Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano needed to be bossier against Western Force

Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano wants to be more bossy. Photo: Jay Cronan Force acting coach Dave Wessels thinks a new club will be good for centre Kyle Godwin. Photo: Paul Kane
Shanghai night field

Dave Wessels is disappointed flanker Chris Alcock is leaving the club. Photo: Jay Cronan

Who’s the boss? ACT Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano believes he needs to be more of one as the Super Rugby province prepares for their qualifying final against the Otago Highlanders at Canberra Stadium on Friday.

And Western Force acting coach Dave Wessels believes Kyle Godwin’s expected move to Canberra will be a good one for the centre.

Lealiifano was disappointed with the Brumbies’ scrappy 24-10 victory over the Force on Saturday, which secured him a spot in the first round of the Super Rugby finals.

But he said that everyone would be “buzzing” when they arrive at the club on Monday morning.

The playmaker felt he needed to take the game by the scruff of the neck after they failed to implement their attacking plan against the Force.

He’ll be looking to change that against the Highlanders who they dominated in every way except on the scoreboard when the two teams met in round 10.

They lost 23-10 in Invercargill despite having 73 per cent of possession in the wet conditions.

“We came with a clear focus and a plan with the way we wanted to play [against the Force], Lealiifano said. “I guess that’s what’s probably the most disappointing that we didn’t really execute what we wanted to, but we’ve got another week to prepare now and get it right [for the Highlanders].

“Obviously the pressure that the Western Force put on us [also affected our execution], which is probably good for us heading into next week to be able to handle the defensive pressure that teams are putting on us.

“We’ve just got to adapt better in attack. I think our attack got a bit lost at times there and as a game controller it was disappointing on my end to not boss the boys around enough.”

Godwin has been linked with a move to the Brumbies to help replace departing inside centre Matt Toomua, who will join English club Leicester.

His Force teammate Chris Alcock is moving to Canberra as cover for star flanker David Pocock, who is taking a sabbatical from rugby in 2017.

Wessels said the Brumbies would need to play better against the Highlanders than they did against the Force, but he hoped they went on to win the title.

He felt the Force were embarking on a “journey” and was disappointed Godwin and Alcock wouldn’t be part of that.

From the side that lost to the Brumbies, they will also lose prop Guy Millar and lock Rory Walton.

“The Brumbies are losing much more high-profile players than we are. I think Chris and Guy and Kyle and Rory … have been a massive part of our team,” Wessels said.

“We just spoke in the change room, they will always be a part of our team. I think particularly for Kyle, a move is going to be a good thing for him, not just from a rugby perspective but from a lifestyle perspective.

“He’s excited about being away from Perth, he’s always lived in Perth, so the opportunity for him to experience something a bit different is going to be good for him.

“Having said that, what we feel like, especially in our backs, [who] are a pretty young backline, that is really starting to gel and work together.

“We definitely feel that we’re at a start of a journey and we’re sorry we can’t take some of those guys along on the journey, but it doesn’t change where we feel we want to go.”

SUPER RUGBY QUARTER-FINALS

Friday: ACT Brumbies v Otago Highlanders at Canberra Stadium, 6pm. Tickets available from Ticketek. Members on sale Sunday, general public Wednesday.

Continue reading »

Newcastle hairdressers say quality at risk if state government scraps lawpoll

DON’T CHOP ME: Melanie Coombes is fighting a proposal to scrap a law requiring hairdressers to be qualified. Picture: Max Mason-HubersNEWCASTLE hairdressers are fighting the state government over plans to trim back industry regulation they sayallows“any Tom, Dick and Harry” to call themselves aprofessional hairdresser.
Shanghai night field

The government has put forward a proposal to scrap the Hairdressers’ Act 2003 as part of its “spring clean” of uselesslaws.

The deregulation is supposedto make it easier for small business –but has been met with sharp rebuke from unions and industry bodies, which argue scrapping the law puts quality at risk.

The law requires every professional to have a certificate III in hairdressing.

Senior stylist Melanie Coombes.

Bliss Hair ArtistsNew Lambton senior stylist Melanie Coombes said the industry is furious over the proposal and vowed to protect it from being “stripped down to nothing”.

Ms Coombes, who studied at TAFE and finished an apprenticeship before working full-time, said it was “distressing” to picture amateurs applying chemicals without proper training.

“There’s so much more to hairdressing than just cutting someone’s hair,” she said.

“It’s a science –you’re working with chemicals and you need to know what you’re doing.”

Ms Coombes said a petition, from new employeegroupHair Stylists Australia,was being circulated in Newcastle salons this week opposing the government’s proposal.

“I’ve spent a good part of my life getting the qualifications I need … and for the government to say anyone on the street can pick up a pair of scissors makes me so angry,” she said.

“We already spend enoughtime fixing the mistakes of teenagers who think they are hairdressers, imagine what it’s going to be like when you have every Tom, Dick and Harry cutting hair.”

In a discussion paper, the state government said there was an overlap in laws that controlled industry quality. It noted South Australia was the only other state to have a similar law.

“Backyard operators” … Maitland MP and Labor spokeswoman for small business Jenny Aitchison.

Parliamentary secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said the intention was to encourage growth by removing crippling red tape.

ButMaitland MP Jenny Aitchisonsaid the repeal wasn’t thought through, claiming it would create unfair competition from“untrainedbackyard operators”.

