Monthly Archives: January 2019

‘Why would women speak up?’: the ‘chilling’ effect of powerful men

Amber Harrison described her legal battle with the Seven Network, following her affair with Seven West Media chief executive Tim Worner and subsequent dismissal from the company, as a lesson in “how many ways can you screw a girl”.

When former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick is asked about the high-profile case, and why in the wake of that other women would speak about issues they face in the workplace, she says: “well exactly, why would women speak up?”

Ms Broderick, who was recently appointed as the UN as Special Rapporteur for Discrimination Against Women, says powerful leaders often feel that they cannot “step up” because it will “cost them”.

She gives a hypothetical example of a man in the office who may be delivering financial gains for the company, but who is at the same time excluding and harassing women, but not being held to account.

Calling that out, she says, is more important than ever, says Ms Broderick, who on Wednesday night will deliver the annual oration at Business Events Sydney’s Ambassador Dinner to an audience of some of the nation’s top chiefs and political leaders.

“In today’s world there are loud voices working against gender equality,” she says. “As the [Harvey] Weinstein saga is illustrating, power can have a chilling effect on women’s voices.”

“The forces of change – the international political alignments, Brexit, Trump, to name a few – are exerting a profound impact.”

“Each day I sense our progress is slowing; and that hostility to, not only gender equality, but human rights in general is actually growing.”

Ms Broderick set up the Male Champions of Change initiative, which calls on male ASX200 CEOs to take action to address to address issues such as the gender pay gap and promote women into executive leadership and boards.

“MCC is not a vehicle for gender-washing, so to the extent that men aren’t paying their part, the community needs to hold them to account,” she says.

Ms Broderick says while she has worked with well-intentioned leaders at MCC, and to set up cultural reviews into the treatment of women in the n Defence Force, the n Federal Police and now in the university sector, she still finds that people are “wrongly oriented to ‘fixing women’ when it should be about ‘fixing the system’.

n Institute of Company Directors (AICD) latest gender diversity statistics show 11 ASX 200 companies have no women on their boards (down from 13 last survey), and 64 have just one.

Chief Executive Women (CEW) data shows the ASX 200 has just 11 female CEOs, and 41 have no executive women leaders.

The World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap report, which tracks gender disparities globally, found that was ranked 46 out of 144 countries.???

While the data proves there still is a problem in and globally, change cannot be driven just by data.

“It is about combining that data with powerful stories, personally delivered to the leader who sits at the heart of organisational power,” she says.

Ms Broderick, questioned how many CEOs are aware of the “micro interactions, the stories that set the tone of their organisation”.

Those leading major organisations, must use their influence and access to power to elevate and share the voices of those who have little or no voice.

“Unless we intentionally change this system, little will happen,” she says.

Follow Nassim Khadem on Facebook and Twitter.

Trump adviser may have been wearing a wire

George Papadopoulos, the former foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI’s Russia probe, may have been wearing a wire for months, several legal experts and former US government attorneys said.

Papadopoulos was arrested on July 27 but his case was kept secret until it was unsealed on Tuesday, the same day campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were also charged as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Manafort and Gates were charged in a 12-count indictment with a series of money laundering, tax evasion and foreign lobbying crimes stemming from work for pro-Russian political leaders in Ukraine. While the crimes alleged began years before Trump’s campaign, the indictment asserted that Manafort’s scheme to defraud continued through last year until early this year.

Papadopoulos has admitted he spent months last year cultivating contacts in an effort to arrange meetings between Trump’s campaign and Russian government officials. He said a London-based professor with extensive Russian contacts introduced him to a woman described as “Putin’s niece” and told him the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton based on “thousands of emails” of hers. The offer came months before the hack of Democratic emails became public.

On Tuesday, Trump hit back saying few people knew the “low level volunteer” who has since “proven to be a liar”.

However, Harry Litman, a former US attorney and deputy assistant attorney general, wrote in the New York Times that Papadopoulos’ guilty plea is far more immediately ominous to the president and his inner circle than the charges against Manafort and Gates.

A paragraph in the plea agreement indicates that Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on October 5 to lying to the FBI about his contact with the professor and the plea was sealed so that he could act as a “proactive cooperator”.

“The meaning of that phrase is unclear,” Litman wrote. “But one nerve-racking possible implication is that Mr Papadopoulos has recently worn a wire in conversations with other former campaign officials. This will surely have members of Mr Trump’s inner circle agonising about the possibility and wondering who else might have been similarly cooperating with the investigation.”

Former public defender and professor Seth Abramson explained on Twitter why the term “proactive cooperator” is probably bad news for others in Trump’s orbit.

