Bridie O’Donnell wants to make women’s sport better, so others don’t suffer like she did

Former champion Australian road cyclist Bridie O’Donnell used to find herself in “compromising positions” just to be paid, such was the state of European professional women’s cycling in 2010.
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Promised her money but then not paid on time, O’Donnell (while riding professionally in Italy) was on one occasion told to meet her “financially and emotionally abusive” team director at his house at 10pm so she could get her wage.

“I’d take a teammate with me and he’d be furious,” O’Donnell, Victoria’s head of the brand-new Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, told Fairfax Media.

“You’d hear these stories about him and I was put in a really bad position and didn’t want to not demand the salary we had agreed on and signed on in a contract, but I also knew that other athletes who had complained to the UCI about instances that were highly inappropriate were met with no help or recourse.

“He would show up at our team house – which he owns – to scream at you about the way the house is cleaned … There wasn’t at that time great governance about how teams managed riders, whether or not they paid them, honoured contracts or whether they emotionally, physically, sexually or financially abused them.”

O’Donnell also said if you spoke up against the bosses in those teams you simply weren’t selected to compete, because the team heads knew not competing would make it hard for the athletes to be chosen to ride for their countries.

“Being on these teams is the only pathway to race professionally or in UCI-governed races. You can’t be an independent person and enter like a triathlon or ironman.”

While things have improved, there is still no UCI-sanctioned minimum wage for female riders.

It was experiences like those that inspired O’Donnell – a medical doctor who has worked recently at the Epworth Hospital – to become the first head of Victoria’s Office for Women in Sport and Recreation (OWSR).

She understands how gaps in the political governance of sport can lead to poor conditions for female athletes and wants Victorian women to have the best possible recreational environments on offer – whether they’re elite performers or weekend warriors.

O’Donnell is a national road time-trial champion, represented Australia at three world championships, and once held the world track hour record.

OWSR was announced earlier in 2017 as one of the recommendations from a panel of experts, headed by Richmond president Peggy O’Neal, which looked into how Victoria’s politicians could better govern women’s sport given its recent surge in popularity.

Given the success of the AFLW, the rise of the Matildas and the continuing strength of women in sports such as basketball and netball the government wants to both “strike while the iron is hot” and get as many women playing sport as possible, while simultaneously making sure conditions and infrastructure for that to happen are adequate.

O’Donnell is passionate about using her role to make sport and recreation easier, safer, more inclusive and more tailored to women in Victoria and will work to implement changes from a professional level right down to “mums taking their kids for a walk more regularly”.

“Married women who work with children have the worst mental and physical health in Australia,” she said. “They constantly prioritise themselves last. They put children, partner, finances, job, the dog before them.

“It’s just reminding women that it’s about you’re a better mother, wife, daughter or whatever if you have had time to be active, to be healthy. You can do more.

“The bandwidth of behaviour change that I can influence and the possible policies and future that I can shape of young women and their attitudes to themselves and how they can be involved across all areas of sport, including governing, I couldn’t pass this up.”

She was a rower and an ironman triathlete before she became a cyclist at age 36. When she wasn’t able to get a cycling contract overseas she returned to Australia to ride and manage local teams, something that she said prepared her for her new role.

“I’ve had so much lived experience of good and bad challenges in sport and the same in medicine. There is a long history of ruthless, hierarchical bullying in the medical fraternity toward women.

“For many women they just change or shape their efforts to remain as focused as they can on what they can control but it does mean you hit a ceiling on what you can achieve.”

O’Donnell will have three staff working with her in the office and will begin in the role in early November and she says getting out and meeting people involved in women’s sport will be her top priority.

“I am going to need to hear a lot of people tell me what they want, what they’re doing, what’s working and what’s not working and then we almost need a massive piece of butcher’s paper and then sit down and prioritise things.”

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

Mattara Classic continues unbroken history

Mattara Classic continues unbroken history PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.
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PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

PRESTIGE: The Mattara Surf Classic has been a staple of the surfing calendar since 1962 and is set for its 56th tournament.

TweetFacebookRelatedJackson Baker looks to add name to illustrious list ahead of Hawaiian campaignMerewether’s Philippa Anderson to compete in World Qualifying Series at Birubi BeachNewcastle’s Mattara Surf Classic entries open for 2017Mattara Surf Classic 2016: Jamie Skillin survives late scare to claim title

Hazlewood shapes as rock of Australian attack in Ashes

There is a family friend of Josh Hazlewood who has followed the Australian team abroad over the past couple of years when he can, brandishing the same banner wherever he goes.
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It reads “The Bendemeer Bullet”, in dual acknowledgement of the tiny village north-east of Tamworth from where the Test paceman hails and how quickly he rolls the arm over.

Matt Zell is his name. He was there in Dominica in 2015 and in Colombo last year, too. “He sort of saves up and goes on the away trips,” Hazlewood says. “He’s a cricket nuffie and loves touring.”

