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Being offended by Bill Leak’s cartoon misses the point, says Marcia Langton

Marcia Langton (left) and Josephine Cashman’s (second left) gave a keynote address at the Press Club in Canberra about the alarming statistics of indigenous domestic violence. Photo: Alex EllinghausenFormer Arnhem Land senior solicitor Josephine Cashman has slammed the outward looking nature of Australia’s bureaucrats and urged policy makers work to ensure Aboriginal lives matter by prioritising the issue of domestic violence in indigenous communities.

Cashman, who is now a member of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, was joined by University of Melbourne professor Marcia Langton and Alice Springs-based councillor and Warlpiri woman Jacinta Price at the Press Club in Canberra on Thursday where the trio discussed the alarming rates of domestic and family violence faced by indigenous women and children.

Off the back of new data from the Productivity Commission that highlights women and children in remote communities are 31 times more likely to be hospitalised due to violent family assaults, the trio rubbished Malcolm Turnbull’s national action plan and called for a Royal Commission into the issue.

They also called on the government to take urgent measures to address the worsening statistics for indigenous incarceration, suicide and violence if securing a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council was a priority.

Considering it usually takes something like a 4 Corners special, a la Don Dale, to jolt officials into action, here are the alarming take outs from their presentation:

Forget the Bill Leak cartoon

“Thousands of people claimed that this was a racist stereotype and that they were offended by it. Well, it’s not satire and it’s quite ugly, and it’s not helpful, but let’s look beyond that. Aboriginal social media activists took to Twitter under the hashtag #IndigenousDads posting family snapshots of indigenous fathers and their children. By my count there were about 70 living fathers, many other happy snaps showed adult children with their deceased fathers. But where are the other indigenous dads? As much as their love for their fathers is honorable and admirable, it must be said that these lucky children of decent Aboriginal men missed the point,” Langton said.

“According to ABS figures, there are an estimated 744,956 indigenous Australians, representing three per cent of the total Australian population. So where are the other 200,000 or so indigenous fathers and what are they like?” she said.

From information Langton received this week from the Brisbane Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service: 10,000 of them are serving prison sentences for sexual assault and a range of other crimes.As at June 30 last year, 30,000 of their children have been neglected or removed from their families.

“Almost 17,000 were under care and protection orders. A further 15,500 were in out of home care. In 2014-15, indigenous children were seven times as likely to be receiving child protection services than non-indigenous children,” she added.

“That’s the highest level of reporting of the need for child protection … these figures are on the low side because of the fear gripping the indigenous community that prevents them from reporting assault, rape, neglect and other crimes.”

There is a new, dangerous Aboriginal culture emerging

Langton spoke of “a new version of Aboriginal culture that keeps a few elements of the older culture and adds a new set of dangerous elements”, elements that expose women and children to assault yet forbid them from speaking out about it.

She believes legislators have “drunk the Kool Aid” and are too afraid to interfere with the “culture” of communities, a culture that now involves high levels of violence and abuse.

From this comes a “culture of silence” as explained by Cashman, which “allows criminals to gain power over communities and to establish unfettered access to children through fear, which perpetrates a misguided tolerance of criminal behaviour.”

In situations where domestic incidents are reported, victims are called “dog and snitch” for collaborating with white authorities and those who report violence and rape often find that the police responses range from slow to non-existent, she said.

Follow DFAT’s lead

In Julie Bishop’s department of foreign affairs and trade, gender equality is at the core of most aid programs, thanks in part to the Women in Leadership strategy that guides all work carried out overseas.

At least 80 per cent of DFAT’s aid program investors must demonstrate progress in addressing gender equity.

Cashman, in her role with the Indigenous Advisory Council, once suggested writing these types of provisions into Indigenous Affairs programs and linking them to funding agreements with Aboriginal organisations, but was howled down by an unnamed senior government official.

“I advised him that I thought they should be linked to a minimum number of women on their boards and compulsory training on minimum standards of behaviour for community control recommendations. So I made this recommendation. He said that would not work because it’s not ‘cultural’,” she said.

“I wonder whose culture he was referring to because this dismissal of my suggestion does nothing but perpetrate a culture of thuggery and silence that offenders use to groom their victims to ensure that they’re not brought to justice.”

