Monthly Archives: March 2019

Poor crowds show Perth should have hosted Test, not Brisbane, says WACA chief

The revised schedule has been blamed for dismal crowds at the Brisbane Test, but the poor attendances raised fresh questions over whether Perth should have been awarded an India Test instead.

While the lack of comfort and shade – not attendance records – were key factors in the WACA Ground being overlooked with just four Tests to go around this summer, WACA chief executive Christina Matthews said she always backed a Perth Test against India to do better at the turnstiles than the Gabba.

Crowds for the Brisbane Test were 15,542 (day one), 8966 (day two), 9394 (day three) and 10,362 (day four), a total of 44,264 over four days.

This was a drastic reduction on the projected crowds before the Adelaide and Brisbane Tests were shuffled to accommodate the funeral of Phillip Hughes, with the Gabba Test starting almost a fortnight later than scheduled.

“The way the schedule has had to be redone, I reckon it’s hard to judge what would have happened if we had one,” Matthews said.

“I was always confident we could do a decent crowd across the five days over Brisbane, we have good strong attendance all the time and Brisbane tends to come and go. But it’s been a hard year to judge.

“It was unique with the four Tests and the World Cup and then the rescheduling and the challenges we’ve had over the past six weeks, we’ll never see that again.”

Matthews said India Tests at the WACA tended to sell out on the first two days, making for a crowd of more than 20,000 on those days. India was thrashed in three days in 2011, but attracted 49,502 for the match.

Matthews believes Test crowds are still healthy but will be interested to see how one-day cricket fares after the World Cup.

“The crowds overall in cricket have gone up, how they’re sliced up is a bit different,” she said. “The challenge will be after we’ve had the World Cup, what happens to the 50-over game and how the crowds go with that in the next couple of years.”

The Melbourne Cricket Club is tipping a crowd of more than 60,000 for Boxing Day, after a world record 91,112 for last year’s Ashes Test in Melbourne on Boxing Day.

The last Boxing Day Test involving India attracted 70,068 on day one in 2011.

While the crowds at the Tests this summer have been disappointing, Cricket Australia points out the television ratings have been strong. They said more than 2 million people watched Mitchell Marsh hit the winning runs against India on Saturday, with a total four-day TV audience of 7.1 million.

Jordan Thompson wins Australian Open wildcard after five-set ordeal

See you in Melbourne: Jordan Thompson will play the 2015 Australian Open. Photo: Pat Scala See you in Melbourne: Jordan Thompson will play the 2015 Australian Open. Photo: Pat Scala

See you in Melbourne: Jordan Thompson will play the 2015 Australian Open. Photo: Pat Scala

See you in Melbourne: Jordan Thompson will play the 2015 Australian Open. Photo: Pat Scala

A golf cart collected Jordan Thompson from courtside after his epic Australian Open wildcard win, and delivered the debilitated champion to an ice bath after the toughest physical challenge the 20-year-old had endured. He needed the lift. Walking was not an option.

“That’s the most gruelling match I’ve ever had to play and I’m just happy to win it,” Thompson said after his 6-1, 6-3, 1-6, 6-7 (2-7), 9-7 defeat of second seed John-Patrick Smith, a dramatic ordeal that included cramps, a nose bleed, code violation warnings, medical timeouts, a paralysed scoreboard and an overworked trainer dashing from one exhausted, pained player to the other.

Thompson was unsure of the score late in the match, only that when he was in front he needed to win just one more game. He was unaware that he faced two points for a 0-4 deficit in the fifth set, and clueless as to how he pulled it off in the end when he had failed to serve it out at 5-4 and then 7-6.

“I have absolutely no idea. Just competed really well and got there in the end,” he said, after his second consecutive five-set playoff final. Last year, as a virtual unknown, the fiery New South Welshman went on to take the first two sets from world No. 20 Jerzy Janowicz in his Open debut the following month, before losing in five. “It means the world,” he said. “To play another home grand slam is amazing.”

Both players reached close to their physical limit by the end, Smith almost unable to walk in the penultimate game, lurching around like a stiff-legged robot. Both were struggling to serve, and move, forced to hit out when rallying was not a viable alternative in the brutal afternoon heat.

“I hit three double faults and I couldn’t serve, so I decided to change my technique and I don’t know if it really worked, but it helped,” said 274th-ranked Thompson, the fifth seed, who started cramping late in the fourth set. He admitted feeling anger and frustration at his ability to finish Smith off.

“I just wish I could have served properly but that’s the way it goes, and I just eventually got there. Even the last game was tight, but I think when he started taking a few more time-outs, my cramps started feeling a bit better, so that helped me. I was trying to feed off (his distress) because I knew I was feeling better than him.”

