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Australian News

AFL Brownlow Medal ceremony goes virtual, but the footy stars and their partners still rock red carpet looks


The Brownlow Medal 2020 ceremony usually takes place in Melbourne, but this year’s event was spread out across Australia.

The bulk of the players in the Queensland bubble were at an event at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast.

And there were events in Perth and Adelaide, as well as in Sydney and Melbourne.

AFL partners and players are shown across eight different screens with a scoreboard at the bottom on the left and right.
AFL players and their partners at Carrarra stadium, the SCG, the Gabba, Adelaide Oval, Perth Stadium and the Melbourne studio.(Supplied: Channel 7)

Things may be all over the place due to coronavirus, but the footy stars and their partners still delivered looks — even though attendees were reportedly told they didn’t need to follow a strict black tie dress code this year.

Here’s who dressed up and who didn’t (spoiler alert: everyone did).

The Brisbane Lions’ Lachie Neale and partner Julie didn’t hold back, with the new first lady of footy donning a sheer floor-length gown and tousled waves.

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And Hawthorn’s Jack Gunston rocked a suit and a face mask, captioning his Instagram outfit post: “Brownlow Medal Victorian Style.”

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Meanwhile, Melbourne’s Christian Petracca and his partner Bella were #Brownlow ready in Brisbane.

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The Brisbane Lions’ Charlie Cameron went for a suave dark velvet ensemble, with his partner Caitlin Seeto in an equally elegant black number.

Charlie Cameron smiles as he holds his partner Caitlin by the waist. They both wear black.
Charlie Cameron, with partner Caitlin Seeto, was up for the mark of the year gong but went home empty handed.(AAP Image: Darren England)

West Coast Eagles player Luke Shuey and his partner Dani were dressed to the nines.

Shuey said he was disappointed not to be playing this weekend.

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Melbourne’s Jack Viney and his wife Charlotte posed for pictures with their baby daughter Mila Grace.

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And the Sydney Swans’ Luke Parker cut a dapper figure next to partner Kate Lawrence, who stood out in a red number.

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Equally sharp were the Melbourne Demons’ Steven May and partner Briana.

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The Western Bulldogs’ Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Libatore brought their fashion A game, both rocking up to the Gold Coast event in style.

Libatore’s suit even covered up his, “My god you’re greasy” tattoo.

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Business

Crown did not review junket partner despite red flags, inquiry hears


The inquiry heard Crown received a due diligence report on Mr Chau in April 2016 that warned the US government considered him to be involved in organised crime, while a separate May 2016 dossier warned that he appeared to be a former member of the “14K Triad” in Macau under the leadership of notorious gangster Wan Kuok-koi, also known as “Broken Tooth Koi”.

And in June 2017, the anti-money laundering agency AUSTRAC contacted Crown asking it to explain how it considered its partnership with Mr Chau to be appropriate.

The hearing was shown footage leaked by independent federal MP Andrew Wilkie showing large bundles of cash being exchanged for betting chips inside Suncity’s private room at Crown Melbourne, which Ms Sharp said acted as an “island of immunity” from Crown’s anti-money laundering regime.

Mr Preston could not say if the incidents captured on film were ever reported to AUSTRAC due to uncertainty around when the events precisely took place.

Crown had additional “controls” put in place for Suncity after March 2018 when management discovered $5.6 million in cash stored in a cupboard at its exchange desk. Mr Preston said that was “an inordinate amount of money” and triggered concerns the room was being used to launder dirty cash.

However, none of those events prompted the senior management group responsible for vetting junkets – consisting of Mr Preston, Crown’s Australian resorts boss Barry Felstead and non-executive director Michael Johnston – to consider ending its partnership with Suncity.

“There was activity there I was not comfortable with, that’s why we put controls into place,” Mr Preston said.

Mr Preston said he had more recently recommended that Crown reconsider working with Suncity, based an a “holistic history” that took into account the “various allegations”, due diligence warnings and “recent incidents” at Crown.

The hearing was also shown a 2015 email from a senior member of Crown’s international VIP division, Ari Lee, to other Crown staff regarding junket partner Ng Chi Un, who operated the so-called “Hot Pot” junket that has links to a massive drug trafficking cartel. The email said Ng was a “very influential character” in Macau, particularly in regard to the “underground network”.

Mr Preston said he could not say if that was a reference to the underground banking networks used by crime syndicates and if it should have been a red flag for money laundering.

“That’s the only reasonable construction of this statement isn’t it,” Ms Sharp said. “Is there an underground railway network in Macau?”

“I just do not know,” Mr Preston said. “I do not know what that means. If I had seen this at the time, I would have asked some questions because that does not sound normal.”


The inquiry’s public hearings will continue on Tuesday.