The trio also encouraged officials to look to Charlie King’s program in the Northern Territory – the worst affected area for family violence. The No More campaign has seen the domestic violence rates in some communities decrease by 70 per cent since its inception in 2006.

Despite Langton, Cashman and Price copping frequent criticism for their work and views – “insults are hurled at us for deserting our ‘brothers'” – they have pledged to continue making changes for indigenous women and children and encourage all Australians to do so, too.

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Hay-man, Mathew’s the one to beat for the ‘Oppy’

Two-time world champion Rebecca Wiasak thinks Mathew Hayman’s Paris Roubaix victory was “so historic” he’ll be taking home “The Oppy” to put alongside his cobblestone.

But the man who conquered the “Hell of the North” in April isn’t as confident and feels dual world champion Caroline Buchanan and dual Paralympic gold medallist Carol Cooke are the two to beat.

Canberra’s Hayman broke his arm five weeks before the Paris Roubaix, which is one of the most famous and gruelling one-day races in the world, and defied the odds to get to the start let alone win it.

The now 38-year-old had dedicated his career to trying to win the 260-kilometre race, which only a handful of people have ridden more times than he has.

His victory has him in the running for the Oppy, elite male road cyclist and also the people’s choice award.

Wiasak’s second world title in the individual pursuit this year has her in contention for female track athlete of the year and by extension the major gong, the Sir Hubert Opperman Medal, as Australia’s best-performed cyclist.

Other Canberrans in the mix are Sue Powell (para-cycling female), Caroline Buchanan (mountain bike female, people’s choice), Chloe Hosking (road female, people’s choice) and Michael Matthews (road male, people’s choice).

But for Wiasak, there was one clear favourite for Cycling Australia’s awards ceremony on Friday night.

“You would think that Mat would win the overall [award], that win was so historic this year, Paris Roubaix,” she said.

“You’d think he was going to win it given that there weren’t any performances at the Olympics that were significant.”

People are still asking Hayman about his win and also the impressive trophy he won for the Paris Roubaix – a 15-kilogram cobble in honour of the gruelling cobblestone roads the race is famous for.

Unfortunately, he won’t be bringing the “sett” down under until he finally moves back to his native Australia for good.

Hayman felt Cooke and Buchanan might edge him for the Oppy. The 55-year-old Cooke won the T1-2 women’s time trial and road race, while Buchanan is a world champion in both the women’s BMX time trial and mountain bike’s four cross.

“Outside of the world championships, for me it’s probably the No.1 race in the world and it was a pretty special day then and we’ll wait and see if it gets recognised on Friday night,” he said.

“We’ve got Carol Cooke, who won two gold medals at the Paralympics in Rio and I was also recently at a function with Caroline and she won two world championships this year.

“That’s a pretty big deal too; it won’t be all clean sailing.”


Para-cycling Female: Carol Cooke, Jessica Gallagher and Maddie Janssen, Sue Powell.

Para-cycling Male: Kyle Bridgwood, Alistair Donohoe, David Nicholas.

MTB Female: Caroline Buchanan, Tracey Hannah, Janine Jungfels.

MTB Male: Troy Brosnan, Jason English, Sam Hill.

Track Female: Annette Edmondson, Anna Meares, Rebecca Wiasak.

Track Male: Matthew Glaetzer, Michael Hepburn, Sam Welsford.

Road Female: Katrin Garfoot, Chloe Hosking, Amanda Spratt.

Road Male: Mathew Hayman, Michael Matthews, Richie Porte.

People’s Choice Award finalists: Kyle Bridgwood, Caroline Buchanan, Carol Cooke, Rohan Dennis, Jessica Gallagher, Katrin Garfoot, Matthew Glaetzer, Lucas Hamilton, Tracey Hannah, Mathew Hayman, Michael Hepburn, Chloe Hosking, Melissa Hoskins, Michael Matthews, Daniel McConnell, Anna Meares, David Nicholas, Richie Porte, Amanda Spratt, Sam Welsford and Sam Willoughby.

