abuse to adults including police and parents, and weren’t believed.

McGrath’s victims in Australia and New Zealand sought justice for years, with courage and determination. On Friday, with that long sentence delivered, they achieved some justice for the many who were silenced for so long.

Issue: 38,726.