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.

Robert Dillon: Garth Brennan is driven to succeed

OF all the hours Garth Brennan has spent on the freeway to and from Newcastle over the past six years, thelongest and loneliest driveoccurred midway through 2011.
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WAITING GAME: After six seasons in Penrith’s lower grades, Novocastrian Garth Brennan has earned his first chance as an NRL head coach. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

It wasa trip home from Wollongong, after a face-to-face meeting withWayne Bennett.

Bennett had been recently appointed head coach of the Knights and was working through the process of what players and staff he wanted to retain, and who was expendable.

Brennan, who had been Newcastle’s National Youth Competitionmentor for two seasons, was concerned that he had not been approached, so he contacted the veteran tactician and asked for a chance to state his case, man to man.

Bennett agreed to meet but was apparently non-committal. By the time he jumped in his car, Brennan must have had a fair idea he was onborrowed time.

Sure enough, soon afterwards the Knights announced former Canberra and North Queensland assistant coach Mick Crawley would be be replacing Brennan, having signed a four-year contract.

The club’s media release said Brennan “has been encouraged to stay at the Knights next season to work with developing young players”, but theno specific role was ever discussed.

After an eight-season apprenticeship with Newcastle’s junior teams, including becoming the first man ever to coach their under-20s into the play-offs, Brennan had been cast aside with scarcelya second thought.

Only Bennett and the powers-that-be ofthat time would know the rationale behind their decision.

My guess –and it’s only a guess –is that Bennett wanted his own people in key positions.

He was stuck with Rick Stone as assistant coach, at the insistence of new owner Nathan Tinkler, and perhaps he was concerned about the possibility of a clique in the ranks.

Whatever the case, Bennett seriously underestimated Brennan’s desire to forge a career as a rugby league coach.

A lesser man may have walked away from the game, especially as returning to his original vocation as a police prosecutor was an option.

Instead Brennan accepted an offer from Phil Gould to coach Penrith’s under-20s.

Relocating his young family to the foot of the Blue Mountains would have been problematic, largely because Brennan’s wife Rachel was runninga successful law firm in Newcastle.

So instead he opted to commute, staying a few nights each week in Penrith, and the rest at the familyhome in Stockton.Over the course of six years, he rackedup 500,000 kilometres in the trusty Holden Commodore he “borrowed” from his car-dealing brother, Shane Brennan.

After winning an NYC premiership in 2013 with the Panthers, he was described as “an NRL coach in waiting” byGould. The next yearhe collected a NSW Cup title, a feat he repeated this season.

All the while, Brennan kept wondering if he would ever get a chance at the highest level.

Despite Gould’s glowing praise, when the Panthers sacked Ivan Cleary at the end of 2014, they hired Anthony Griffin rather than promoting from within.

Twice Brennan applied for the top job at Newcastle, after Bennett’s departure and then when Rick Stone was speared less than a year later.

Both times he was overlooked. Even when assistant roles came up at the Knights, he was never seriously considered.

Recently he applied for the vacant position at Super League club Warrington, only to be pipped by former St George Illawarra coach Steve Price.

Brennan could have been forgiven for thinking his lack of profile was counting against him. Despite playing more than 200 games in the Newcastle competition, he never made the grade at professional level.

Clubs are alsomore inclined to appoint a recycled coach with NRL experience than someone who is unproven in the top grade.

But all good things to those who wait.

This week the 45-year-old was unveiled as Gold Coast’s new coach for the next three seasons, and nobody could be more deserving.

The timing seems slightly ironic, given that Brennan spent the majority of his career playing forWests Rosellas in the Newcastle premiership, and now the Wests Group are on the verge of assuming full control of the Knights.

It would be fair to say the Wests board ofdirectors –men who, like Brennan, shed blood on Harker Oval in their day –will be monitoring his progress with interest.

Obviously Brennan faces plenty of challenges in his new role.

Learning how to manage highly paid superstars, including prima donnas like Jarryd Hayne, balancing a salary cap and dealing with the media spotlight.

