Category Archives: News

Child, Teenager, Adult

I’ve been keeping a bit of an eye on what has happened in the media in the last week surrounding the St Kilda Football Club and the photo scandal, which involves a 17 year old female and lewd photos she posted on Facebook of Nick Riewoldt, Nick Dal Santo and Zac Dawson.

Lets get the obvious stuff out of the road to start with, someone is lying and it certainly appears to be the 17 year old. She claims that she took the photos herself in April, however the three footballers have confirmed that they were taken last year while overseas. That leads to the next question, how did the female come into possession of the photos & it appears they were stolen. At a press conference earlier in the week, Nick Riewoldt stated that he’d requested that the photos be deleted immediately when they were taken, which he was told they were & that he is extremely disappointed with Sam Gilbert for not doing so. Sam Gilbert has subsequently made a statement saying that he is very disappointed in what has happened and his role in it and now appreciates the seriousness of the matter.

Next up is the actions of the 17 year old in question, who it appears has complete disregard for the law and due process. It would seem as though she feels she is above the law and her actions are some how justified. To give you an idea of her head space, she was dismissive of the heavy threats from the lawyers representing the St Kilda Football Club, which could have seen her paying back damages for the next 15 years if found guilty. When ordered to appear in court, she said she wasn’t going to turn up because she was on the Gold Coast and the court hearing was in Melbourne. While the media have a gag order on them from showing her face, printing or announcing her name – she has thrown that whole notion of protection out the window by posting the photos on her Facebook page (clearly identified) and subsequently web cam videos where, I believe she states what her name was in one form or another.

Keep in mind, the female is 17 years old – so in less than a year she’ll have the full legal right to do anything she likes – she’ll be driving, smoking, drinking & voting among other things. My question is, while I appreciate where the law sits on the matter, when does someone move from child, to teenager and into adulthood? Is the strictest view of the law an appropriate measure? Should you be allowed to do, virtually anything you want as a minor with no repercussions?

In this instance, it would seem as though the female has thrown the gauntlet down, virtually begging the St Kilda Football Club and their lawyers to take her to task on the matter. Especially when ordered by the Federal Court not to distribute the photos, she mocked the courts directions and stated she was going to distribute other photos as she had plenty of others. It was clear early on that she was just looking for more and more attention, highlighted ever so clearly when she commented that she’d only take the next steps if there was a media circus at Melbourne Airport on her arrival.

Friday it appears she has sought legal representation and they’ve directed her to comply with the courts directions, stating that all photos and copies would be destroyed. Nice for her to get away with not even a smack on the wrist, the photos of the footballers are out in the wild now – never to be withdrawn and after causing an immeasurable amount of damage to some of the AFL’s flagship players.

The comment in the media that aggravated me more than anything was from Victoria’s Child Safety Commissioner Bernie Geary, in which he raised concerns about the treatment of the female, that she was being unfairly vilified by the public/media and that everyone should remember that the teenager is still a child. At 17 years of age, I don’t think she is a child anymore and in many respects the law already sees it that way. However, she’ll no doubt escape this with little to no consequence to herself and that annoys me because it sends completely the wrong signal.

Australian Border Security & Illegal Immigrants

In the latest case of Australian border security relating to illegal immigrants and people smugglers, 78 Sri Lankans were rescued from their sinking boat that illegally entered Australian waters four and a half weeks ago. They were taken aboard the ship Oceanic Viking, with the intention of being taken to the Australian detention centre on Christmas Island however were in the end taken to an Indonesian detention centre to have their refugee claims processed. This was meant to be a standard exercise, it has happened many times before however in this instance the Sri Lankans refused to disembark the Oceanic Viking.

The previous Liberal government, lead by John Howard were criticised by the opposition heavily at the time being overly heavy handed. It was unconceivable at the time that we’d set up a detention centre for processing and essentially hold the refugees captive until their claims were processed and they’d either be granted refugee status or sent home packing. Now that the Labor government is running the show, they are now being criticised by the Liberal party for being too soft however in the grand scheme of things, little has changed.

In the latest incident, we’re seeing the asylum seekers refusing to leave the Australian ship that saved their lives after their boat was sinking. During the last four and a half week ordeal, the Sri Lankans have threatened or have gone on hunger strikes to have their case heard – essentially blackmailing the government into action.

I appreciate that it is a very delicate situation, most Australians couldn’t possibly understand the conditions or environment they were living under which would cause an individual or an an entire family to uproot and head to a foreign land in a tiny boat but how the latest case has panned out just doesn’t feel right. The Australian government has now set a precedent, act like a child and stomp your feet and the government will bend to your will and give you what you want. In my opinion that isn’t the right message to be sending at all, not to the illegal immigrants or to the filthy people smugglers who bleed them for what limited wealth they have and more.

I understand that Australia is a geographically large county with a small population and appreciate that we certainly have the space for individuals and families seeking refuge here after leaving their home lands, but the Australian government must be in control of our borders and its security. We certainly can’t leave the doors wide open or we’d be flooded by illegal immigrants, but we certainly cannot close the door either.

Australian citizens have said they don’t want the door closed and that we should and want to help these people. However, there is a clear undertone from what I’ve heard and read so far that suggests that while we want to help – we also want to be protected. Clearly the challenge is going to be balancing those two desires but I find it increasingly difficult to justify saying no to someone that is fleeing their country for their own peronal safety and a better future.

What’s the answer?