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Australian News

Cricket Australia wants answers over how almost $8m in bushfire donations to the Red Cross is being spent


Cricket Australia has sought a briefing about how millions of dollars in donations it poured into bushfire relief and recovery efforts have been spent by the Red Cross.

Red Cross Australia received $216 million in donations from individuals, businesses and organisations, including almost $8 million raised by Cricket Australia.

Cricket Australia put together several matches and initiatives over the summer to raise funds for the bushfire recovery effort.

The centrepiece of those efforts was the Bushfire Bash charity appeal, which encouraged international fans to pledge to donate for every wicket taken and boundary scored across four matches.

The cricketing body has been thrown into turmoil after the resignation of chief executive Kevin Roberts yesterday.

But at the start of this month, when he was still CEO, Mr Roberts penned a letter to National Bushfire Recovery Agency coordinator Andrew Colvin.

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The correspondence, obtained by the ABC, raised concerns that some communities still had residents who were struggling after their homes were damaged or destroyed.

“Recent media reporting has brought attention to the issues still confronting fire-affected regions, particularly regarding the disbursement of charity funds and the lack of temporary accommodation available to impacted residents,” Mr Roberts wrote.

Sachin Tendulkar, wearing a yellow kit smiles as he runs between wickets, Ellyse Perry has her back to him.
Cricket Australia recruited some of the sport’s greats, including Sachin Tendulkar, for the Bushfire Bash.(AAP: Scott Barbour)

“Notwithstanding the complexities involved in the recovery effort and acknowledging the support that has already been delivered to many regions, it is concerning that victims of the summer’s bushfires are still said to be without adequate accommodation.

“As an organisation that raised considerable funds for charities supporting bushfire-impacted communities, Cricket Australia has a vested interest in the ongoing rebuild and recovery effort.

“We would welcome an update on the recovery, particularly as it pertains to the disbursement of charitable funds and temporary accommodation in fire-affected regions.”

In the letter, Mr Roberts said he had been contacted by the owner of a pub in one of the worst-affected communities, Cobargo.

He said publican David Allen provided him with a first-hand account of the issues facing residents.

Mr Allen last week told the ABC his community was still struggling with accommodation problems.

“They really need the help of good, decent, dignified, temporary accommodation,” he said.

“It just bewilders me that we can’t do better with this charity money.”

Meeting with Cricket Australia set for next week

Mr Colvin said a meeting had been arranged with Cricket Australia for next week.

“We welcome the engagement with Cricket Australia,” he told the ABC.

“I think Cricket Australia are reflecting concerns the community have about the recovery and the accommodation and disbursement of funds.”

Mr Colvin said charities had been responsive to the unprecedented bushfires and met with his agency every couple of weeks to share information and work out how to better target relief.

“It is complex, and the charities have to balance what they do now with what is a longer-term recovery need,” he said.

“We have to have an eye to the long-term recovery needs of these communities.”

Red Cross welcomes Cricket Australia questions

A Red Cross spokeswoman said the charity organisation enjoyed a “positive, open relationship with Cricket Australia”.

“We regularly engage with Cricket Australia and share updates on our work supporting bushfire-impacted communities and their recovery. Support from our partners, like Cricket Australia, enables our work with communities.”

So far Red Cross has spent $115 million of the $216 million in funds raised, including grants to 4,254 people.

“We share concerns about people in bushfire-impacted communities in temporary accommodation,” the spokeswoman said.

Mr Colvin said the challenge of finding people suitable accommodation also rested with state and local governments.

The Red Cross has recently extended grants to help people trying to find or build new homes, with an additional $30,000 available to home owners, on top of $20,000 provided in emergency payments.

“We will continue to work with governments and others to identify gaps in support so we can together ensure people’s needs are being met,” the Red Cross spokeswoman said.

The Red Cross and the National Bushfire Recovery Agency have urged anyone who still needs support to request help.



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Business

Red brick knitting mill gets a creative rethink


Positioned on the fourth level of the red brick building, the 500-square-metre floor plate enjoys unimpeded views over Melbourne’s skyline on one side and views over the Richmond streets on the other.

The architects’ brief included integrating the company’s corporate colours,apple green and a soft fuschia pink.

The architects’ brief included integrating the company’s corporate colours,apple green and a soft fuschia pink.Credit:Willem Du Toit

The architects’ brief not only included integrating the company’s corporate colours, an apple green and a soft fuschia pink, but also the need to convey the way it operates and its approach to working with new and existing clients.

So rather than the traditional office typology with a reception counter immediately outside a lift as the first point of call, here visitors are greeted by a faceted mirrored wall that literally throws out numerous refracted images, distorts the spaces, and beckons one towards the reception area at the furthest point of the office, connected to a bar.