Former Athletics Australia head coach Eric Hollingsworth joins Melbourne United

Former Athletics Australia head coach Eric Hollingsworth has landed his first job since resigning amid controversy in September, hired as a contractor to review the basketball operations and elite practices at NBL club Melbourne United.

Hollingsworth joined the club earlier this month, and watched on as United overcame the Sydney Kings 105-101 in overtime at Margaret Court Arena on Sunday.

“The club’s striving to be the best, looking for excellence, and obviously with my reputation and my expertise in high-performance sport, they brought me in to take a look at all the operations, and give an assessment,” Hollingsworth said on Sunday.

“I’ve had a nice long rest relaxing. [I] took some time off with my family and when I was approached by the club, I saw it as a nice exciting thing to get back into sport.”

Hollingsworth attracted national headlines in July following his spectacular falling out with Olympic gold medal-winning sprinter Sally Pearson during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

He was suspended and sent home after issuing a media release criticising team captain Pearson, claiming she was a bad example to younger athletes by failing to attend the pre-games camp in Britain – a direct contravention of orders from his superiors. His resignation was accepted in early September after he was made to explain to AA officials why he should keep his job.

Hollingsworth said he had learnt from his time at AA. “You’re always learning from every experience and so I’ve certainly picked up a lot of stuff from that process and hopefully my expertise can be of some benefit to the club,” he said.

Hollingsworth said he was impressed by what United were building in their first season since rebranding themselves, and they were on a solid platform after the early hiccup of coach Chris Anstey’s resignation after just one game.

“The product is fantastic. They’re trying really hard to be a world-leading club. Obviously, we’re not there yet and we’ve got a lot of work to do but certainly that’s the aim,” he said.

Hollingsworth is no stranger to basketball, having previously been president of McKinnon basketball association. United officials have confirmed that his role could become permanent.

United (9-7) moved two games clear of the Kings (7-7) with the win, tightening Darryl McDonald’s side’s grip on fourth spot.

OBITUARY: Senta Taft-Henry

DEVOTED: Senta Taft-Hendry pictured here with the great love of her life, husband Peter Hendry. Pictures: Simone De PeakEVERY now and then the cosmos creates a character who is unique, eccentric and thoroughly unforgettable, one who walks ‘‘at a slight angle to the universe’’.

Such a person was Senta Taft-Hendry (known affectionately to all as Senta) who passed away on Saturday, December 6, at Merewether’s Lingard Hospital.

Senta was a free spirit who knew neither bounds nor boundaries, whether flying her plane around Australia, or exploring the jungles of Africa or Papua New Guinea, or creating her own version of history, life and the world in general.

She was a woman of great courage who, single-handedly and single-mindedly, explored the worlds of traditional peoples to secure, protect and promote their tribal art. Though short in stature and small in frame, she had a big and generous heart and a quick mind. She fought well above her weight. What she could not achieve through logic she attained through force of personality, persuasion and charm.

A 1964 file photo showing Senta Taft-Hendry with a traditional Sepik carving.

In short, whatever you thought when you entered a room where Senta was in full flight, you usually left in total agreement with her. Especially when the subject related to one or all of her three great passions – people, tribal art and her beloved husband, Dr Peter Hendry.

Senta Taft was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1924. Her mother, Malka Egra, and her father, Samuel Tagendhaft, both migrated from Poland to Germany where they met and married. They had four children: Bernard, Friedel, Paula and Senta. Both parents were religious. They observed Jewish ritual, kept the Sabbath, ate strictly kosher and attended synagogue.

In his memoirs, Senta’s brother Bernard describes how their father had the foresight to get the family out of Germany. After a period in Palestine in 1933 they travelled back to Europe, staying in Vienna, Bucharest and eventually Marseilles, whence they sailed to Tahiti and Noumea to await the visa that allowed them to settle in Australia.

By the time Senta arrived in Australia in 1938, at the age of 14, she had already travelled extensively and experienced a rich diversity of languages, cultures and the Jewish religion. Travel, languages, culture and religion – the seeds were sown – they would fascinate Senta for the rest of her life.

SPIRITED: Senta Taft-Hendry at the aero club.

Her diary reveals in much detail her story from leaving school at 19 until she marries her beloved Peter. It reveals how this extraordinary young women went from being a TAA air hostess to become a competent and experienced pilot.

She learnt to mix with the rich, the famous and the powerful, winning the hearts and minds of politicians like Don Chipp and Sir Robert Menzies. Her role as a public relations officer for the 1956 Olympics led to a position as a trade promotions officer for Australian business interests.