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ON Prime: the Australian inventions CSIRO is helping take to market

The Newcastle invention CSIRO is helping take to market Newcastle University’s BiomarX team at the Australian Technology Park (from left): Mohammed Riazuddin, Kirsty Pringle and Sarah Delforce. Photo: Edwina Pickles

The Adelaide University team developing the SapphireClock, with team leader Andre Luiten (right). Photo: Edwina Pickles

University of Technology, Sydney, Nos.E team (from left): Wentian Zhang, Maiken Ueland, Shari Forbes and Steven Su. Photo: Edwina Pickles

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123 – In five innovation labs across the country, CSIRO’s research accelerator program has had its first run-through.

Thirty-nine inventions have been tested during an eight-week intensive program that aims to prepare the research for commercial adoption. Eight of the teams worked out of the Australian Technology Park in Redfern.

“The program has been really valuable. I haven’t gone through the commercialisation process before,” said Dr Kirsty Pringle, lead researcher for the University of Newcastle BiomarX team.

Liza Noonan is executive manager of innovation at CSIRO. She said theON Prime programis a first step for publicly funded researchers to discover the different layers of organisation needed to develop what she called “market discovery skills”.

For some,she said, it can be difficult. “It’s very confronting to discover no one cares about your ideas,” she said. “What we are doing is empowering people to help themselves.”

The program is part of CSIRO’s innovation scheme, a component of a $20 million expansion toCSIRO’s Accelerator initiative.

Rethinking CSIRO as an “innovation catalyst” is very much part of chief executive Larry Marshall’s vision. In his emailed letter to staff in February, Dr Marshall said “ON is the wellspring that will drive change throughout our business”.

At the time, that email wascriticised as an attempt by a “self-aggrandising cowboy”to jettison CSIRO’s core mission to nurture independent science.

Since Greg Hunt became Science Minister, something of a mid-mission corrective has been issued.In September Mr Hunt saidthe CSIRO was “about pursuing pure publicgood research as a foundation stone for our knowledge and capabilities”.

It would be easy to be cynical of such research accelerator programs.Innovation has become such a buzzword that many people switch off when they hear it.

However, all teams Fairfax Media spoke to got a lot out of ON Prime. They described it a highly practical way to develop their ideas.

BiomarX: a non-invasive test for endometrial cancer Newcastle University’s BiomarX team at the Australian Technology Park (from left): Mohammed Riazuddin, Kirsty Pringle and Sarah Delforce. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Tests forendometrial cancer – the most common uterine malignancy- can be highly invasive. It often involves day surgery and, in some cases, general anaesthetic.Seven women are diagnosed daily in Australia.

Kirsty Pringleat the University of Newcastle said: “Our test detects a protein biomarkerin uterine fluid secreted by the cancer.” She said the process is no more invasive than a pap smear.

“We want detect the cancer earlier and reduce the number of women who need to undergo the more invasive test,” she said.

Dr Pringle said the ON Prime process helped them establish contacts for interviews with pathology labs, patients, industry and clinicians.

“It helped us develop the skills we need to make the next transition,” she said. Next step is to access more tissue samples – and attract the funding to further develop their work.

“We’ve tested 30 samples so far and the results have been better than we expected – but we need access to many more to further test our methods,” she said.

As well as the clinical assistance it would offer women, Dr Pringle said if their test would have huge benefits in terms of reducing costs to the healthcare system.

Nos.E: an electronic nose to detect illegal wildlife smuggling University of Technology, Sydney, Nos.E team (from left): Wentian Zhang, Maiken Ueland, Shari Forbes and Steven Su. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Theillegal wildlife trade is a driving forcepushing many animals towards extinction. Tiger bone, rhino horn and elephant tusks can reach high prices on the black market.

A chance moment in a laboratory sparked an idea in the mind ofProfessor ShariForbes, a forensic scientistat the University of Technology, Sydney.

“We were working with our partners at theAustralian Museum wildlife forensic lab,” Professor Forbes said. “While drilling rhino horn, we smelt something quite distinctive.”

She wondered if you could accurately identify samples based on those aromas. Their research has suggested you can.