“Prosecutors often require a defendant to perform cooperative services for the government well in advance of his or her formal plea,” he tweeted.

“The reason for this is that – via both ‘proffer’ and sometimes actual performance – a defendant must show they’re of value to the government. So there is every reason to think that Papadopoulos was wired for sound not long after his arrest on July 27th, 2017 at Dulles airport.

“For Papadopoulos to get his October 5th plea, one of two things had to be true: (a) the feds had already got good sound from him; or… ..(b) he’d made a sufficient proffer establishing that he could get good sound for them – valuable evidence – shortly after October 5th.”

Former US attorney Preet Bharara, who Trump fired earlier this year, told Politico Magazine: “Hard to tell, but the George Papadopoulos guilty plea tells us (a) Mueller is moving fast (b) the Mueller team keeps secrets well (c) more charges should be expected and (d) this team takes obstruction and lying very, very seriously. That should be of concern to some people.”

The Toronto Star’s Washington reporter Daniel Dale also tweeted that a wire may have been used. Papadopoulos is described as “proactive cooperator.” Former prosecutor tells me that sometimes means “wore a wire.” https://t成都夜生活/nQyVCbXy6x??? Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 30, 2017from a 2001 district court case:https://t成都夜生活/wXke91EdLJpic.twitter成都夜网/R78fcLERY8??? Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) October 30, 2017

Bikie enforcer charged over Clint Starkey murder

A bikie enforcer stands accused of murdering Central Coast father Clint Starkey after allegedly luring him to a remote service station, dragging him out of a car and brutally beating him.

Mr Starkey, 42, died more than two months after suffering severe head injuries in the late-night beating next to unmanned bowsers at the Caltex service station at Peats Ridge on April 5.

Strike Force Bartondale detectives allege Mr Starkey had fallen out with some members of the local chapter of the bikie gang over what they have only termed as a “dispute”.

Mr Starkey was due to face Gosford District Court on April 6 to be sentenced on unrelated drug matters.

But the night before, he jumped into the passenger side of a mate’s car to go for a drive.

Within hours of getting into the car, Mr Starkey was being flown to Royal North Shore Hospital after allegedly being set upon at the remote service station by four men.

He remained in a coma for two months before succumbing to the horrific injuries, his death sparking a murder investigation which saw homicide squad detectives arrest the suspect on the Central Coast on Tuesday morning.

The suspect, a 36-year-old local Rebels enforcer, was charged on Tuesday night with Mr Starkey’s murder and refused bail to appear in Gosford Local Court on Wednesday.

The arrest came at the same time as detectives released closed circuit television footage showing the moments before and after the brutal attack on Mr Starkey.

The footage shows the car carrying Mr Starkey park away from bowsers before three men approach from the shadows and near each side of the vehicle.

The video cuts out before one of the men pulls Mr Starkey from the passenger seat and the attack commences.

Detectives believe Mr Starkey is punched and kicked for almost a minute before he is bundled into a car and dropped off at Gosford Hospital near death.

A fourth man is not seen in the released footage but is believed to have been involved in the assault.

They also believe others were called in to help clean up the “crime scene” at the service station.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin confirmed Mr Starkey, who was an associate of the bikies, had had a falling out with some members of the Peninsula chapter of the Rebels.

“It appears the assault was a result of a dispute that had occurred between members of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang and associates,” Detective Chief Inspector Jubelin said on Tuesday.

“We are encouraging any members of the public to come forward if they recognise anyone in the TV footage.

“I am very mindful of the matters of this nature, that the public are reluctant to come forward. I can assure you, if anyone does provide information in relation to this matter it will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

“This was a particularly violent offence where a man was bashed to death. We know that four people were directly involved in it.

“We know others were involved in the planning and organisation of it and we also know that people were involved in cleaning up the crime scene and taking the victim to the hospital.”

Two men were charged on October 10 with hindering a police investigation.

Thousands of patients to access new life saving treatment

Thousands of patients will now have access to new Medicare subsidies to treat epilepsy, stroke, lymphoma, heart diseases and other life-threatening conditions.

From November 1, women with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer will also have free access to Medicare rebates for BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genetic testing. Close relatives of women found to have the mutations will also be eligible for the tests which have previously cost between $600 and $2000.

The federal government approved all the latest recommendations from independent expert on the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC), Health Minister Greg Hunt will announce on Wednesday.

Among the new Medicare items are subsidies for more than 2000 patients with slow growing non-Hodgkin lymphoma to access PET (positron emission tomography) imaging to monitor the progress of their using nuclear medicine diagnostic services.

