AOC media chief Tancred stands aside

Saturday, 13. October 2018

The Australian Olympic Committee’s long-standing media head Mike Tancred has stood down as an investigation into his behaviour towards former chief executive Fiona de Jong continues.
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Fairfax Media has revealed that Tancred, a close ally of AOC president John Coates, has been the target of a number of complaints, formal and informal, from staff, including de Jong. Several have spoken publicly in recent days. Tancred, who has stood down until the resolution of the investigation, has denied any wrongdoing.

Coates is embroiled in an acrimonious fight to keep the position he has held for 27 years in the face of a challenge from former Olympic hockey player Danni Roche and has been accused by de Jong of tolerating bullying within the organisation. Coates wrote to all the sports that have a vote at the May 6 election rejecting suggestions there was a “culture of ‘bullying’ or a lack of action in response”.

The AOC is set to hold a phone hook-up from 6pm during which Coates will be asked to explain his version of events.

De Jong, who departed the AOC in December, lodged a complaint to Coates about another AOC executive accusing her of leaking board discussions to the press, which she vehemently denied. She said Tancred rang her within minutes of making the confidential complaint to Coates.

“He said, ‘Fiona, withdraw the complaint or I will bury you,’ ” she told Fairfax Media.

She claimed Tancred then issued a personal threat, which she would not detail, except for saying he was “abusive and threatening to me and would have affected my family life”.

“The nature of his conduct could best be characterised as blackmail and intimidation,” she said. “Over the course of my career I’ve been exposed to plenty of heated discussions, and poor choice of words or bad language in the workplace, but this went way beyond that. It’s one thing to take me on, but quite another to involve my family.”

Tancred said he “denied the allegations made against me”.

“I have made no comment to any of the allegations because I am bound by a confidentially agreement which I signed,” he said.

“Ms de Jong also signed that agreement but breached it over the weekend.”

Fairfax Media on Wednesday detailed the case of a young former staff member who claimed to have been told she lacked commitment after she took time off following a miscarriage during the Beijing Olympics. The woman said she had witnessed “numerous outbursts from Mike Tancred, which usually contained foul and derogatory language towards members of staff and external parties”.

With AAP

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

MP quiet on $30,000 campaign contribution source, says staffer-turned-candidate

Saturday, 13. October 2018

Federal MP Stuart Robert arrives for a hearing at the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) in Brisbane, Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Mr Roberts will today be questioned as part of investigation into conduct of candidates involved in the 2016 local government elections for the Gold Coast City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council and Ipswich City Council. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING AAP Photo?? Photo: AAPAn electorate officer for federal Liberal National Party MP Stuart Robert has contradicted her boss in a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission hearing in Brisbane, saying she was never told an LNP fundraising body would back her campaign.
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Felicity Stevenson unsuccessfully ran as an independent candidate in Division 5 at the 2016 Gold Coast City Council election.

The CCC is investigating whether anyone broke the law during last year’s Queensland local government elections by failing to disclose donations or party affiliations.

Last week, Mr Robert told the commission he had arranged an LNP fundraising body called the Fadden Forum to fund both Ms Stevenson and Kristyn Boulton, both former LNP members employed at his electorate office, to the tune of $30,000 each.

Ms Boulton was subsequently elected to the council, while Ms Stevenson returned to Mr Robert’s employ.

“Once Felicity said, ‘yes, I’m going to run’ … I grabbed both girls in my office and said, ‘well, if you’re both going to run and you’re running against some pretty seasoned Labor outfits, or people aligned that way … you might need some assistance, and I’m going to seek advice on whether the Fadden Forum can do that’,” Mr Robert said last Tuesday.

On Wednesday, at CCC headquarters in Fortitude Valley, Ms Stevenson said Mr Robert never mentioned the Fadden Forum in his discussions about the campaign with her.

“The extent of the conversation was that he would just help raise some dollars and cents for my campaign,” she said.

Counsel assisting the commission Glen Rice, QC, asked Ms Stevenson if there was any mention of the source of that funding, she said there was not.

“I didn’t know at the time,” she said.

Ms Stevenson’s campaign bank account, tendered as evidence on Wednesday, showed three donations of $10,000, $15,000 and $5000, which all had the source displayed as coming from the LNP.

But, in her original electoral disclosure, signed on May 20 last year, Ms Stevenson had listed the donor as the Fadden Forum, which she said she did on the post-election advice of Mr Robert.

A subsequent declaration on February 13 this year changed the donation source to “Liberal National Party”.

“I sought legal advice and the advice was the return needed to be amended,” Ms Stevenson told the commission.

Mr Robert told the commission last week he had organised the LNP, through the Fadden Forum, to donate the money to his two electorate office workers to prevent Labor getting a foothold in his seat.

While he conceded $60,000 would look like a lot of money to most voters, Mr Robert said: “If the Labor Party gets a foothold I’ll have to spend a lot more money (to be re-elected).”

All up, Ms Stevenson declared $32,595 in donations, $30,000 of which came from the LNP through the Fadden Forum.

Ms Stevenson also employed the services of Shac Communications, run by lobbyist and former Tony Abbott staffer Simone Holzapfel.

The commission, which is investigating undeclared party links as part of its probe, has heard Shac also provided campaign help to mayor Tom Tate, who has been granted a lifetime membership of the LNP, Ms Boulton, one-time LNP state candidate Cameron Caldwell, Gary Baildon and Pauline Young.

“Did you perceive them to be conservative aligned candidates, at least in terms of their politics?” Mr Rice asked Ms Holzapfel during her appearance last week.

“They would be conservative candidates, yes,” she replied.

The hearing continues.