She was put in touch withSteven Su in the UTS engineering department. Dr Su develops sensors and put his mind to detecting smells issued by illegally traded animal parts.

Nos.E was born. ProfessorForbes said they need to develop the test sensitivity, stability and selectivity. Her team is optimistic after the ON Prime process. They have developed a first prototype and can now progress to their next stage.

SapphireClock: high-precision built on synthetic sapphires The Adelaide University team developing the SapphireClock, with team leader Andre Luiten (right). Photo: Edwina Pickles

What does quantum computing, military radar and black-hole huntinghave in common? They all need accurate clocks.

Professor Andre Luiten’s team at the University of Adelaide has used the highly predictable crystalline structure of synthetically grown sapphires to produce “attosecondaccurate” clocks they say are 1000 times more stable than comparable devices.

“We thought these would be ideal for 5G communication systems, but through the ON Prime program we found our SapphireClock was more accurate than they needed,” Professor Luiten said.

He said the ON Prime process “forced us to interview the market, develop a business plan and a value proposition”.

“One of the uncomfortable parts of the process is that it forcesscientists to cold-call customers. That experience was really valuable,” he said.

They realised that the market for their clock includedcivilian and military radar systems, quantum computing laboratories and radio astronomers.

“All of these areas rely on the high coherence our clock delivers,” Professor Luiten said.

Other teams that have graduated from the first ON Prime program includea Macquarie University team developing nanoscale rubies to act as medical markers and a UNSW team using virtual reality to treat phobias.

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Outrage over RSL scandal

NOT GOOD ENOUGH: President of the RSL Newcastle District Council David Edmond says members are furious … “State council has been getting away with blue murder”.The leadership of the RSL in NSW is facing the threat of removal, with a number of sub-branches in Newcastle part of a bidto sack the entire state council over its handling of the consultancy fee payments scandal that has engulfed a number of councillors.

Castle Hill, one of the state’s largest and most influential RSL sub-branches, and more than 20 sub-branches in Newcastle are calling for a special meeting where the state council could be voted out and replaced by either an administrator or an interim leadership made up of three district presidents from around the state.

David Edmond, president of the RSL Newcastle District Council, which incorporates 24 sub-branches, said anger at the state council was running hot.

“A lot of people didn’t know what was going on and it’s not good enough. State council has been getting away with blue murder,” he said. “The sub-branches have been made to send all this money Sydney over the years and we didn’t know what happened to it. Nobody was upfront and now we learn of these allegations.”

To force a special congress and a vote on the fate of the state council, 75 of the state’s 360 sub-branches need to demand one and Mr Edmond said his district would.

Fairfax Media has learnt that talk has already turned to a potential new state president, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s son-in-law James Brown, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, one of the names in the frame.

Former Liberal state MP Charlie Lynn, a Vietnam veteran, is also being pushed as a replacement for acting president John Haines if the board is swept aside by the grassroots branches.

Mr Brown, who is married to Mr Turnbull’s daughter Daisy, contested for the presidency in September but came second to Mr Haines in a five-candidate ballot.

In an opinion piece he wrote for Fairfax Media last week, Mr Brown described the RSL in 2016 as being “in crisis”, referring to allegations that state council members appointed to the RSL-owned LifeCare nursing home group shared in $2 million or more “consultancy payments” since 2007, despite LifeCare being a registered charity.

Last week, the RSL asked national president Rod White to stand down due to his alleged acceptance of fees during his time as state president, while treasurer Bill Hardman stood aside and councillor Don Rowe quit.

Councillors Bob Crosthwaite and Bill Humphreys have refused to step aside but are barred from all committee duties while investigations into the alleged misuse of funds continues.

Mr Turnbull has mentioned Mr Brown in speeches to veterans, including at the launch of an employment scheme on Thursday.

Mr Brown, who first went to Iraq as a troop commander with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in 2003, did not return calls on Thursday.

Castle Hill sub-branch, whose members include NSW Veterans Affairs Minister David Elliott, has already passed a motion calling for the state council to be removed an administrator appointed.

Castle Hill president Don Tait said he was working to bring on a special congress.

“I’m going to do everything I can to sort this bloody thing out,” he said.

“If you think I’m annoyed, you’d be right.”