Continue reading »

ANZ Championships: NSW Swifts all stars reaching milestones

Big three: Paige Hadley, Sharni Layton and Kim Green. Photo: Wolter PeetersThe Swifts’ star players are marking the end of an era as the last days of the ANZ Championships approach, and they plan to go out with a bang.
Shanghai night field

Captain Kim Green and defender Sharni Layton have been part of the ANZ competition since it started in 2008, and attacker Paige Hadley is hungry for the win after last year’s devastating grand final loss.

“My sole goal this year is to win,” said Hadley.

“Coming off the loss against the Firebirds last year, being within a minute or so of winning the title, you can nearly taste it.”

Hadley said it was back to the drawing board for her game in the 2016 season, but she believed the Swifts’ versatility could dominate in the next few weeks of finals.

“It’s awesome, people play multiple positions where they’re needed, so I think that’s a real asset for us,” she said.

“I’ve never won an ANZ title, so I definitely want to win one before the competition ends.”

Green is the only player on this year’s roster to have experienced the Swifts’ ANZ win back in 2008.

Green plans to farewell the series in the same way she started it, by taking home the trophy, but she admits the Swifts have a challenging few games ahead.

Heading into Monday’s match against the Firebirds, Green said the main focus had been on giving the four quarters their 100 per cent.

“We know that we need to put out a full 60 minutes, and I know that’s very cliche, but that’s exactly what happened to us in last year’s grand final,” she said.

“We learnt that we can’t play 57 minutes of a game then expect to win.”

If the Swifts beat the Firebirds at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, they’ll be crowned Australian Conference champions and will host the semi-final round against New Zealand on their home court.

“In terms of our training sessions, we go hell for leather out on court against each other because everyone’s vying for a position,” she said.

“No one’s sitting on the sideline going ‘I’m just going to be on the bench this week’, everyone’s pushing and that’s the best thing about our team.”

Green, a former Diamond, retired from internationals when she joined the comp in 2016.

After this season, she said she had no plans of slowing down, and her drive to compete professionally was higher than ever.

“I feel like this year I’ve played the best netball that I ever have in my whole career,” she said.

“To think that is on the back of a little bit of a break is really exciting for me. I have no plans of retiring any time soon.”

If the Swifts make it into the grand final, it will be Layton’s 100th ANZ Championship game.

The defender said the Firebird’s attacking end would be the biggest challenge for the Swifts on Monday night.

“Romelda [Aiken] is not as stationary as what she used to be, so that’s a real challenge because no other team is like that with a tall goal attack as well as a tall goal shooter,” she said.

“At the end of the day, they can throw absolutely anything out on us. They’re a phenomenal team, they’ve proven it and played great all year, so we’ll just be concentrating on what we can do to minimise them as much as possible.”

Layton was determined to win, but she said that even a finals loss couldn’t undermine what she’d gained.

“It’s the last year of the ANZ Championship,” she said. “It’s not going to be here next year.

“I just want to soak up every single moment I can with this group of girls because, if you’re not in the moment, you’re not going to win anyway.”

Australian Conference finals: NSW Swifts v QLD Firebirds at Brisbane Entertainment Centre, 7:18pm.

Continue reading »

Woman dead and two injured in a jet ski collision in Nerong

The power boat involved in the crash in Nerong on Friday. Photo: Twitter / Nine News SydneyA woman was killed and a child injured after their jet ski collided with a power boat in an inlet on the NSW mid north coast.

杭州桑拿

She has been remembered as a “lovely person” who was a very good neighbour in her community.

The 54-year-old died at the scene of the crash, which occurred about 5.30pm on Friday, while the eight-year-old boy suffered a broken leg, according to NSW Police.

The crash occurred on the Nerong Inlet at Nerong, which is an hour’s drive south of Forster or north of Newcastle.

The boy was taken to John Hunter Hospital. He is in a stable condition and will soon undergo surgery.

“They weren’t life threatening injuries,” Acting Inspector Troy Kauter of Manning Great Lakes Local Area Command said.

A 46-year-old man, the boat’s skipper, and a child were aboard the white Reinell power boat at the time of the crash.

It’s understood he sustained a broken nose and fractured ribs, but was discharged from John Hunter Hospital on Friday night.

The child who was on the power boat was not injured.

Local police and Marine Area Command officers are investigating the crash.

“We are mindful of the tragedy that has befallen everyone involved and what sort of affect last night’s events would have had,” said Marine Area Command’s Superintendent Mark Hutchings.

“The boat has been taken to a secure location for forensic examination.”

A friend of the deceased woman told the ABC she was a “lovely person” who was a “a very good neighbour, working neighbour”.

He said she was confident and experienced on the water.

“It’s just a tragic accident and the police now have to work out what went wrong,” he told the ABC.

“We’ve never had an accident here before — to my knowledge there’s never been a bang or anything like that here and I use the waterways myself.”

A report will be prepared for the Coroner.

Anyone with more information are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. \n”,colour:”red”, title:””, maxWidth:200, open:1}] );}if (!window.googleMaps_Icons) window.googleMaps_Icons = {};window.googleMaps_Icons[“red”] = {“marker”:{“image”:”http://maps.gstatic杭州m/mapfiles/ms2/micons/red-pushpin.png”},”shadow”:{“image”:”http://maps.gstatic杭州m/mapfiles/ms2/micons/pushpin_shadow.png”}};if (!window.gmapsLoaders) window.gmapsLoaders = [];window.gmapsLoaders.push(CreateGMapgmap201698111744);window.gmapsAutoload=true;/*]]>*/]]>

Continue reading »

Shannen Doherty candidly shares post-chemo dance class, time with her mum

Shannen Doherty has continued to candidly share moments from her breast cancer journey on social media, this time revealing her favourite thing to do the day after receiving chemotherapy is go to dance class.