Roughly 800 patients every year will be eligible for a transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) to replace aortic valves with minimally invasive surgery.

Patients with irregular heart rhythm who can’t take blood-thinning medication will now have access to a new service (a transcatheter occlusion) to insert a device that can lower the risk of stroke.

Mechanical thrombectomy will now be in reach for around 200 stroke patients every year. The procedure dissolves blood clots, minimises damage to the brain and greatly improves patients’ prognosis.

Epilepsy patients will benefit from six new Medicare items for vagus nerve stimulation therapy, designed to prevent seizures by sending mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve, much like a pacemaker.

Microwave tissue ablation was also added as an alternative to radio frequency ablation treatment for patients with liver tumours that can’t be treated by conventional surgery.

Pregnant women and new mothers will have improved access to mental health assessments during pregnancy and in the early postnatal period, as well as a new MBS item for home visits in the first few weeks after birth by a midwife, GP or obstetrician.

“The Turnbull government has a rock solid commitment to Medicare, bulk billing and the PBS and our Long Term National Health Plan will ensure that ns will continue to be supported by one of the best health systems in the world, long into the future,” Minister Hunt said.

The old-fashioned neighbourhood with a very sweet tooth

This tucked-away suburban pocket – often referred to as Leichhardt North or simply “the quiet end of Leichhardt” – is arguably home to more cake shops and bakeries per capita than any other part of Sydney, thanks in part to Leichhardt’s robust Italian-immigrant heritage.

Within metres of each other you’ll find old-fashioned cake shops such as Mezzapica Cakes and JD’s Cakes, traditional bakeries such as Lightcrust and Penny Four’s, and more modern dessert ventures such as Raggamuffin and The Cupcake Room.

Leichhardt has long been known as the Little Italy of Sydney, thanks to waves of post-WWII migration. In recent years, some of the Italian restaurants and shops along Norton Street have closed, particularly at the southern end near Parramatta Road.

But Leichhardt North still feels distinctly Italian, and its cake shops attract fans from across Sydney.

“People tell us how their parents got their wedding cakes from here and they’d like to do the same,” says Andre Mezzapica, who works at the family-owned cake shop his great uncle founded in 1952.

“A lot of people comes from the Hills area and the Northern Beaches,” he says. “They’re willing to travel a while to get to us.”

He says Sydney’s Italian diaspora still frequent the northern end of Norton Street, even though many of them now live in nearby suburbs such as Haberfield and Abbotsford. Related: Investor snaps up unrenovated Leichhardt homeRelated: Old shop to modern Leichhardt homeRelated: When Bankstown was pricier than Leichhardt

“The cafe next door is owned by my brother,” he adds. “It’s a separate business, but it is called Mezzapica Cafe and it shares an identity.”

Newcomers to Leichhardt North say the Italian flavour of the place is a big draw. Glen Wolter, a lawyer, and his partner, a historian, moved there earlier this year after spending time working in the Netherlands.

“When we were offered this house in Leichhardt and we started spending time there, we realised that it’s really like a self-contained little pocket,” he says.

“It’s got its own personality, which is mostly Italian, and it somehow strikes the exact right balance between quiet suburban life and having everything on your doorstep.”

Wolter and his partner have worked their way through most of the area’s sweet offerings, with the exception of the just-opened Peanut Butter Bar, which is on their to-do list.

The cake shops and bakeries are invariably welcoming to new residents, he says.

“Even the hipper venues in north Leichhardt, like the steamed muffin place [Raggamuffin], are run by really friendly people. There’s nothing stand-offish or ‘too cool’ about them.”

Michael Glynn, from The Agency Inner West, says North Leichhardt has “a gentler, quieter feel” than the southern part of the suburb.

“It doesn’t have a big shopping centre or a cinema, so it doesn’t generate that same level of buzz,” he says. “And the memorial park at the northern end is very tranquil.”

“All the school kids come out from the school and muck around there. It’s really very pleasant.”

Glynn cites the convenient City West Link, abundant buses and light-rail services, good local public schools and easy access to private schools in Stanmore and further west as key reasons that residents gravitate to the area. “Just about all our buyers are working families,” he adds. Our Fun Mix has something in it for everyone, and with our shop being 100% nut free, perfect for school parties! ????A post shared by The Cupcake Room (@thecupcakeroom) on Oct 11, 2017 at 5:16pm PDTMidi size strawberry watermelon cake with rosecream just perfect for 2 serves #jdscakes #cakeshopsydney #leichhardtcakeshopA post shared by JDS Cakes Sydney (@jdscakessydney) on Jul 2, 2017 at 9:47pm PDT