The fast bowler’s travel-happy mate hasn’t tagged along for every Test series that has featured Hazlewood. Had he done so he would very likely be out of pocket because the 26-year-old is the Australian pace attack’s everywhere man.

He approaches the Ashes next month having missed only two Tests in 33 since he made his debut against India at the Gabba in 2014. So constant and reliable a presence is he on the Australian scene that at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane there is even a Hazlewood setting on the ProBatter bowling simulator. Batsmen in training there can watch him on a video screen trotting in on his run-up before a machine spits out a ball at them as he reaches the crease. If it’s true to form most would be directed around the top of off-stump.

For Hazlewood the number of Tests he has been able to string together is a point of personal pride. So it was a blow to have to miss one in Bangladesh last month after picking up a side strain during the first match of the series in Dhaka. That was his 22nd consecutive Test, dating back to the start of the 2015/16 home summer. The only other Test he has missed was a dead rubber against England at the Oval three months earlier due to shin soreness.

“That was the first time I had walked off in a Test match so it was disappointing. You never want to let your teammates down,” Hazlewood says of the injury that ruled him out of the second Test in Chittagong. “It didn’t hurt so much me walking off in a subcontinent Test, I guess. We had a couple of spinners and you don’t play as big a role. But there is not many Tests you win if you’re a bowler down, especially during the first innings. So it’s a little badge of honour if you get through that many games.”

As he sets about starting over he once again shapes as the rock of the Australian fast bowling line-up this summer. The guy that you bring back on when you want to get a bit of control back in your attack, to steer you back on course for a wicket. Brad Haddin, Australia’s wicketkeeper when Hazlewood was given his baggy green cap and now a member of Darren Lehmann’s national coaching staff, describes him as “the backbone of that attack”.

“You know exactly what you’re going to get,” Haddin says.

An important factor in establishing that dependability is that Hazlewood himself has grown to know and trust his body. As a fellow member of Australia’s fab four of fast men, James Pattinson, faces another stretch on the sidelines with a lower-back stress fracture Hazlewood hopes he has put his days of serious bone injuries behind him.

The early stages of his first-class career were marred by a series of setbacks including stress fractures. And as an emerging fast bowler he had restrictions based on his workload to decrease the risk of further breakdowns. Now, he believes the cautious approach taken by Cricket Australia was the right way to go.

“It’s a bit frustrating at the time. You feel like you’re missing a lot of cricket,” says Hazlewood, who will make his return from the side strain in the NSW Premier Cricket competition and wait until round two of the Sheffield Shield season before joining Test teammates such as Steve Smith, David Warner and Nathan Lyon in the state side.

“But looking back now in the long run you’ve got to do it I think. Anywhere from when you start at 18 to 23 I think, even when you’re feeling good, I think you’ve got to take those rests just because your skeletal system isn’t fully grown yet.

“You sort of notice that point when you get to 22, 23 … everyone is different … but you feel everything just sort of harden up. You have that resistance in your body. I feel like your legs harden up first, then through the middle. You notice if over time playing consistent cricket. Once you play six months in a row or something like that you find you’re more confident, I guess.”

Hazlewood’s partners in crime in the Australian pace attack, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, have been through all that themselves.

It is that pair who loom as getting the bulk of the attention with speed and short stuff against England but having seen the key roles played by Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle alongside a fire-breathing Mitchell Johnson in the 2013/14 Ashes Hazlewood is keen to make a similar contribution.

“I watched Ryan and Pete pretty closely and talked to them about it since then. I’ve talked to Sidds a fair bit about how he goes about his work in Test cricket,” he says.

“You don’t get the headlines like Mitch did but we’ve got two guys in the team now that can bowl that fast. Patty has got a very good bouncer, especially on Australian soil.

“[My role is] just to complement that and have that nice balance … if things aren’t going great they sort of can rely on myself and Lyono [Nathan Lyon] to steady the ship and get things back on track.”

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

Comfortable family living in flawless Federation

​The owners had always admired “Cartrefle” from afar.
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Comfortable family living in flawless Federation CLASSIC: This circa 1919 Lambton home has a commanding presence on a large corner block and had always taken the eye of its owners.

House of the week: 79 Howe Street, Lambton

House of the week: 79 Howe Street, Lambton

House of the week: 79 Howe Street, Lambton

House of the week: 79 Howe Street, Lambton

House of the week: 79 Howe Street, Lambton

House of the week: 79 Howe Street, Lambton

House of the week: 79 Howe Street, Lambton

House of the week: 79 Howe Street, Lambton

House of the week: 79 Howe Street, Lambton

House of the week: 79 Howe Street, Lambton

House of the week: 79 Howe Street, Lambton

TweetFacebook House of the week: 79 Howe Street, LambtonBuilt circa 1919 this sympathetically renovated federation home has only ever had three owners and has a commanding presence in Lambton.The name is Welsh for home and that is what they always wanted it to be after purchasing the historic Lambton residence 14 years ago.