杭州桑拿

The former 90210 actor had a booty-shaking session with celebrity trainer Jäm Malibu on Friday.

“After chemo day. I believe that just moving helps so much in the healing process,” Doherty wrote on Instagram.

“It’s not always easy and sometimes I can’t do it the next day but I try to make an effort to get the blood flowing and the toxins out of my body thru [sic] working out.”   After chemo day. I believe that just moving helps so much in the healing process. It’s not always easy and sometimes I can’t do it the next day but I try to make an effort to get the blood flowing and the toxins out of my body thru working out. Some days are easy workouts and other days I push it but the key is to MOVE!!! This is for any illness. Obviously check with your doctor. The road to recovery is paved with all sorts of different material. #beastmode #fightlikeagirl #warriorA video posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on Oct 6, 2016 at 3:33pm PDT   Let me tell ya…. shaking your booty is hard work with my Neda who’s been helping me move and get toxins out. Yes I was tired, yes I wanted to be in bed but I went and moved and felt way better. Any exercise during illness is good. We can do it!!! #beastmode with @jammalibu #fightlikeagirl #warriorA video posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on Oct 6, 2016 at 7:30pm PDT

Malibu shared the video to her own Instagram account, writing that she was “beyond proud” of Doherty.

In a later post, Doherty showed herself having some downtime with her mother, Rosa.   And sometimes you just want to collapse on the couch and watch tv with your mom. I love you mom. @themamarosa #fightlikeagirlA photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on Oct 6, 2016 at 10:47pm PDT

The posts came a day after Doherty shared video footage of her undergoing treatment to her Instagram account.

“Chemo day. I’m lucky to have such a great team!” Doherty captioned the video, which has been viewed over 500,000 times and was flooded with supportive comments from her fans.   Chemo day. I’m lucky to have such a great team!!! Dawn has been taking care of me from pretty much the start along with Dr Piro, Joyce, Rosie, Kathy and everyone else at the clinic. I don’t enjoy chemo day or needle like things in my chest or my port but, at least with this crew it’s not so bad. Make sure you connect not only with your oncologist but also with the person administering your chemo. Thank you to The Angeles Clinic.A video posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on Oct 5, 2016 at 11:21am PDT

Doherty revealed she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2015.

The actress was forced to disclose her diagnosis after TMZ reported she was suing her former manager for cutting off her health insurance, which resulted in her failing to attend regular doctors’ check ups during the time at which the cancer could have been discovered.

Since her diagnosis, Doherty has been open in sharing her journey via her social media channels.

In July, she documented the act of shaving her head in a series of poignant, black and white pictures posted on Instagram.

Fairfax Media

Continue reading »

Tracker mortgages: how banks could be made to treat us like everyone else

How banks work. Photo: REGIS MARTIN.Our biggest banks could be forgiven for thinking they’ve survived the worst. Coached within an inch of their lives by crisis management teams, their chiefs batted off 12 hours of questions before the parliament’s economics committee this week without too much apparent damage.

杭州桑拿

But the committee is yet to report. When it does, there’s a chance it’ll recommend something every bit as frightening to the banks as a royal commission. It’s called a “tracker mortgage” and it would force them to work for their money rather than take it. It would give the rest of us the same rights in our dealings with banks as we have in our dealings with just about with everyone else. Who else other than banks can change the price of what we’ve bought after we’ve bought it?

Energy companies can’t. They sign us up to contracts that offer a fixed percentage off a regulated price. During the term of the contract the price can change, but only in accordance with changes in the regulated price. Nor can builders, painters, dentists and all manner of other service providers. They charge what we’ve contracted to pay, whether they end up liking it or not.

Kevin Davis, research director at the Australian Centre for Financial Studies, points out that bank executives are paid handsomely for managing risk, but that in Australia they are able to pass most of that risk onto their customers. “A bank which is funding housing loans in a way which subsequently becomes relatively expensive can simply increase the rate it charges to existing borrowers,” he writes in a submission to a Senate inquiry. “A bank which had its credit rating downgraded and faced higher funding costs could pass that onto both existing and new borrowers, rather than it impinging directly on shareholder profits”.

It can’t happen in the United States, Japan, Korea, Canada, or most of the countries with which we usually like to compare ourselves. There the banks contract to charge a fixed amount over an indicator rate for the term of the contract. Visitors from those countries find our completely variable rates “amazing”. Davis says he is not sure why we are unusual. He says it could be because our contract evolved before the 1980s when rates were subject to a government cap. When the cap was removed “the characteristics of the mortgage contract were not reviewed”.

He wants the government to prohibit loan contracts “which give lenders absolute discretion to change the interest rate on existing loans”. It wouldn’t mean tying mortgage rates to the Reserve Bank’s cash rate. It would have to be a rate more relevant to their predictable funding costs such as the 180 day bank bill rate. Or the banks could offer fixed rates as they do already. The Greens agree, and the questions asked in this week’s hearing suggest other members of parliament are warming to the idea.

It’d salvage something lasting out of what to the banks has been an exercise in PR.

Peter Martin is economics editor of The Age.