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Malcolm Turnbull champions free trade before APEC meeting

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivered a strident defence of free trade. Photo: Nic Walker Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivered a strident defence of free trade. Photo: Andrew Meares

The world must embrace free trade, not retreat from it, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said in a speech that positions Australia as a champion of open markets and sharply contrasts with the isolationist rhetoric of US President-elect Donald Trump.

Mr Turnbull has also reminded businesses that they must be able to “look Australians in the eye” and act in accordance with community standards. The reminder comes as the government is set to delay until 2017 its plan to cut company taxes to 25 per cent.

The Prime Minister was one of the first world leaders to speak to Mr Trump – thanks to a phone call facilitated by golfing legend Greg Norman – after the Republican rode a populist wave of resentment to the White House.

Mr Turnbull has emphasised the close ties and shared interests between the two nations since Mr Trump’s shock victory. But the President-elect has indicated the US would walk away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal – which Australia supports – as well as threatening to renegotiate or tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement and potentially slap a 45 per cent tariff on China for currency manipulation.

Before his departure to Peru for President Barack Obama’s final APEC meeting, Mr Turnbull delivered a strident defence of free trade, while acknowledging weaker income growth had stoked anti-free trade sentiment in the developed world.

“Countries that have embraced open trade and investment policies have experienced significant gains in income, employment and living standards,” he told a Business Council of Australia dinner in Sydney. “They have lifted billions out of poverty. But people are seeing things change around them; they are concerned that they could be left behind.

“In the past year, we have seen economies introduce new protectionist trade measures at the fastest pace since the global financial crisis – the equivalent of five per week. But retreating from policies that have delivered us prosperity and opportunity is the wrong call. We would ignore the gains from openness at our peril.

“Instead of looking backwards, we must make the case to increase global economic integration … to overcome the rising disquiet, we must ensure that the benefits of open markets deliver for the many and not just a few. If the results of the recent US presidential election have taught us anything, it is that policy changes must be fair in a very broad sense.”

Mr Turnbull’s defence of free trade and open markets amounts to an acknowledgement of rising sentiment in the United States, Australia and around the developed world that globalisation and free trade has contributed to rising inequality that has cost jobs in such sectors as manufacturing, and suppressed wages.

It also comes as the Labor opposition has struck a more populist note in recent weeks about the need to defend Australian jobs from skilled workers on 457 visas.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described Mr Turnbull’s company tax cut plan as a crazy “Donald Trump-style corporate tax cut” on Thursday.

As Federal Parliament prepares for the final two sittings weeks of the year, and the government prepares to make a final push in 2016 to pass union-busting industrial relations laws, backpacker tax changes and superannuation tax changes, Mr Turnbull also highlighted at Thursday night’s event  concerns among ratings agencies that the “belligerence” of the previous Parliament could risk the budget’s return to surplus.

“We have passed $12 billion in budget improvement measures, income tax cuts to prevent half a million Australians from entering the second highest tax bracket, and a bill to protect the integrity and autonomy of volunteers and emergency services workers. But these cannot be one-off deals or goodwill gestures,” he said.

“We cannot entertain another term of Parliament that features three years of political posturing by Labor, followed by a series of conveniently timed backflips when promises are put under the microscope during an election campaign.”

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James McDonald investigation: Racing NSW request punter’s betting records

Stand and cheer: James McDonald crosses the line for Astern’s debut win. Photo: bradleyphotos江苏夜网江苏夜网论坛Racing NSW stewards requested a punter’s betting records from bookmakers around the country on Wednesday in relation to the investigation that has seen Godolphin jockey James McDonald charged with being a party to a bet.

Fairfax Media understands bookmakers received an email asking for the betting records of Garry Forrester on Wednesday.

Forrester is a regular at Sydney racetracks and is an associate of Anthony Gardiner, who is understood to have placed the bet that led to McDonald being charged. McDonald voluntarily stood down from riding on Tuesday.

It is understood Forrester was approached by stewards at Warwick Farm races on Wednesday.

Godolphin is one of the world’s biggest racing and breeding operations and the organisation, headed by Sheikh Mohammed, is sensitive to any integrity matter. It is standing by McDonald for now.

Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel would not confirm the identity of anyone who had been questioned as part of the investigation as stewards continue to work through the evidence.

“Only James McDonald has been charged at the moment and we are not going to provide a running commentary on this investigation,” Van Gestel said. “We are continuing our investigation. If anyone else is charged, that will be made public.”

Van Gestel said on Wednesday that stewards are reviewing betting information and it is believed they have forensically examined McDonald’s mobile phone.

“There are a number of forensic materials that we need to go through including betting information and other records,” Van Gestel said.

“We intend to interview other people involved in the matter and once those interviews and forensic investigations have been completed we will resume [the inquiry].”

McDonald was taken from Randwick barrier trials and questioned on Tuesday and has been charged with being party to having an interest in a bet on star colt Astern when he won his first start at Randwick on December 5 last year.

Stewards indicated if McDonald had not stood down they would have considered suspending his licence because of the risk it would undermine the “image, interests or integrity” of racing if he continued to ride.

The original information, which led to McDonald being charged, came from a law enforcement agency under a memorandum of understanding and the investigation is casting a widening net.

McDonald is understood to only have had a $1000 on Astern, but he faces a charge, which carries a mandatory two-year disqualification, that could be mitigated by co-operation during the inquiry. His reaction to Astern had drawn the attention of stewards last year, but until they received the information on Tuesday they couldn’t draw a link between him and betting.

Bookmakers have suspended betting on the Sydney jockeys premiership due to uncertainty over when or if McDonald will return to the saddle.

“The market was taken down on Wednesday and will not be going back up until the McDonald matter is concluded,” Ladbrokes spokesman Paul Di Cioccio said. “McDonald regularly rides for the two biggest stables in Sydney, not only Godolphin but Chris Waller as well, and the uncertainty over what could happen is too great to be betting on the premiership at the moment.”

Meanwhile, Glen Courtney, the manager of Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy, has been charged by police with drug offences.

Brisbane-based Courtney, who is also the agent for fQueensland jockey Michael Cahill and Tegan Harrison, is due to face court on December 1.

Racing Queensland has suspended his licence while Racing NSW, where McEvoy is licensed, is awaiting details of the charges in the interests of due process.

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University of Newcastle staff fear ‘massive job losses’ after review, Union warns

University of Newcastle Vice Chancellor Caroline McMillen. PICTURE: Wayne TaylorSTAFF at the University of Newcastle fear an “organisational review” unveiledthis week could lead to “massivejob losses” for non-academic workers.

Vice-Chancellor Caroline McMillen says the restructure is about “embracing changes” to the sector, and “ensuringthat we’ve got the best organisational andprofessional support at the university for what is a changing academic enterprise”.

But theNational Tertiary Education Union warns that is code for job cuts, and thatthe changesare simply about “reducing costs”.

University bosses began briefing staff this week on the terms of the university-wide restructure, with some staff saying they had been told about 170 of the more than 1700 full-time and casual professional staff could face redundancy.

It has prompted an angry reaction from the union.

Associate Professor Tom Griffiths, thepresident of the Newcastle branch of the NTEU, says that after 15 reviews and restructures in three years, staff are “fatigued and fearing for their jobs”.

“There is a worrying trend evident at UON,” he said.

“Senior leadership of a public university seemingly ignoring or dismissing research evidence, whether about staffing levels, or optimal office arrangements, in favour of a destructive ideology of relentless cost-cutting, out-sourcing and insecure employment.”

But Professor McMillen says that job-figure number is not right, that the university is “only at the beginning” of the review and that there is“no decision” around job cuts.

She said reviewing how the university operated was necessary“in an environment of change that has swept up all industries”.

But while she would not confirm that there would be job losses as a result of the review, she said slowing student growth four years after the introduction of the demand-driven enrolment system and wider “uncertainty” in the sector meant difficult decisions had to be made.

“The issue of how many staff you have really has to be about how big your business is,” she said.

“If you have more students coming through you’re going to need more academic staff and at some point you’re going to need more professional staff.

“However if you have a decrease in the number of students, reasonably you can’t also continue increasing those numbers.

