Monthly Archives: May 2019

Sydney FC fail to convert possession into goals as Wellington Phoenix take win

For the first time this season Sydney FC fans didn’t wait for the final whistle before heading down the aisles. A match that began with so much promise ended with the unfamiliar feeling – this season, at least –  of defeat as the Sky Blues lost a match they  had controlled almost completely.

Fatigued and frustrated after failing to turn on-field dominance into goals, Sydney succumbed to two late sucker punches from Nathan Burns, who did his best to stake his claim for a place in the 2015 Asian Cup squad. The Wellington Phoenix striker scored a superb solo effort before finishing with the composure that will make it difficult for Ange Postecoglou to justify an omission from his next Socceroos squad.

More immediately, it’s clear that the January sales can’t come soon enough for Sydney FC, who are now winless in four games and in danger of letting their stellar start to the season slip away. Their superb play in the midfield was again at the forefront of the game but with a lack of pace and dynamic players to look for in the forward line, converting possession into chances remained a hope more than an ever-present threat.

“Look, it’s a hiccup, definitely. I’m a fighter and I”ll be working harder than ever and the boys have to work harder and they have to fight harder. If there’s some that don’t then they’ll probably move on,” Graham Arnold said.

Sydney’s coach would have watched in envy as the pace of Phoenix’s forward line tormented his side and a quick glance at his injury ward would have reminded him of why he couldn’t reply in the same manner. The flair and speed of Wellington’s attackers should have broken the deadlock midway through the first half when Michael McGlinchey broke Sydney’s offside trip with a neat back heel that played Roy Krishna through on goal. With Nathan Burns in tow, the Phoenix were odds-on to score before the linesman ruled the duo broke from the gates too soon, only for replays to suggest otherwise.

What the Phoenix offered in pace, Sydney did in class. Through the composed midfield of Terry Antonis and Dimitrijevic, they dictated the overwhelming majority of possession. It took time and patience, but waves of possession eroded Wellington’s defence.

The visitors’ backline was caught napping by Bernie Ibini and Marco Janko who combined down the left to play the Sydney winger into the box. Ibini cut-back to find Shane Smeltz in front of goal who required just a simple finish to score against his former club. He did just that, but failed to account for the brilliance of Glen Moss who parried the ball into the path of Janko before producing another desperate attempt to turn the shot on to the bar and out to safety.

An uncharacteristic error by Milos Dimitrijevic allowed Burns to hone in on goal but even when he had sight of the target, he couldn’t squeeze his shot through what little space Sydney’s defenders gave him. Symbolic of the broader contest, but not a mistake Burns would make again.

When Sydney didn’t give him space, Burns created it. The league’s top goalscorer further staked his claim for selection for the Asian Cup squad at the expense of Pedj Bojic’s pride. Weaving past Sydney’s right back with considerable ease before drifting away from Seb Ryall, he capped off a remarkable solo effort by slotting past Janjetovic at the near post to score his ninth of the season.

Burns sealed the result minutes later, finishing off another Phoenix counter attack to sweep silence across Moore Park.

Selectors wrestle with George Bailey snub as support rises for Steve Smith to be World Cup cricket captain

The success of Steve Smith’s debut as Test captain has only added to the dilemma selectors face on who should lead Australia at the World Cup, with players expressing support for the 25-year-old in what would be a snub for George Bailey.

There remains a sense of the hypothetical about whether the post will be vacant and who will fill it as Michael Clarke clings to hope he can recover from hamstring surgery to lead the team on home soil.

The likelihood is he will be named in Australia’s 15-man squad to be announced next month, but that is no guarantee of his fitness for the world’s third-largest sporting event, which begins on February 14.

With a forecast that Clarke might even struggle to make the plane to the Caribbean for the Test tour of the West Indies following the World Cup, the expectation is the panel will have to appoint a replacement captain.

If the panel has a Plan B set in stone, it hasn’t made it public, but Smith’s handling of the Test captaincy in Brisbane has only added to growing sentiment that he should get the one-day job too, in Clarke’s absence.

“There’s no doubt I can see him as captain in all forms,” said fast bowler Ryan Harris, who didn’t play at the Gabba.

“We will see what happens, there is obviously a big World Cup coming up. George Bailey’s done it in the absence of Michael Clarke and I think he has done a pretty good job. But with Steve Smith heading that way it might be a good idea to give it to him.”

Former World Cup-winning captain Allan Border had said as much, even before Smith’s foray into leading the national team went to plan with a sublime 100 and a win inside four days against India.

Yet the Australian hierarchy faces a political quandary because unlike Smith’s leap-frogging of Brad Haddin for the Test gig – which could be explained simply by the wicketkeeper’s age – Bailey has done a commendable job when deputising for Clarke as recently as last month and is only 32.

Cricket Australia has also invested plenty in Bailey as a leader, thrusting the Twenty20 captaincy onto him in his first match for Australia in any format before he gave it away in September in an effort to play more four-day cricket.