Continue reading »

Andrew Gaze channels Paul Roos as the Sydney Kings set out to change their culture

Culture comes first: Andrew Gaze is overhauling the Sydney Kings, on and off the court. Photo: Wolter Peeters In charge: Gaze takes control at Kings training. Photo: Wolter Peeters

杭州桑拿

New look side: Gaze with the new Kings. Photo: Chris Hyde

Passion for the game: Gaze is still as animated coaching as he was playing. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Andrew Gaze is not trying to win a championship. Well, not in his first year anyway.

One of the biggest names in Australian basketball is out to reform the Sydney Kings and rebuild the club, on and off the court, rather than simply putting together a team that will deliver instant gratification.

Modelling himself on legendary Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos, whose rejuvenation of the Swans in the mid-2000s led to the 2005 and 2012 premierships, as well as three other grand final appearances, Gaze is out to forge new ground for the glamour club of Australian basketball.

” 18 pt18 pt00falsefalse /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;}

Implementing the famous “no dickheads policy” that the Swans employed under Roos’ reign, Gaze has recruited a roster of big Australian names, such as Kevin Lisch, who will lead the team in 2016-17, while keeping only a few players from last season’s wooden-spoon side. Gaze has complemented the squad with two young Americans – Greg Whittington and Michael Bryson – who are fresh out of college.

The idea behind the recruitments is to forge a culture that puts the Sydney Kings first – and the individual second.

18 pt18 pt00falsefalse /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;}18 pt18 pt00falsefalse /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;}18 pt18 pt00falsefalse /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;}

The Kings recently returned from a four-game tour of China and have signed Bo Liu on a development contract; the first Chinese-born player to sign with an NBL team, reinforcing this relationship and the growing importance of Asian basketball.

And while the NBL has struggled with an “unhealthy” concoction of teams entering and exiting the competition, Gaze now believes the league is in a strong position.

He puts this strength down to one key element: uncertainty of outcome.

18 pt18 pt00falsefalse /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;}18 pt18 pt00falsefalse /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;}18 pt18 pt00falsefalse /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;}

Continue reading »

Illawarra ‘panther’ spotted at Seacliff Bridge escarpment selfie spot

DANGER: A warning scrawled on the signpost to the Wodi Wodi track, near Stanwell Park, records a December, 2012 encounter. Is there a big black cat on the Illawarra escarpment?Illawarra ‘panther’: speculation of escarpment sightings quashed’Illawarra panther’ leaves sisters terror-strickenIllawarra panther picture provokes photo frenzy: photosThe sun had fallen behind the escarpment on Sunday as Alex Vourliotis headed higher up the sea-facingslope at Coalcliff, his spirits buoyed by fine weatherand the postcard-worthy sight ofSeacliff Bridgesnaking away below.

杭州桑拿

EYES PEELED: Alex Vourliotis and Tanaya Webb were pursuing the perfect selfie in the escarpment at Coalcliff when Mr Vourliotis realised they weren’t alone.

The Albion Park personal trainer and his partner Tanaya Webb had made a leisurely visit to thescenic spot,so the two could get a photo together.

But they beat a hasty retreat home;Mr Vourliotis witha racingheart and a firm belief thathe had seen for himself the Illawarra ‘panther’ –thebig, blackcat said to roam the region’s green border.

Mr Vourliotis told the Mercuryhis gaze was fixed on the bush when he caught something dark moving in the upper reaches of his field of vision at about 5.30pm.

Heestimates he was standing 15 metres away when the creature turned and ran,jumping a tree root before disappearing behind a tree.

“I’d say it wasthe size of a full-grown dog, maybe like a German Shepherd,” he said.

“The way it jumped–it didn’t jump like a dog and it didn’t jump like a cat, but it was on all fours.I immediately thought it was a panther.

“Ifroze, and didn’t know what to or say.”

The encounter lasted only about two seconds.

Mr Vourliotis, 26,said the creature’ssolid legs contributed to his belief that it was not a dog.

He followed it a short distance, and believes he spotted it a second time in a dark pocket of overgrown bush.

He said he realisedhis vulnerable position and retreated.

“It was a dark part of the bush and I swear I could see its eyes –I swear I saw it blink –thenI heard a thud right next to it,” he said.

“I got too scared and turned away. If it had attacked me there was no way I could defend myself or [Tanaya].

“I was shaking. That’s how confident I was I seen something.

“I’m a sceptic in general–I’m not a big believer until I feel or see something.”

The Illawarra and surrounds have produced sporadic big cat sightings over the years, including sightings at Austinmer’s Sublime Point track in 2014 and 2015 and along the Wodi Wodi track near Stanwell Park.

There, a trekker has used the signpost to recordan alleged encounter on December 31, 2012.

The sightings –and numerous others along the state’s east coast –have given rise to theories about escaped circus animals and one-time exotic pets.

A less colourful theory– favoured by some farmers, in particular–is that the sightings are of feral cats that have grown far bigger than the household variety of cat.