It will be a learning curve, but no doubt it is one he will embrace. He’s dreamed about this for years, and nowit is a reality.

In many ways, Brennan reminds me of Trent Robinson, who also spent several years on Newcastle’s coaching staff. When Robinson was handed the reins of the Sydney Roosters in 2013, many had never heard of him. He won a premiership in his first season and is now established as one of the best coaches in the game.

I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if Brennanis equally successful. Indeed, I’d be stunned if he’s not.

CBA defends disclosure, executive pay

Commonwealth Bank chair Catherine Livingstone has defended the board’s decisions on disclosure and executive pay, under at times heated questioning over the money laundering compliance scandal that has rocked the bank.
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Ms Livingstone and chief executive Ian Narev fronted the federal government’s banking inquiry on Friday, the first such appearance since explosive money laundering allegations were levelled against the country’s biggest bank.

The grilling came after National Australia Bank chief Andrew Thorburn faced the same committee, fielding questions over staff falsely witnessing 2000 documents, vowing there would be “consequences” for staff involved.

In August this year, Austrac launched explosive legal action claiming CBA failed to report more than 53,000 large cash transactions, and that crime gangs laundered millions of dollars through the bank’s ATMs.

Inquiry chairman David Coleman repeatedly asked Ms Livingstone why the board didn’t tell investors earlier about the alleged breaches, given it was first made aware of some breaches in August 2015.

Mr Coleman also suggested it had been “extraordinarily incompetent” of the board to have determined that targets relating to risk management had been met, when it set remuneration in 2016.

Ms Livingstone, who became chair at the start of this year, acknowledged the Austrac matter had been “very challenging” and was a “crucial issue” for the board of Australia’s biggest bank.

She defended the bank’s disclosure to investors, saying the board knew about only one component of the Austrac allegations against it in 2015. This related to the bank’s alleged failure to make threshold transaction reports – the requirement to notify Austrac of transactions above $10,000.

She said it remedied this situation within a month, including by boosting its financial crimes surveillance activity.

“We have met our continuous disclosure obligations based on our knowledge of the matters,” Ms Livingstone said.

Ms Livingstone said there was “a great deal” of detail in Austrac’s statement of claim, filed in August this year, of which the board had not been aware before it was lodged.

Mr Coleman also questioned Ms Livingstone over the board’s decision that group executives had satisfied performance criteria that included “risk” in 2016, when it was compiling its remuneration report. This is one metric included when determining executive bonuses.

Mr Coleman asked Ms Livingstone if the board had “manifestly failed in its duty” in making this determination.

“It is very, very hard to see how at bare minimum that is not extraordinarily incompetent, if not more problematic for the individual directors,” Mr Coleman said to Ms Livingstone.

In response, Ms Livingstone stood by the decision, saying it was “appropriate” at the time, as the board did not know Austrac would ultimately launch a civil case against CBA.

“The first we were aware that Austrac intended to launch civil proceedings was the third of August this year, and the period to which you relate and the events of that time are the subject of the Austrac civil proceedings,” Ms Livingstone said. ‘Further accountability’

The fresh round of scrutiny comes after Ms Livingstone scrapped short-term bonuses this year in response to the severe hit to the bank’s reputation caused by the Austrac scandal.

On Friday she vowed there would be “further accountability consequences as necessary” as the bank investigated the allegations further.

“As chairman, my position on accountability can be quite simply put,” she said.

“Where claims of serious misconduct are substantiated, there are consequences, including dismissal. People who underperform are supported to improve, however, if their performance doesn’t improve they are also asked to leave.”

As banks, and especially CBA, look to rebuild public trust in the industry, Ms Livingstone said the bank was conscious of the need for “greater transparency” and “greater accountability for the outcomes it delivers”.

“It is my goal as chair to ensure that we have robust governance, accountability and risk management systems in place,” she said.