Despite questions about his form, he was in charge when Australia returned to No.1 in the ICC one-day standings with a series win over South Africa last month.

And Bailey was considered ahead of Smith in the reckoning for a spot in Australia’s top six as recently as that campaign, with Smith left out of the first game in Perth before coming in for an injured Clarke in match two.

All that has now changed, however, with Smith not only demanding inclusion but increasingly in line to run the team as well.

HUNTER BUSINESS: Time to go for Hunter TAFE’s Samantha Martin-Williams

LEAVING: Samantha Martin-Williams in the brightly branded foyer at Hunter TAFE. Picture: Phil Hearne ‘‘SAM we will miss yo’’ reads the farewell message on the whiteboard in Samantha Martin-Williams’ Hunter TAFE office.

She may be missed, but Ms Martin-Williams insists it was the capability of her team that prompted her decision to resign as Hunter TAFE general manager external relations and customer service.

After marvelling at her staff’s work in her absence she says she came back to the office knowing ‘‘my job is done’’.

‘‘The last piece was the people,’’ she says, of implementing a transformational plan to bring the ‘‘sleeping giant’’ of tertiary education in line with a world that had changed while it slept.

It’s not just staff who are sorry she is moving on. Her four-year-old son, Taj Williams, did not want her to leave.

‘‘He said to me ‘you’re not leaving TAFE mummy’, but he was happy when I said ‘I’ll do my best to stay connected with the education community’’, the former general manager of NU Sport, says.

Taj, who was six months when his mother accepted the role, likes the ‘‘touching and feeling’’ learning at TAFE as well as the new branding that his mother played a role in implementing

‘‘Its the green logo, mummy’’, that he likes the best, Ms Martin-Williams says.

‘‘It’s really powerful to introduce little kids to these environments early,’’ Ms Martin-Williams, who was the first in her family to get a university education, says. ‘‘It’s interesting to have engaged now with someone of this age.’’

Swapping the old-school public service branding that didn’t speak to TAFE’s 16 to 25-year-old target demographic for the bright new look was part of the strategy Ms Martin-Williams has worked on for the past four years.

She led the commercialisation and diversification of the TAFE business model.

Under her watch TAFE has formalised more than 100 strategic alliances including links with the Newcastle Knights, Hunter Business Chamber and XLT Bhullar International, launched Hunter TAFE Alumni, the student ambassador program and relaunched the Hunter TAFE brand.

What has she learned about change management? ‘‘You don’t have to change everything,’’ she says. ‘‘By engaging with stakeholders to find out what is working, you can leverage off that.’’

At Hunter TAFE, talks with students led to the ‘‘Our teachers, Our Difference’’ campaign, which put the spotlight on the strengths of the teaching staff while other education providers focused their branding on students.

Ms Martin-Williams has bachelor degrees in business, industrial relations and commercial law, and a NSW Telstra Business Women’s Award. She holds a world title for aerobics and sits on the board of the Newcastle Permanent. But it’s education that drives her.

‘‘It is one of the few things that is truly empowering and changes lives – that’s why I think I love it,’’ she says.

She is yet to plot her next career move. In the meantime will lecture in corporate governance at University of Newcastle’s city campus.

After inaction on a policy to allow food trucks left operators in limbo this year, the City of Newcastle will sponsor a program that will encourage mobile food vendors in 2015.

Food truck and popup shop 101 is one of the workshops being offered by Hunter Business Centre as part of the council’s Economic Development Sponsorship Program.

The Business Centre will also run workshops: Trading securely after hours, Get approval for your event, Retail popup shop 101, and Merchandising.

The $80,000 sponsorship aimed at supporting initiatives that drive the local economy has been awarded to five organisations including Renew Newcastle Creative Business Incubator, Screen Hunter’s The Real Film Festival, This is Not Art Destination Newcastle and Australian Energy Consultants’ Newcastle Innovation and Green Tech Hub.

Photographs by Newcastle artist and business owner Luke Kellett are part of an exhibition documenting sub cultures in Melbourne.

The exhibition, Bohemian Melbourne, includes images dating back to 1806 showing evolution of counter-cultures.

The photographs by Mr Kellett, who is director of local creative agency Headjam, are part of a series on grassroots warehouse and arts spaces featured in his book, This City Speaks To Me, which the State Library of Victoria bought in 2011.

The exhibition will run until February 22 at the Keith Murdoch Gallery in the State Library of Victoria.

Safety must take priority

TWO years have passed since the implementation of the Work Health & Safety (WHS) laws in NSW, when the new national model was introduced through the harmonisation of workplace safety.

This introduction brought significant changes such as an increase in due diligence, and maximum penalties and fines for breaches for both corporate and individuals.

Of particular importance in NSW was the need to manage the health and safety of workers, so far as was “reasonable and practicable”.