Continue reading »

Matador One Day Cup: NSW beat Cricket Australia XIphotos

Cricket: NSW claim victory against Cricket Australia XI | photos Matthew Short of CA XI bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

杭州桑拿

William Bosisto of CA XI and Moises Henriques of the Blues meet for the coin toss during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

A general view of the stumps during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

William Bosisto of CA XI and Moises Henriques of the Blues meet for the coin toss during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ed Cowan of the Blues looks dejected after being dismissed by Xavier Bartlett of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Moises Henriques of the Blues walks out for the toss during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ed Cowan of the Blues looks dejected after being dismissed by Xavier Bartlett of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Nic Maddinson of the Blues looks dejected after being dismissed by Xavier Bartlett of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ed Cowan of the Blues looks dejected after being dismissed by Xavier Bartlett of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Nic Maddinson of the Blues looks dejected after being dismissed by Xavier Bartlett of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Josh Lalor of CA XI bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Xavier Bartlett of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Nic Maddinson of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Daniel Hughes of the Blues bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Xavier Bartlett of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Nic Maddinson of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Moises Henriques of the Blues walks out for the toss during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Josh Lalor of CA XI bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Josh Lalor of CA XI bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Xavier Bartlett of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Nic Maddinson of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Xavier Bartlett of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Nic Maddinson of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Xavier Bartlett of CA XI bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Arjun Nair of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Daniel Hughes of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Gurinder Sandhu of the Blues celebrates after the Blues claimed victory after the last ball during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Gurinder Sandhu of the Blues celebrates after the Blues claimed victory after the last ball during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Arjun Nair of CA XI bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Arjun Nair of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Daniel Hughes of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Moises Henriques of the Blues bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Arjun Nair of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Daniel Hughes of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Daniel Hughes of the Blues bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins and Daniel Hughes of the Blues celebrate after Cummins claimed the wicket of Sam Harper of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Moises Henriques of the Blues bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Daniel Hughes of the Blues bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Daniel Hughes of the Blues bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Matthew Short of CA XI bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Daniel Hughes of the Blues looks dejected after being dismissed by Arjun Nair of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins of the Blues bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)/

Ryan Gibson of CA XI looks dejected after being dismissed by Pat Cummins of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon of the Blues celebrate after Cummins claimed the wicket of Jake Carder of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins of the Blues celebrates after caliming the wicket of Jake Carder of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ryan Gibson of CA XI bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins and Peter Nevill of the Blues celebrate after Cummins claimed the wicket of Sam Harper of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ben Dwarshuis of the Blues leaves the field after suffering an injury while bowling during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins of the Blues celebrates after caliming the wicket of Jake Carder of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ryan Gibson of CA XI bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins of the Blues celebrates after caliming the wicket of Jake Carder of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ben Dwarshuis of the Blues celebrates after claiming the wicket of Josh Inglis of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon of the Blues celebrate after Cummins claimed the wicket of Jake Carder of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins celebrates after he claimed the wicket of Sam Harper of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins of the Blues celebrates after claiming the wicket of Ryan Gibson of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ryan Gibson of CA XI looks dejected after being dismissed by Pat Cummins of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Nathan Lyon of the Blues bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

William Bosisto of CA XI bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ben Dwarshuis of the Blues is consoled by Pat Cummins of the Blues as he leaves the field after suffering an injury while bowling during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)Restrictions.

Pat Cummins of the Blues bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Doug Bollinger of the Blues looks on during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ryan Gibson of CA XI bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

William Bosisto of CA XI bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins of the Blues looks on during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

TweetFacebookNSW took on Cricket Australia XI on October 7 at Hurstville Oval in aMatador BBQs One Day Cup match.

NSW,6 for 328, beatCricket Australia XI, 6 for 324, by four runs.

Continue reading »

The moment you discover your partner is an online child sex offender

“I did the right thing and I was punished”: Leah Mouatt. Photo: Wolter PeetersIt all unravelled when Leah Mouatt suspected her partner of six years was having an affair.

杭州桑拿

Leah Mouatt. Photo: Wolter Peeters

One night in late 2014, he put on a collared shirt and told her he was heading to the pub for a beer with a mate. The signs had been there for a while: late nights, strange excuses, dressing overly nice for supposedly low-key outings.

As he left their Penrith home, he said he wouldn’t be long but Mouatt never saw him again.

She hopped on the computer and, fearing he might be meeting women online, did an online search for a user name that he often used in car and sporting forums.

Hidden far back in the search results was a public profile on a pornography website advertised as a “motherless” and “moral free” space for user-generated content.

He had uploaded photos of clothed pre-pubescent girls, including a family friend, along with graphic and disturbing sexual comments. He listed his favourite porn as “teens” and his sexual preference as “nothing is taboo”.

“All I remember next is a lot of screaming and crying and being on the floor,” says Mouatt, 34.

Barely able to speak, she called a friend who picked her up and told her to pack a bag. Police were called and were at the home within hours, seizing seven devices belonging to her partner Phillip John Vellio, an IT worker at the University of NSW.

In July, Vellio, 33, was convicted of two counts of possessing child abuse material after police examined more than 32,000 images and 854 videos on his laptops, finding many that depicted babies, toddlers and teenagers in various sexual acts with other children and adults.

But the worst was yet to come for Mouatt.

“My world imploded,” she says. “Everything was destroyed. I lost my friends, I was taken to [court] by [some members of his family] who didn’t want me to get a cent. I lost my home, my car. I’ve lost my trust in other people. I’ve had to rebuild a whole life.” Forgotten in the aftermath

Australia is in the midst of what some have described as an explosion in online child sex exploitation. Investigations by the Australian Federal Police jumped by almost 250 per cent in a year to 11,000 in 2015.

Of particular concern has been a growing trend of Australians streaming live videos of child sex abuse made overseas, like those of former Melbourne businessman Peter Scully, whose depraved home-made videos have led the Philippines to consider reviving the death penalty.

Yet not much is known about the wives and partners of those who access child abuse material online.

Their voices are rarely heard. They are not considered “victims” and are often forgotten in the aftermath.

Many are assumed to have known about their partner’s offending but a world-first study by Melbourne’s RMIT University, published last year, found that most of the small number of women surveyed first found out when police knocked on the door.