Ms Livingstone also signalled that people had left CBA as a result of the flaws in the bank’s anti-money systems before Austrac launched the bombshell action against CBA in August.

Three former high-ranking executives of the bank had missed out on deferred pay as a result of the board’s pay cut this year, she said.

When pressed on specific details of Austrac’s claims, Ms Livingstone and Mr Narev said they were limited in what they could say because of the ongoing legal proceedings.

CBA is due to file its defence in the Austrac matter in December.

Mr Narev made it clear the bank would acknowledge it had made mistakes, and would not fight every aspect of Austrac’s claim against CBA.

“The statement of defence is going to make clear we’ve made mistakes,” he said. “We won’t fight the claim or fight aspects of the claim where we know we’re in the wrong.”

Analysts have estimated the bank could face a fine of up to $2.5 billion as a result of Austrac’s case, and suggested this is likely to weigh on the board’s capital management decisions. Share price slump

Since the Austrac allegations came to light, CBA’s shares have been downgraded compared with rival banks, and Mr Coleman put it to Mr Narev that the billions wiped off its market capitalisation would be “the largest example of shareholder value destruction in Australian history”.

“We understand that nobody wants to see the share price go down,” Mr Narev said in response.

“We would hope that many of those losses, over the short term, can be recuperated over the long term.”

The corporate watchdog has said it is investigating whether the bank’s board complied with its continuous disclosure obligations, while the plaintiff law firm Maurice Blackburn is also running a shareholder class action over the issue.

The Austrac scandal has put the spotlight on potential risks from banks’ intelligent deposit machines – which allow customers to make large cash deposits and were at the heart of CBA’s problems.

On Friday, CBA confirmed its machines continued to accept a maximum deposit of $20,000 in cash, compared with other major banks’ limit of $4000 to $5000.

Mr Narev said this decision on cash deposits was a reflection of small business customer “utility”.

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

Merrick plays down Jets’ amazing record

FOCUSED: Ernie Merric explains a point to the Jets players at training this week. Picture: Marina NeilNEWCASTLE boast the best winning percentage at Suncorp Stadium of any team in the A-League including Brisbane, but coach Ernie Merrickinsists statistics will count for nothing when the Jets tackle the Roar on their home turf on Sunday.
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Incredibly, the Jets have won 10 of their 17 matchesagainst the Roar in the Queensland capital for a success rate of 58.8 %. Brisbane, three-time champions, have won 50.9% of gamesat home.

Adelaide are next best at 47.4%.Current champions Sydney have traditionally struggled up north, winning just 15.8 %. Merrick’s previous club Wellington have performed the worst in Queensland, winning two of 16 attempts for 11.1%.

In 159 games at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane have lost just 45, 10 of those to the Jets, including a 3-2 defeat in round 14 last season.

However,Merrick played down the relevance of historical statistics–good and bad–due to the continual turnover in personnel.

“I don’t look at it,” he said. “This season is a completely different team. We have five new starting players.You can’t say you have a successful record up there when you have a completely different team.”

Merrick, who has coached more games than anyone in the A-League, said referring to historycould also have a detrimental effect.

“If you look at history in a positive way, you are obviously going to look at it in a negative way,” he said.“We have always lost up there, does that mean we are going to lose this time.”

The Jets have hit the ground running under Merrick.

Awin in Brisbane would propel them to seven points after the three rounds and the best start in the club’s history.

The Roar, who have suffered consecutive losses to Melbourne City (2-0) and Adelaide (2-1), have been boosted by the arrival of French winger AlecBautheac.

The 30-year-old, who made 13 appearances for Lyon in the French Ligue 1last season, touched down on Wednesdaymorning and is likely to feature on Sunday.

“It’s definitely a boost for everyone,” Roar coach John Aloisi said.”We had our captain Matt McKay, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and [assistant] Ross [Aloisi] went to the airport to pick him up at 2am (on Wednesday) – that’s how excited they were.The group is strong and it gives them a lift getting a new player in.”

Merrick said the arrival of any quality player was“great”for the league.