Mantra Group: Stella Hospitality Group Rebrands

Toward the start of August Stella Group announced that it had completed a major financial restructure, which would see the company split into two separate businesses and its debt comfortably refinanced into long term agreements. Stella Travel Services would assume approximately $40M, while Stella Hospitality Group would carry $245M.

Following on from the financial restructuring, Stella Hospitality Group announced on Friday 14th that it was rebranding itself to Mantra Group, to further distance itself from the embattled Octaviar, previously MFS Limited.

Now I’ll need to remember to tell people I work for Mantra Group and not Stella Hospitality Group!

Kyle Sandilands & Jackie O Debarcle

The media are always on the prowl for something to latch onto an nail and the current flavour of the week is Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O.

Kyle & Jackie O are known for pushing the boundaries of what is allowed on the radio and they are normally just labelled as stunts to get even more publicity. As a by product of their previous behaviour, while intentionally pushing the limits – it would seem as though their latest stunt which involved hooking up a 14 year old girl to a lie detector and asking her questions about her sex life went horribly wrong.

The media around the country are calling for their scalps after the 14 year old devulged that amongst other sexual activity that she’d been involved with – that she had been raped. The media are suggesting it should have been pulled immediately from air, however Kyle and Jackie O are saying that they don’t have that facility in their studio. I find that hard to believe, given that everyone else commenting on it suggests thats a common facility for a radio studio.

Whichever way it happened, their stunt involved hooking up the 14 year old the the lie detector, with her legal gardians permission to sort out once and for all whether she had been having sex. As it turned out, the mother not only confirmed that she’d been having sex but that she’d allegedly been raped as well – which supposedly wasn’t part of the expected outcome.

While it was poor judgement from the two and their radio station to allow a 14 year old to be hooked up to a lie detector, it wasn’t done in an interrogation style like you’d normally see in the movies. On top of that, it was done with the concent of the mother – who I believe suggested the idea in the first place.

I think that the media should be directing the majority of their anger at the mother and less at Kyle and Jackie O for their poor judgement. Should Kyle and Jackie O be repremanded, I think so as it was a gross error in judgement and in poor taste. Should they lose their jobs over it and their radio show, no I don’t think so. Should Austereo take a hit, absolutely as I’m quite sure they approved directly or indirectly that the stunt was okay for air and ultimately they are responsible.

Who do you think should be in the firing line and to what do you think their punishment should be?

Roger Federer Wimbledon 2009 Winner & Greatest Player Ever

For those that didn’t get an opportunity to see the Wimbledon 2009 final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick, you missed a spectacular match which is sure to go down in the history books.

Leading into the match, a lot of the press going on was touting Roger Federer as an easy win over Andy Roddick due to an imposing 18-2 win/loss ratio against him in the past. While it might have seemed a logical choice, you can never underestimate what a grand slam final will do to a player, drive them to greatness or crumple under the pressure.

Looking at how Andy Roddick had played leading into the final, I wasn’t confident that Roger Federer would walk over him to win Wimbledon 2009 at all – Roddick was playing some of the best tennis in his career. He dismantled Tomas Berdych in straight sets, ground out a hard fought five setter against Lleyton Hewitt with great shot making and knocked off the third seed Andy Murray in four – Roddick was a changed man and on a mission. While Andy Roddick played an extra five sets on the way to the 2009 Wimbledon final over Roger Federer, the previous two losses in 2004 and 2005 to Federer were sure to light the fire within for the third encounter.

Roger Federer had an impressive run in to the finals, dropping only a single set which was swiftly reclaimed without mercy 6-1 the following. Federer had been playing great tennis for the entire Wimbledon tournament, backing up from his first French Open win earlier in the year. Due to how the draw unfolded, Roger Federer didn’t come up against a top 10 seeded player before the final, the highest being the 13th seed Robin Soderling. There was speculation that the lack of a dominant oppontent was going to severely hinder the finals performance of Federer, however being a consummate professional and 14 open champion – I was confident that he’d find the muster if and when required.

After more than four hours had lapsed on centre court at Wimbledon, Roger Federer set the record books alight by claiming his 15th grand slam title and surpassing the long standing record of Pete Sampras. The match game score was 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14.

The overall match statistics were incredible from both players, especially the serving statistics from Roddick with 70% first serves in averaging 203kph and a fastest serve of 228kph. Despite the blazing speed and a high percentage from Roddick, Roger Federer nearly doubled the number of aces at 50 and combined with an imposing percentage win ratio on service and return – handed Roger Federer the win.

  Roddick Federer
1st Serve % 168/239 (70%) 127/197 (64%)
Aces 27 50
Double Faults 4 4
Unforced Errors 33 38
1st Serve (Winning %) 140/168 (83%) 113/127 (89%)
2nd Serve (Winning %) 31/71 (44%) 42/70 (60%)
Winners (Including Service) 74 107
Receiving Points Won 42/197 (21%) 68/239 (28%)
Break Point Conversions 2/5 (40%) 1/7 (14%)
Net Approaches 42/69 (61%) 38/59 (64%)
Total Points Won 213 223
Fastest Serve 228kph 216kph
1st Serve Average Speed 203kph 189kph
2nd Serve Average Speed 168kph 152kph

Roger Federer was without question the greatest player of his era, which is a milestone that Rod Laver always measures a player by. However after winning his 6th Wimbledon grand slam title and 15th in total, which as restored his world #1 ranking, has now also rightfully earned the title of the greatest player in history.