“The women were just in so much pain,” study author Dr Marg Liddell says. “Most participants reported mental health issues, with many seeming to experience post-traumatic stress disorder. The fact the pain was still extraordinarily raw years later indicated to me that the system didn’t work for them.”

Women reported being stigmatised and ostracised by friends and family. Relatives often tried to minimise the offending and close ranks around the offender.

Shame, guilt, anger, hurt, disbelief and feelings of responsibility often infiltrated every area of their lives. Half of the women interviewed had children, about half stayed with their partner. Others were left without a home, a breadwinner or a social circle.

Analysis of NSW convictions shows offenders are mostly male (99 per cent) with an average age of 42 and three-quarters have no criminal record.

With a knowledge-base slowly emerging, advocates are pushing for non-offending partners to be classified as secondary victims of crime and for support services to be funded.

“Because partners don’t exist in the research, they don’t exist in policy. Because they don’t exist in policy, they don’t exist in funding,” says Natalie Walker, founder of PartnerSPEAK, the country’s only support group for affected partners of online child abuse offenders.

“I think that often confounds the trauma; you’re feeling stigmatised and there’s nowhere to go because no one recognises your trauma.”

She is at the forefront of a global push to understand and recognise the trauma suffered by non-offending partners.

Natalie Walker runs the only support network for partners of online child sex abusers. Photo: Angela Wylie

Walker, from the Dandenong Ranges, discovered child abuse material on her then-husband’s computer 15 years ago and was fobbed off by police in South Australia who she says treated her like a vengeful ex-wife.

Great strides have been made in prosecuting people who access material online – maximum penalties have been increased to 10 years in NSW and Victoria and resources for child abuse squads have been bolstered. But she believes society, particularly the judicial system, still tends to see possession offences as “just looking at pictures”.

Data compiled for Fairfax Media by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics shows that the average prison sentence for offenders last year was 11 months. Vellio received a 12-month good behaviour bond on the condition he see a psychiatrist monthly.

“If everyone’s minimising it, saying ‘what’s the big deal?’, you’re made to look hysterical,” Walker says.

Criminologists, academics and police have backed changing the commonly-used terminology from “child pornography” to “child abuse material”, reflecting the fact that a child was abused in order to make the pictures.

“Every image of child sexual abuse is a crime scene,” the acting Children’s eSafety Commissioner Andree Wright said recently when releasing the agency’s 2015-16 report showing that 7456 sites containing child abuse were removed in a year.

The terminology was changed in NSW legislation in 2010 and Victoria indicated in July that it would follow suit.

“It may seem like a small thing but that’s how we gradually change the thinking,” Walker says. ‘I felt like I should have known earlier’

There is one thing that saved Mouatt from giving up: a counsellor provided to her for free under Victims Services and Support. NSW is the only state to allow non-offending partners to apply for therapeutic help.

“I wouldn’t be here without it,” she says.

After the police raid, Vellio admitted himself to a psychiatric hospital for two months. In a haze of shock and anger, compounded by chronic fatigue, Mouatt endured financial battles with her in-laws and was eventually forced to go to the Salvation Army for food and petrol vouchers.

She moved in with her parents in a small town near Bathurst and despaired as friends slowly dropped off, either unable or unwilling to provide support. Her partner’s family and friends were not interested in knowing what he’d done, she says.

“Their motivation throughout has been reputation and I got scapegoated,” she says. “I felt like it was my fault. I felt like I had betrayed him. I felt like I should have known earlier.”

Two years on, she finally feels strong enough to speak publicly in order to empower herself and other victims.

Increasingly, the suffering of women like Mouatt is being considered part of the continuum of domestic violence.

Julie Oberin, chair of the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance, said abusive men share the same sense of entitlement as those involved in child abuse material. Coercion, control and manipulation is often at the heart of the behaviour.

“Many women we support in refuge tell us similar things. The betrayal, the shame, the reactions from others, the blame,” she says.

Mouatt is rebuilding her life, studying psychology and volunteering at Lifeline with a view to counselling other victims of crime.

“What hurts the most is that I went through so much and very, very few people thanked me,” she says.

“I did the right thing and I was punished. There was no good that came from it. My life blew apart from that phone call and the only thing that got me through was hanging on to knowing that I’d done the right thing.”

Continue reading »

A-League opening night: Brisbane Roar draw with Melbourne Victoryphotos

Soccer: Brisbane draw against Melbourne on A-League opening night | photos Brett Holman of the Roar gets above the pack during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

杭州桑拿

Brandon Borrello of the Roar and Daniel Georgievski of the Victory challenge for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

James Troisi of the Victory is challenged by Matthew McKay of the Roar during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Matthew McKay of the Roar is seen with his young child in his 200th A-League match before the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

A pitch invader is caught by security during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Mitchell Austin of the Victory in action during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

James Troisi of the Victory kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Corey Brown of the Roar in action during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

A pitch invader is caught by security during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Carl Valeri of the Victory in action during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Roar players embrace before the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

A pitch invader is caught by security during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Luke De Vere of the Roar celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Brandon Borrello of the Roar controls the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jamie Maclaren of the Roar controls the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Carl Valeri of the Victory with the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Fahid Ben Khalfallah of the Victory and Thomas Kristensen of the Roar compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jason Geria of the Victory looks on during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Michael Theo of the Roar kicks during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