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

New guide for dogs in hotels

Saturday, 13. October 2018

Bond: Paul Johns and his family stay in a range of accommodation on holidays and don’t want to encounter difficulty bringing guide dog Keith. Picture: Max Mason-HubersGUIDE dog handler Paul Johns only welcomed Labrador Retriever Keith to his family seven months ago, but said the hound is already “like our third child”.
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Mr Johns from Thornton was born with a visualimpairmentand used a cane until about a year ago, when he decided to take the “big step” to apply for a guide dog too.

“Keith has made me a lot happier,” Mr Johns said.

“I was born with my vision and learned to deal with things – it didn’t stop me going anywhere.

“But I did get sick of having to explain it to everyone – it would drive me insane.

“When I would signal a bus they didn’t see the cane and I could be signalling a truck.

“He makes navigating open spaces easier. It’s also safer because my 10 year old son is legally blind as well.”

Working guide dogs are legally allowed in any public place, with the exception of operating theatres and zoos.

But new research released on Wednesday, International Guide Dog Day, found a third of handlers have had their access rights challenged when visiting accommodation providers.

Some of the 110 handlers surveyed last month reported being completely refused entry or being asked to pay an additional bond because they were accompanied by a guide dog.

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has launched a campaign called Taking The Lead, which includes resourcesfor the accommodation sector to inform staff about laws, a guide dog’s function, how to behave around a guide dog and how to offer help to a handler.

“If Keith isn’t allowed to go, I won’t go,” Mr Johns said.

Bay centre sees blue after head knock

Saturday, 13. October 2018

Bye this weekend. Rd 3 (May 6) – Singleton v Hamilton, Nelson Bay v Wanderers, University v Sth Beaches, Lake Macquarie v Waratahs, Maitland v Merewether. RHYS Cutbush may not have a great recollection of it, but the Nelson Bay centre has entered the NHRU history books.
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FREE TO PLAY: Maitland back-rower Nick Davidson.

Cutbush was the first premier one player to receive a Blue Card under the union’s new concussion protocols.

He copped an accidental shoulder to the head in the second half of the Gropers’ win over Beaches and was ordered from the field by referee Lewis Nelson. Under the guidelines he has to meeta series of benchmarks and is not permitted to train or play for 12 days.

Fortunately for the Bay, there is a general bye this weekend and, baring complications, he will be available next round.

“He goes 100 per cent at everything and it was obvious to us he had a head knock,” coach Adam Edwards said. “He was stumbling a bit. The rugby community has to trust the referees’ instinct and back them.”

** In another first, Maitland back-rower Nick Davidson escaped suspension after taking an early guilty plea under the new disciplinary guidelines. Davidson was sent off after the second of two yellow cards and the judiciary duty officer deemed the red cardsufficient punishment without the player appearing before the judiciary. The judiciary officer can offer early guilty pleas for up to two weeks.

** Hunter Wildfiresunder-17s returned victorious from a two-game tour to Christchurch. The Wildfiresbeat club side Hornby 78-10 and All Blacks nursery Christchurch Boys High 45-12. As well as play games, the Widfires attended a Crusaders training session and met with All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

Strength and commitment

Saturday, 13. October 2018

PROFESSIONAL AND CARING: Mathew Lane undergoes chemotherapy treatment with clinical nurse specialist Laura Healey at Newcastle Private Hospital.
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At age 32, and just three weeks after the arrival of baby daughter Ellen, boilermaker Matthew Lane was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer.

Immediate medical attention was required and Matthew was referred to the team at Newcastle Private Hospital.

“They were very professional in dealing with my situation and very understanding of where we were at as a family,” Matthew said.

FAMILY UNIT: Wife Kristi, Matthew, and Ellen appreciate the special consideration staff at Newcastle Private have provided to them as a young family in a difficult time.

“A plan of action was put in place and within five weeks of the birth I was getting treatment.”

Instead of being in the main oncology unit, Matthew, wife Kristi and Ellen were accomodatedin the ward so that they could be together as a family and keep Ellen safe from potential exposure to toxic chemicals.

They now attend hospital once a fortnight as a unit.

“I’ve taken to the treatment well,” Matthew said. “I’ve been lucky to not get sick and remain active, which is a big part of my recovery, and I can still work.”

Matthew says it has been extremely helpful and reassuring to deal with Newcastle Private Hospital.

“The team have been very accommodating for our needs from the moment of diagnosis,” Matthew said.

“It’s great that we do it all in one spot, and you’re not just another number, you are a person, which makes it a lot easier to face.

“We’ve built a relationship with the staff, and they love having Ellen around.

“Jenny [the unit manager] will take her for a wander to meet and greet everyone, which is really good while we do treatment.

“You need that strength and commitment to beat this thing. It’s a tough situation that you can’t go around, you have to go through it.”

The oncology unit at Newcastle Private Hospital is one of only two in the Hunter, the other being at Lake Macquarie.

An expert team of oncologists work out of the site on the John Hunter Campus at Rankin Park.

The oncology infusion unit has nine chairs, where day chemo is done, and a 10-bed oncology ward.

Patients can be admitted for long term stays, offering great range of service to those in need.

In December Matthew teamed with Newcastle Private Hospital to help raise over $10,000 for Bowel Cancer Australia.

“It’s called ‘Decembeard’, you grow a beard for the month of December but I already had a beard so I shaved it off,” Matthew said.

“I was proud and happy to support it. Jenny also wants me to be an ambassador on Bowel Cancer Day.

“Being told that without treatment you have 4-6 months to live really puts things into perspective.

“If my story can just get one person to go the the doctor as soon as something doesn’t seem right then I want my story to be told.”