What drove this woman to such lengths to learn about traditional people, to learn to love them and to secure, protect and promote their art? According to Senta, it all started in the Northern Territory of Australia.

“When I finished my school years I became an air hostess and for years travelled between the cities of the south and Alice Springs, North Queensland and other distant corners of Australia,’’ she said.

‘‘That’s when I began collecting. I gathered a crocodile, birds, Aboriginal bark painting and all manner of things and shipped them back home.

‘‘I was the bane of the airlines. They used to say that what I didn’t make up in weight I would make up in freight.”

This passion for tribal art and for indigenous peoples and their cultures would lead to two of her greatest legacies. In 1959 she organised what is thought to be the first exhibition of Oceanic Tribal Art in Australia. From this came the creation of her gallery in Woollahra, the Galleries Primitif. In 2009 this gallery celebrated its 50th birthday, by which time it housed work from Papua New Guinea, Irian Jaya, Indonesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, Africa, North and South America, Canada, Easter Island and Australia. In addition, this gallery provided many artefacts to private and national galleries around the world.

The second great legacy was the creation of the Senta Taft-Hendry Museum at the University of Newcastle. Through a generous donation of her artworks and rare books the museum was established to encourage study, research and teaching in Oceanic art and culture.

Senta was driven not just by her art but by her respect for the spirit life represented in these works and by her love for the people who created them.

“It is important to note that these cultures did not produce works of art as we know them but rather as spiritual and majestic objects for placating their ancestors,’’ she said.

‘‘The objects that I have collected over 50 years are forms of art which express some of the customs and beliefs of the tribes in various areas. ‘‘It is the dignity of these people I have come to understand during my many trips among them, and it is indeed an honour for me to be accepted by such proud and ancient peoples.’’

Senta was ahead of her time. The gallery and museum stand as great memorials to Senta, her passion and her people.

Also still standing is her third great legacy, her marriage to her husband, former POW (Changi) and celebrated Newcastle pathologist Dr Peter Hendry AO.

The love that led to their marriage in 1969 grew during 44 years to become one of the great love affairs of the 21st century.

Senta adored Peter: “He is a beautiful man, he is a magnificent character. I love him so much”.

Dr Hendry, now 99, was her rock and her greatest love, and it was on this foundation that Senta built her life and legacies.

Senta will be remembered by her humour, her humanity and her generosity. She has returned to the cosmos and her ‘‘spiritual’’ life and undoubtedly will be guarding her Peter.

Laws for buying presents

WITH Christmas just days away, it is a good time to be aware of your legal rights as a consumer and your legal obligations as a retailer.

Warranties are an important part of any consumer transaction and it is those warranties that give rise to a party’s legal rights. Generally, there are three types of warranties that can apply.

Statutory warranties: These apply to the vast majority of goods acquired by consumers by operation of the Australian Consumer Law. They are also known as consumer guarantees. You do not need to receive any paperwork; they apply as a matter of law. The ‘‘consumer guarantees’’ provide that goods must be of acceptable quality, match any description, be fit for a disclosed purpose, and have spare parts and repair facilities available for a reasonable time after purchase unless you were told otherwise.

Manufacturer’s warranty: This may be provided at the time of purchase and is usually contained in the packaging of the goods in the form of a booklet. Often it’s only available for a limited time.

Extended warranty: This is an additional warranty offered by the retailer and is generally optional. The terms and conditions are contained in the paperwork provided by the retailer.

While any manufacturer’s or extended warranty may offer protection over and above that provided by the Australian Consumer Law, it does not replace the legal obligations of the retailer under those laws.

There are common misunderstandings about what warranties cover and when they apply. This summary may assist when shopping this holiday season.

The retailer cannot refuse to help you by sending you to the manufacturer or importer.

Only consider paying for extended warranties that extend your rights beyond those already existing under the Australian Consumer Law.

Don’t like it or changed your mind? Sorry, there is no automatic right to an exchange and you will need to refer to the exchanges and returns policy at the place of purchase.

Warranties apply to gifts and removing the packaging does not void your warranty.

Written warranties must be in language that is easy to read and understand, and include information such as contact details for the warranty provider and how to make a claim.

Australian consumer laws apply equally to Australian online businesses as they do with retail stores.

It is important for retailers to make sure that they comply with their legal obligations to consumers. Business owners should ensure their retail staff understand consumer rights and that any customer inquiry is handled according to those laws.

Information on consumer rights is available from the NSW Office of Fair Trading or the ACCC webpage. For specific and detailed advice, the Baker Love’s Commercial Law Team is here to assist.

Dean Frith is a commercial lawyer and partner at Baker Love Lawyer. They are located at 30 Dan Rees Street, Wallsend.