“That is something perhaps hasn’t been so prevalentfor many people but it’s certainly part of the reality of the now.

“We have to look at how we’re structured, and ask have we got it right.

“It’s a conversation … about thinking through different changes that might come and how do we handle that.

“How can we make sure every dollar is supporting our core functions. I don’t think there would be an industry or business sector out there that isn’t doing the same thing, asking the same questions.”

The target of the review is the university’s more than 1700 professional staff, who fill roles ranging from academic support to research assistants.

In its “New Futures Strategic Plan” released last year, the university noted it had a higher ratio of professional to academic staff than the national average – 1.3 compared to 1.2 ratio – and states “there is value in considering whether this is the distribution of roles that will drive the best outcomes for UON”.

But Professor Griffiths said that after theendless reviews“one starts to wonder whether the university’s current leaders know what they’re doing”.

“In the face of this latest proposal, many staff are saying their faith in the university’s senior leadership is, frankly, at a profound low,” he said.

Professor Griffiths questioned why the annual“Your Voice” survey had not been released widely, and suggested it may be because it confirmed low morale.

“This is unprecedented, and reflects very poorly indeed on management,” he said.

However Professor McMillen said the survey was being released in a more targeted way than in the past. She saidresults for different areas were beinggiven to specific faculty leadersto increase staff engagement.

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Ellyse Perry’s return to Canberra evokes memories ahead of Southern Stars match

Southern Stars players Holly Ferling, Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning holding a skills session with junior girls’ teams from Tuggeranong Valley Cricket Club. Photo: Elesa KurtzPlaying in Canberra brings back plenty of memories for Southern Stars all-rounder Ellyse Perry.

Perry was a staple in the nation’s capital a few years ago as part of Canberra United’s W-League squad, forging a double life as a dual-international in cricket and football.

As Canberra turned on the weather to herald the arrival of the Australian squad for its two fixtures against South Africa at Manuka Oval beginning on Friday, there was nowhere else Perry would rather be.

“We always get really strong support from the Canberra community which are really fantastic in terms of turning up to sporting events and things that are going on in the community,” Perry said.

“I’ve been fortunate to experience that first-hand and I’m sure that’ll be the same on Friday and Sunday so it’s really nice to be back around.”

Perry picked up 4-45 and scored 90 in her last trip to Manuka Oval and she will be looking to repeat the dose against the Proteas.

She is in form – a WNCL ton to go with a handy spell for the Governor General’s XI (1-13) has Perry brimming with confidence after returning from a knee injury.

She captained the Governor General’s XI to a win over the Proteas where she got bragging rights over her “very fiery” Sydney Sixers teammate, Marizanne Kapp, after claiming the wicket of the Proteas all-rounder.

“It was really nice to have the opportunity to play them I guess one game earlier on the weekend,” Perry said ahead of the five-match series.

“They’re a really good side, they’ve got some players in form and I think we certainly see [Friday] and the weekend and the rest of the matches as a good challenge for us.”

The South African series is among the last of the one-day international fixtures on the Southern Stars’ calendar in the lead-up to next year’s ICC Women’s World Cup which begins in June.

It means there is no shortage of players putting their hand up for a spot with Perry saying competition for a place in the Southern Stars’ line-up is “red hot”.

“I think that’s a really fantastic thing for the depth of our squad and women’s cricket in Australia and I guess in terms of us improving the way we play going forward as well,” Perry said.

“I think the more competition you have and the more people pushing for spots it means everyone has got to work hard and keep improving and not just stagnate on what they’re doing well at the moment.

“It’s a really exciting time for our team and the girls close to breaking into the team.

“The national competition, the WNCL, has been going really well for the last month or two and there’s been some great performances from the girls in the Australian team but also those outside of the Australian team, so it’s really strong at the moment.”


Friday: Southern Stars v South Africa at Manuka Oval, 2.30pm.

Sunday: Southern Stars v South Africa at Manuka Oval, 2.30pm.