A pitch invader is caught by security during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Brett Holman of the Roar looks on during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Mitchell Austin of the Victory celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Roar fans show their support during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Tommy Oar of the Roar and Jason Geria of the Victory challenge for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Thomas Kristensen of the Roar and Fahid Ben Khalfallah of the Victory challenge for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Luke DeVere of the Roar is congratulated by team mates after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

James Troisi of the Victory is challenged by Matthew McKay of the Roar during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Luke DeVere of the Roar is congratulated by team mate Corey Brown after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Victory players celebrate a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Brandon Borrello of the Roar in action during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Matthew McKay of the Roar is sent from the field after receiving a red card during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Luke DeVere of the Roar competes for the ball against Besart Berisha and James Donache of the Victory during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Luke De Vere of the Roar celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Mitchell Austin of the Victory celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jamie Maclaren of the Roar and James Donachie of the Victory compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Luke De Vere of the Roar celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

James Troisi of the Victory and Brett Holman of the Roar compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jamie Maclaren of the Roar and James Donachie of the Victory compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jamie Maclaren of the Roar and James Donachie of the Victory compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Besart Berisha of the Victory runs out for the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Brandon Borrello of the Roar and Daniel Georgievski of the Victory challenge for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Brandon Borrello of the Roar kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Matthew McKay of the Roar kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Besart Berisha of the Victory kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Besart Berisha of the Victory kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Mitchell Austin of the Victory and Jack Hingert of the Roar compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

ames Troisi of the Victory and Thomas Kristensen of the Roar compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Besart Berisha of the Victory kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Mitchell Austin of the Victory and Brandon Borrello of the Roar compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Brandon Borrello of the Roar kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Daniel Georgievski of the Victory reacts during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jamie Maclaren of the Roar warms up before the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Victory coach Kevin Muscat reacts during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Roar coach John Aloisi looks on during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jason Geria of the Victory and Thomas Broich of the Roar challenge for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

James Troisi of the Victory is challenged by Matthew McKay of the Roar during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Thomas Broich of the Roar in action during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Brandon Borrello of the Roar and Daniel Georgievski of the Victory challenge for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Jade North of the Roar heads the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

TweetFacebookA 96th-minute goal made for a1-1 draw between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory on the A-League’s opening night at Suncorp Stadium,Brisbane.

Continue reading »

Leroy Houston ecstatic to make Test debut 11 years after last Wallabies tour

Can’t stop smiling: Leroy Houston is in line to make his debut, 11 years after he was last in a Wallabies squad. Photo: Dan MullanLondon: The last time Leroy Houston came to Twickenham as part of a Wallabies squad, he stood pitchside and took photos as a spectator more than anything else.

杭州桑拿

Eleven years later and no one could wipe the smile off the 29-year-old’s face on Friday after coach Michael Cheika told Houston that his boyhood dream was about to come true.

Houston was named on the Wallabies bench for their clash against Argentina with Sefa Naivalu dropping off, capping a remarkable football journey for the specialist No.8.

“Honestly I just had a huge grin on my face when he [Cheika] announced my name this afternoon,” said Houston, who this time last week was going about his usual business with English club Bath. “I still haven’t absorbed it yet. I feel like I’m on quite a high. I can’t put it into words. Emotions are running high.”

After so long, it is only reasonable that Houston had lost hope of ever donning a gold Wallabies jersey, which is why Saturday will be an even more special moment than for some other debutants that got their chance before him.

“Yeah of course [I gave up hope],” Houston said. “I was just playing rugby, I didn’t think I’d ever get back into the Wallabies. But the chance came around and I was happy to take it.

“I didn’t think I’d be involved at all this year. I gave it a crack back in June, July. We’ve got good flankers. The opportunity came around and [Cheika] asked me if I wanted it and I put my hand up. And I had another crack at it. I’m really wrapped about getting into the team.”

In 2005, Houston came over to the UK under then coach Eddie Jones as an 18-year-old but never played a Test.

He got a start against the French Barbarians in a game Australia won 42-12 in Bordeaux that current Wallabies captain Stephen Moore remembers well.

“Leroy had a really strong game and that’s 10, 12 years ago now – it’s amazing to see now that he gets this opportunity to possibly make his debut for Australia,” Moore said. “He’s been playing over here for a long time and done really well.

“The boys have all been watching his highlights reel from his stint in Bath. It’s clear he’s made a good impression on the people there. It’s great to have him back around the group. I’m really proud for him to get that opportunity tomorrow to play for his country.”

Asked about that trip to the UK, Houston said he had fond memories but revealed he was too scared to speak at times. 

Ready if given the chance: Leroy Houston. Photo: Dan Mullan

“I was just starstruck to be honest,” Houston said. “Growing up looking up to those type of players, like George Smith, Steve Larkham – Squeak was a bit younger back then – but looking up to those guys … it was crazy just to be around those boys.

“To be honest I was really, really shy and I didn’t really speak too much but just the whole time in my head [I was saying] ‘wow, I can’t believe I’m with these guys at the moment. I get to train with them and get to play with them.’

“I just came on the field and took a few photos. I was more of a spectator. That was the first time I’d heard the England anthem – it was unbelievable. I’ll always have that in the back of my mind because it gave me goose bumps. I think one of the stands was down at that stage but it still held 60,000 people singing the anthem – it was unbelievable.”

Should he take the field, Houston will become Wallaby No. 901 and it is a nice reward for those closest to him who may have also lost faith along the way.