“The idea was to allow people visiting for the first time to walk past all the different spaces and see some of the workings involved,” says Stribley.

This promenade also includes a delightful installation of macrame, a wool installation by Peter King Studio, in varying hues of coloured wool, including pinks and greens, homage to the rich history of the knitting mill that once occupied the entire building.

The nine-metre-long bar that features the reception counter at one end.

The nine-metre-long bar that features the reception counter at one end.Credit:Willem Du Toit

The company’s logo, featuring as a fluorescent installation on a wall outside the lift, combined with a couple of rocks placed on the floor, also reflects on the company’s approach: the idea of Tinker Bell, a character in the Disney movie, Peter Pan, and The Thinker, a famous sculpture by August Rodin placed on a stone pedestal in a state of contemplation.

The many spaces provided by Cera Stribley certainly activate both the mind and senses.

There’s the enclosed pod referred to as the psychologist’s booth, complete with a Sigmund Freud-style signature lounge.

Other areas are slightly more conventional such as the glass-framed meeting areas referred to as ‘Think Tanks’.

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There are other enclosed areas, such as the board room and several meeting areas, each one featuring super graphics of well-known thinkers and makers, with overscaled half portraits combined on each glass door: scientist Stephen Hawkins, SBS television presenter Lee Lin Chin and famous artists, such as the legendary artist Pablo Picasso, who also clearly falls into the thinking category.

Although there are various working and meeting areas, including open plan workstations, some areas on the edge of the floor plate resemble a cafe more than a workplace.

Pale fuschia and apple green banquette-style seating, for example, supported by matching rope, feature mirror at its base to create a sense of floating.

As unusual is the nine-metre-long bar that features the reception counter at one end, finished in a rose-pink resin and backed by mirrors.

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“People tend to catch up here for informal meetings, but the bar is also popular for social events or Friday night get-togethers,” says Stribley.

In between the highly refined areas, are the raw ceilings, with exposed ducts, simply sprayed white, and timber flooring.

For those new to the Thinkerbell scene, taking the walk down the central isle for the first time must spur a rethink in how office spaces can be addressed.

“It’s a place for thinkers and tinkers.

It’s also a place designed to create energy, both though the colour palette, and, as importantly, the ideas,” adds Stribley.

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Local News - Victoria

Red Cross warns mental recovery from fires could take years


He said relatives and friends should listen as the survivor talked through their experience.

If, after four to six weeks, people are still struggling, they should see a GP who could refer them to counselling.

Red Cross has a web page with tips about how to look after yourself in a crisis and how to support children.

The Red Cross has sent about 100 volunteers to six relief centres in Victoria – at Omeo, Bairnsdale, Sale, Lakes Entrance, Corryong and Tallangatta and 10 evacuation centres in NSW.

Their main task was providing “psychological first aid” – comforting new arrivals and listening to  their concerns.

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But he said it can take years for some survivors to get back on their feet.

“We’d encourage them to talk to people, talk to family, get some exercise and make time for themselves.

“Do some social things, connect with their community again, get back into routines they had before the fires. Try and normalise things as much as possible.”

Mr Coghlan said research that Red Cross did with Melbourne University after Black Saturday had shown that putting survivors in touch with loved ones was important in recovery.

Red Cross volunteers are running a Register. Find. Reunite. database to which displaced people can add their names, contact details and information on where they’re staying so loved ones can find them.

Mr Coghlan said live online streaming of distressing footage could badly affect people doing it tough mentally and they might be better off “not re-exposing themselves”.

Black Saturday survivors, for example, could find the current coverage challenging “because it will bring back memories”.

On the other hand, social media can give instant feedback that loved ones are OK and being cared for, rather than not knowing.

Child psychiatrist Dr Karen Gaunson said that if a child has seen bushfire scenes on the internet or TV, the parents could discuss when and where it happened in relation to where they are.

They could reassure the child they have a plan to keep them safe.

Regarding child survivors of bushfire, Dr Gaunson said it’s normal for them to be distressed for the first week after the event.

Kids affected may experience disrupted sleep and either a “shut down-overwhelmed” response or a more overtly distressed, perhaps irritable and defiant response.

She advised that, if the family is on holiday, parents get the child back into a routine, preferably with familiar people and with activities they enjoy.

If kids choose to talk about what happened, parents could listen and provide comfort.

Dr Gaunson said that if the child has persistent difficulties beyond a week, parents could seek professional support, starting with their GP, particularly if there have been multiple losses and disruptions to family life.

To find loved ones affected by the bushfires go to this site or call Red Cross on 1800 727 077 (Victoria) or 1800 227 228 (NSW).

You can donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund here or by calling 1800 733 276. Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

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