“I expect he will be a very good player,” Merrick said.“My view on these things is that it is great we are bringing in quality players to the league. The higher quality the league,the better for everyone–bigger crowds, more sponsorship, more television exposure.

“I think it is a good thing that they are bringing in a high quality player.”

The Roar have undergone a transformation of sorts since the departure of Jamie Maclaren, who scored 40 goals in 53 appearances, and the release of club legend Thomas Broich.

Veteran Serie-A striker Massimo Maccaronenow leadsthe line and former Victory winger Fahid Ben Kalfallah has replaced Broich.

“With Jamie they had pace up front who could get in behind,” Merrick said.“Maccarone is a different type of player. He is a quality playerbut more one who likes the ball passed to his feet.A speedy tricky winger likeBautheacwill add to them I’m sure.”

Distance not the barrier for Celia

WIN: Melbourne marathon champion Celia Sullohern on Sunday. Picture: AAP ImageMelbourne marathon winner Celia Sullohern will headline Sunday’s Fernleigh 15 just a week after her career-best long-distanceperformance.
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The women’s record holder for the annual Lake Macquarie event took out the Victorian 42-kilometre race in two hours, 29 minutes and 28 seconds.

It was a five-minute personal best, top-10 Australian all-time and fourth on the 2017 national rankings behind fellow countrywomen Lisa Weightman Jess Trengove andVirginia Moloney ahead of next year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

But that won’t stop the 25-year-old former Novocastrian from slowing down this weekend according to coach, Rio Olympian and Fernleigh 15 organiser Scott Westcott.

“My advice would be to take it easy, but I dare say she’ll pin her ears back,” Westcott said.

“We’ll give her the starting duties, but I reckon she’ll drop the gun and go.”

Sullohern, who also claimed the City2Surf in Sydney in August, will more than likely battle it out with Kahibah’s Bridey Delaney, who was second over 10km in Melbourne on Sunday.

In the men’s race Newcastle’s Vlad Shatrov will shoot for a third straight crown on the Fernleigh Track.

SAM RIGNEY: How I learnedto love running

Newcastle-based Rheed McCracken will lead the Fernleigh 15 wheelchair section minus Hunter ParalympiansKurt Fearnley and Christie Dawes. McCracken moves up in distance after breakingthe men’s 100m T34 world record in Switzerland in May.

Westcott said around 1100 athletes had signed up for the sixth annual edition of the Fernleigh 15, which included more than 200 in a newly-formed five-person team relay section.

Entries are still being taken at Kotara Westfield’s ‘Rooftop’ on Saturday between 9am and 5pm.

Racing on Sunday starts near Adamstown’s St Pius X High Schoolfrom 7:55am. The finish line is located behind Belmont TAFE.

Elderly warned of phone scammers, report anything suspicious

A WARRNAMBOOL man has warned residents to be on guard for scams after he was recently targeted.
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Kevin McCarthy, 74, said he got a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Department of Human Services who said he had been underpaid his pension.

WARNING: Kevin McCarthy is warning others about a phone scam telling people they’ve been underpaid their pension.

He said he was told to contact a Canberra phone number which he did and he was told he was owed $2800 from Centrelink.

Mr McCarthy then phoned Centrelink who told him it was a scam.

“They (the scammers) rang back and I told them to nick off,” he said.

Kevin McCarthyThe Standard. “We see people losing large amounts of money and pensioners don’t have a lot to lose.”

She said often the person was told they were owed money and they needed to provide a payment via an iTunes card to access the money.

“No one (legitimate)will ever ask someone to pay money in order to get money,” she said. “Centrelink will never ask for your bank details over the phone.”

Ms Rickard said people should be very weary when they were contacted out of the blue by a government department.“Don’t give anyone your personal information,” she said. “Don’t give out your bank details to anyone.”

So far this year there have been $64 million lost in scams and 120,000 reports of scams in Australia.

For more information check out Scamwatch.

The Standard, Warrnambool