“I just can’t wait to go home and announce to my fiancée who has been on the sidelines just waiting for that call,” Houston said. “The thing is now, mentally trying to keep calm and just prepare in the mental space to play against the Pumas. Knock on wood I get to come off the bench and debut.”

Continue reading »

Brekky BlogSaturday, October 8, 2016

News from Tasmania ANIMAL LOVERS: Kelcie-Lee and Annikah Carpenter donated a $200 cash prize to the Devonport RSPCA. Picture: Phillip Biggs.

杭州桑拿

North-West weather forecastForecast for Saturday:Mostly sunny. Slight (30%) chance of a shower in the far west early this morning. Near zero chance of rain elsewhere. Winds southwesterly 15 to 25 km/h turning west to northwesterly 15 to 20 km/h in the afternoon then tending northwest to northeasterly in the late evening. Daytime maximum temperatures between 13 and 16

A ridge of high pressure will move over Tasmania today with winds easing briefly before fresh to strong and gusty northwest winds develop early on Sunday ahead of a cold front, which crosses the state Sunday evening. Winds ease slightly and tend westerly in the wake of the front with another cold front crossing the state Monday night, ahead of a weak ridge that crosses on later on Tuesday.

The Advocate’s top stories►Annikah’s generous gift.10-year-old Annikah Carpenter had a generous gift for the Devonport RSPCA on Thursday.

►Pool fundingdelivered.The federal government has delivered funding for a new pool at Circular Head.

►Energy plan agreed upon.An emergency meeting of state energy ministers has wrapped up in Melbourne

►Port Road closes for five days of slip work.Port Road, Boat Harbour will be closed for six hours each day for a week to complete work to repair a second landslip.

►Hidding threatens defamation.Senior state government minister Rene Hidding is considering suing a fellow member of parliament fordefamation following revelations of a heated argument between the two at anofficialevent two weeks ago

Need anational newssnapshot first thing – well, we have you covered.

RegionalFORBES:A report is being prepared for the coroner after search teams recovered the body of a man, believed to be Robert Linnane, in floodwaters south-west of Forbes on Wednesday evening.Full story

WOLLONGONG:A road closureand a spectacular truck crash on one of the region’s busiest stretchescombined on Friday to leave hundreds of motorists stranded. Full story.

Traffic is heavy on the M1 Princes Motorway after a truck rollover at Cataract on Friday morning. Picture: ANGELA THOMPSON

BAROSSA:While many of us were rugged up indoors, thrillseekers took advantage of the novel floodwaters inundating the Barossa Valley region last week.Full story.

BATHURST:Thousands of race fans lined the streets of Bathurst on Wednesday to welcomed the V8 Supercar teams to town for the Bathurst 1000 Race Week. Full story and photos.

Race fans lined the streets to watch the Supercar Transporter Parade as the trucks and drivers made their way up William Street on Wednesday morning. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

BUNBURY: When Dave Meredith decided to make the most of the scarcesunny weather on Wednesday by taking his greyhound Pia for a walk, he didn’t expect the afternoon to end in a mad rush to save his beloved friend’slife. Full story.

BENDIGO:A council candidate has sparked an online furore after taking to social media to defend his role in a road-ragealtercation which saw him knockoff the side mirror of a vehicle he says swerved at him. Full story.

REDLAND BAY: The Grand View Hotel features a free show with Whole Lotta AC/DC from 2pm to 6pm on Sunday,October 23. Find out more.

NOWRA:A Nowra woman has been awarded $300,000 after a plastic chair she was sitting on collapsed in Kmart Nowra. Full story.

National news

SYDNEY:Much of NSW is considered to have high or very high bush firedanger on Friday. Full story.

BUNGENDORE:Storm-battered residents in Bungendore were told todrive more than an hour away to dispose of trees brought down by thisweek’sferocious winds. Full story.

►Some of Australia’s wealthiest private schools are running multimillion-dollar surpluses with the help of excess taxpayer funding, prompting fresh calls for the Turnbull government to tackle inequalities in the education system. Full story.

►Australia is confronted with a “silver tsunami” of people facing death with little infrastructure in place to cope with such a seismic shift in population, according to a leading American palliative care doctor. Full story.

National weather radarInternational newsCOLUMBIA: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has won the 2016 Nobel peace prize for his work on the peace accord with FARC rebels that his countrymen last weekend voted to reject. Full story.

THE HAGUE:”Any advice for Prince Charles?” The question drew a smile from King Willem-Alexander (warned in advance, one aide had raised an eyebrow and said “oh, a spicy question”). Full story.

UN: It was meant to be time for an Eastern European woman. But the exact opposite has happened, and the world will instead end up with a man from West Europe as the next United Nations chief. Full story.

MALAYSIA: The final member of the so-called ‘Budgie Nine’ -the Australiansarrested in Malaysia after stripping down to budgie smugglers emblazoned with the Malaysian national flag at the Grand Prix -hasarrived back on home soil. Full story.

On this day2001 – Two Russian cosmonauts made the first spacewalk to be conducted outside of the international space station without a shuttle present.

The faces of Australia: Brian BortolinThe Centre for Volunteering has recognised the efforts of Brian Bortolinby awarding him the Adult Volunteer of the Year.

MrBortolin, a prominent Griffith resident, has been volunteering with various organisations for more than 25years and last week he received the honour for his work withLife Education (Healthy Harold van).

As a volunteer with Life Education, Mr Bortolin drives theHealthy Harold van across the Riverina and ensuresHealthy Harold remains a prominent part ofeducation young people. Read on.

Continue reading »