Southern Stars squad: Meg Lanning (c), Alex Blackwell (vc), Kristen Beams, Nicole Bolton, Rene Farrell, Holly Ferling, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani

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Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning wary of ‘dangerous’ South Africa

South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk and Australia skipper Meg Lanning will battle for the ODI trophy. Photo: Elesa KurtzSouthern Stars captain Meg Lanning is wary of a “dangerous” South African line-up leading into the one-day series opener at Manuka Oval on Friday.

The Australians enter the clash as the No.1 team  in the world, with the South Africans ranked sixth.

But despite their standing as two of women’s cricket’s top six teams, they are relatively unknown to each other having not often met on the field in recent years.

Lanning said it is no excuse to take the foot off the pedal following an away series win in Sri Lanka, with a World Cup to prepare for in June.

“We’re very aware that we’re going to have to play some good cricket to beat them and we’re all really looking forward to the series,” Lanning said.

“They know a little bit about us and we know a bit more about them. [Dane van Niekerk, Mignon du Preez and Marizanne Kapp] did very well in the WBBL last year and are probably their leading players.

“We don’t have too many one-day games before the World Cup next year so we’ve got to make sure that we make the most of all the games that we get against really good opposition.”

Southern Stars fast bowler Holly Ferling said the World Cup is motivation for the hosts to make a dominant start to the series.

“Momentum is such a huge thing in our game,” Ferling said.

“Every game is vital to our preparation and it’s something that we are really aware of and something that we’re going to make sure that we continue to do well with.”

​With the Australian men’s team on the receiving end of two thrashings from South Africa, Lanning said a solid start to the series means “a few more people might take notice” of the women’s scene.

Ferling said playing in Canberra provides an “awesome” opportunity to grow the game after running a clinic with Lanning and Ellyse Perry for Tuggeranong’s junior female cricketers.

“I grew up in country Queensland and I had no idea that girls played cricket until I was 14 or 15,” Ferling said.

“To go along now to clinics and even to have these girls here knowing about the Southern Stars and knowing about us as players is really humbling and something that I hope will continue to improve over the years.”


Friday: Southern Stars v South Africa at Manuka Oval, 2.30pm.

Sunday: Southern Stars v South Africa at Manuka Oval, 2.30pm.

Southern Stars squad: Meg Lanning (c), Alex Blackwell (vc), Kristen Beams, Nicole Bolton, Rene Farrell, Holly Ferling, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani

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Adam Scott has cursed his habit of slow starts after putting himself on the back foot in the Australian Open

Adam Scott has cursed his habit of slow starts after putting himself on the back foot in the Australian Open yet again with a one-over-par 73 at Royal Sydney.

TEE TIME: Adam Scott climbs the stairs before his first shot in the Australian Open on Thursday. Picture: Getty Images

The 36-year-old opened the 2015 Open with an even-par-71 at The Australian Golf Club before clawing his way back to a runner-up finish one shot behind winner Matt Jones.

This year, Scott opened his national championship with five bogeys and four birdies in a rollercoaster round that was the result of every aspect of his game being “very average”.

“Generally I’ve had pretty slow starts [to tournaments]this season,” said Scott. “Not just here at the Aussie Open, and last year, but generally I’m very slow.

“It’s something that’s frustrating at times. Today it wasn’t like a could have had a really great score; I didn’t play well enough.”

After bogeying the par-4 fifth, Scott bounced back with a 40-foot birdie on the short, par-threesixth.

The world No.7 picked up another shot at the par-foureighth to make the to at one under.

However, Scott’s back nine began ominously with two consecutive dropped shots on the 10th and 11th to fall to one over, before clawing back with a birdie on the par-five13th.

With two more dropped shots and a birdie at the difficult par-three17th, Scott signed for a 73. Asked what he needed to improve on, Scott didn’t hold back.

“Everything actually. I didn’t drive well, hit the irons well, chip well or putt well today. It was all very average.

“I made it hard to get any momentum going even though I had under par on the front nine. But a couple of bad swings showed up on the back nine.”

But he former Masters champion said his deficit was nothing he couldn’t recover during the next three rounds.

“As long as no one runs away, six back [of leaders Curtis Luck and Lucas Herbert]is nothing really,” Scott said.

“I’ve just got to get myself in position over the next two days and make sure I’m not too far back for Sunday.”

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