The stunning four-bedroom house is one of the most recognisable in the suburb.

Built in 1919 by William Knight for the wealthy Payne Family, the home has only ever had three owners.

“I’d always admired the old place and when we saw it was for sale, it was something that took our eye,” the owner said.

They bought it within days of looking through. The federation architecture and timeless beauty was what won them over.

“I just love old houses and it’s abeautiful home. There are not too many around from that era that are still intact,” he said.

“It was so original inside, it really hadn’t been altered.”

The owners have renovated and extended over the yearsadding a large family room, redoing the kitchen and adding a wrap-around verandah andnew garage.

Being “sympathetic to the architecture that was already there” was crucial.

“It’s modernised but still in the character ofthe house.”

Many original features remain, including brass name plates on both entries, fireplaces, timber joinery, pull chords, leadlight windows andplasterwork.

The extensive garden has been “a labour of love” for the owner, who has a landscaping business.

The home is set on a 981-square-metre corner block and is being marketed with a price guide of $1.55 million.

HOUSE OF THE WEEK

Address: 79 Howe Street, Lambton

Price guide: $1.55 million

Agency: Dalton Partners

Contact: Scott Purnell on 0438 770 427; Joanna Cook on 0407 826 391

Inspect: Contact agent

‘It’s been taken unbelievably calmly’

Kiwi fund managers took the shock news that New Zealand Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern will become the Pacific nation’s youngest leader in more than 150 years in their stride.
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The election of 37-year-old Ms Ardern’s Labour Party ended close to a decade of centre-right National rule and could spell big changes for the country’s economy after most of the party’s flagship policies survived the negotiations with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

Both parties have policies which are likely to lower immigration, implement higher taxes and weaken the housing market, UBS analyst Jeremy Kincaid said.

“The currency has already fallen on prospects of Reserve Bank of New Zealand reform and a slower growth profile, which also may feed into stronger price pressures,” he added.

While the Kiwi dollar remained off more than 2 per cent against its Aussie counterpart at around 89?? in the wake of Thursday evening’s announcement, the NZX initially fell sharply on Friday morning but then recovered through the trading day.

“The biggest surprise is the lack of surprise,” Milford Asset Management’s head of investment Brian Gaynor.

“It’s been taken unbelievably calmly,” Mr Gaynor said. “We thought that we would have a lot of clients calling us but we’ve only had two or three calls.”

“Change isn’t a bad thing. It’s been quite modest,” he said describing the move from centre right to centre left leadership as “more Tony Blair than Jeremy Corbyn.”

According to Pie Funds Investment Management chief investment officer Mike Taylor, the market’s reaction to the leadership change was a typical reaction to an incoming left-leaning government.

“Markets tend to favour conservative governments,” Mr Taylor said.

Mr Taylor is waiting for more clarity on policy but highlighted the strong correlation between net migration and house prices in New Zealand.

The new leadership is likely “negative for the housing market which in turn could flow through to the rest of the economy,” he said.

In terms of equity market impact, the one area of the market that was notably hit by the incoming leadership change was the retirement village sector, which relies on immigrant workers, Mr Gaynor said.

People also tend to move to retirement villages if they can sell their existing homes and there’s now some uncertainty about the residential property markets, he said. The sector also doesn’t have any exports so it is unable to benefit from a weaker currency.

Mr Gaynor said that overall the New Zealand equity market “has had a great run” but with the rate of economic growth now easing back “you tend to take a more cautious approach.”

“We like Australia at the moment,” he said, and Europe “looks pretty good” too.

To date the Kiwi equity market has been “very strong,” Mr Taylor said, who also flagged he was looking elsewhere for investment opportunities. “The funds we manage have very few New Zealand assets,” he said.

Morgan Stanley equity strategist Daniel Blake highlighted the high correlation of the New Zealand dollar to the domestic housing cycle and said “the currency could come under pressure should housing slow further.”

“The policy agenda proposed by the next government’s coalition of parties should have a negative impact on the structural outlook for the currency,” he said,

In addition, Australian companies may not by immune from fallout from the leadership change, Mr Blake added.

“We recently noted that ASX exposures to New Zealand were larger than often realised, with 43 stocks generating meaningful group revenues across the Tasman,” he said.

This includes the big four banks, which generate 10 to 20 per cent of group loans in New Zealand, with ANZ and NAB having the greatest share.

Consumer-linked businesses and industrials are next most exposed to any potential slowdown in New Zealand’s economy, including Harvey Norman, Woolworths, Kathmandu, IAG, Downer EDI, Fletcher Building, and Fairfax Media, according to Mr Blake.

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