However, one of the main changes that got the attention of most businesses was the increase of the maximum fines and penalties, which rose more than 300per cent for both corporate and individual, and could include up to a five-year imprisonment. The maximum fine for individuals was equated to “losing their home”. This reality has been experienced in a few workplaces this past year, where there have been prosecutions for work-related incident and injuries, with those involved incurring both corporate fines and individual fines.

The sad thing is some businesses have been liquidated following the financial strain. These financial losses could have been avoided or minimised by engaging the right expertise and establishing the correct WHS processes. The cost of these services would be a mere fraction of the fines and the indirect cost incurred by the business. But why is it that these companies find themselves in this position despite the well-publicised WHS laws and support services?

Often there is a lack of knowledge, confusion, or unwillingness to change around WHS obligations and requirements of the law. Some of the common beliefs and reasons are:

■I am the only person in my business; I use contractors and outsource work.

■We are a professional business, not a construction company.

■I have been in business for 35 years with no incident.

■We are focused on growing the business right now.

■WHS is the too hard and complex; I am too busy, I don’t have time.

■I didn’t know it applied, however, I am insured.

Workplace incidents and injuries come at a cost, and rob the business of time, talent, productivity, well-being and reputation, which are essential to its success.

Nevertheless, there is a way forward. Let’s get started. Over the next few weeks, ask yourself these questions:

■Am I proactive in managing safety in the workplace?

■What is my level of commitment to WHS?

■What WHS issues presented this year?

■How could I do it better?

Remember, Work Health and Safety is a work in progress.

Have a wonderful festive season, and see you in 2015.

Faith Eeson is an expert in workplace safety management systems

HUNTER HERO:Lyn Kramer, midwife manager

CELEBRATED: Midwife manager Lyn Kramer with baby Evangeline Wallace. Picture: Jonathan CarrollLYN Kramer, midwife manager of the Birthing Service at the John Hunter Hospital was recently named staff member of the year at the NSW Health Awards.

The awards celebrate the excellence of nurses, clinicians, allied health professionals, support staff and researchers across the state.

Lyn started work with the hospital 22 years ago, making her one of the original staff members from January 1991 when the hospital opened.

She transferred from her position in the Mater Misericordiae maternity unit where she had worked for 16 years.

She said her time working in midwifery has been an inspiring journey.

‘‘My experience has been a very positive journey defined by evolving and developing maternity services, continued education and lifelong friendships that are my hospital family,’’ she said.

Lyn says the continuing support from her colleagues has been integral to her positive experience at John Hunter Hospital.

In 1994, the management at the hospital supported Lyn while she studied part-time for a bachelor of nursing degree while working full-time in maternity.

She went on to complete master’s of midwifery and master’s of business studies in health degrees.

‘‘The opportunity to complete tertiary studies has been a fabulous experience,’’ she said.

‘‘The additional knowledge has been powerful in being able to provide best practice care for women, babies and their families.

‘‘I have been very fortunate to be supported by the service.’’

Lyn said the support from her family was also essential to her tertiary studies.

‘‘My husband, Steve and the three children played a significant role while I undertook both roles of uni student and midwife,’’ she said.

But Lyn said there has been challenges working in the maternity sector, particularly ensuring superior care for women from all socio-economic backgrounds.

The innovative development of midwife group practices aims to provide one-to-one continuity of midwifery care for all women through pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period in the coming years.

‘‘For women with low-risk pregnancies, the gold standard of care is the midwifery group practice and our goal is to make this service available to all women in the future,’’ she said.

She said her role model has always been her friend and former-colleague, Rhonda.

‘‘She had an innate gift as a midwife and was highly skilled and knowledgeable with amazing compassion and kindness,’’ Lyn said.

‘‘She shared that with me and others right up until the day she retired, and I still seek her counsel when in need.’’

Lyn has also been touched by the many patients she has met over the years.

‘‘Recently I developed a bond with a brave young mum who developed a rare obstetric complication which she survived to tell her story,’’ she said.

‘‘I felt privileged to walk that recovery journey with her and I found her to be wise beyond her years.’’

But Lyn has also touched the lives of many patients too, catching the attention of the service manager and director of obstetrics who nominated her for the award.

‘‘I was a successful finalist in the Hunter New England Excellence Awards on 21 August 21 this year. My successful application was then submitted to the Ministry of Health and I was nominated for the state staff member of the year,’’ she said.

‘‘The state award night was an exciting, glitzy occasion with senior representatives of health, people who most midwives wouldn’t normally meet in one’s career.

‘‘I was unbelievably nervous, but very proud to be a representative of our John Hunter Maternity Service. ‘‘I wish my birthing unit team could have been there to share this amazing experience.’’

Lyn said she is excited about the future of maternity services. which she says ‘‘is both exciting and challenging … The sky is the limit!’’

‘‘We are developing and supporting midwives who are highly educated and passionate with a commitment to provide the best care for women,’’ she said.