Shock, horror! Speaker at Catholic college fails to honour politically correct custom
He paid a tribute to the real founders of a college instead of the imaginary Aboriginal founders. He said nothing at all about Aborigines but saying nothing was to insult them!
Non-Australians will find this hard to follow but in Leftist and particularly academic Australian circles, big meetings such as graduation ceremonies begin these days by acknowledging the fact that Aboriginal tribes used to live on the land concerned. The pretence is that the meeting is held only with permission of the "traditional owners" of the land -- which is of course complete garbage. They have no title to it at law at all
A leading Sydney barrister and senior counsel at the trouble-plagued St John's College has sparked outrage after mocking the Aboriginal community at an official dinner at the University of Sydney.
Jeffrey Phillips, SC, stood in the college's 150-year-old Great Hall and, in front of more than 250 staff, students and guests, paid tribute to the "traditional custodians of this place" whom he identified as being the "Benedictines who came from the great English nation".
The comment was made in the presence of several indigenous students, one of whom has lodged a formal complaint and, according to senior staff, remains "deeply traumatised".
Mark Spinks, a respected member of Sydney's Aboriginal community and chairman of the Aboriginal men's group Babana, said: "How disgusting, how disgraceful, how disrespectful are those comments. I am outraged and I am disturbed. For that to have been said at the university, in a room full of students, I am almost speechless."
Last night, the University of Sydney's vice-chancellor, Michael Spence, condemned Mr Phillips' remarks. He said: "The university is very proud of the fact that it stands on land where indigenous peoples have been teaching and learning for many thousands of years before us and we acknowledge this publicly whenever we can."
Mr Phillips graduated from the college more than three decades ago but today he is back and, on occasions, reliving the good old days. The students appointed him as patron of the student club in 2009 and he is always a phone call away. He drinks and sings with them at formal dinners. He invites a select group to long lunches and "networking" events in the city, including a recent cigar and whisky appreciation night. He helps to find work for the law students of the college and hosts an essay competition each year, with a prize of $500.
Yesterday, Mr Phillips said his comments had been taken out of context, adding that he had sent the upset student a letter.
"It is a great pity that my speech was misinterpreted by one student," he said in a statement. "The speech was not intended, nor delivered in any way to disrespect or mock indigenous people. On the contrary, the speech had an important message of forgiveness and tolerance.
Neither the rector, Mr Bongers, nor anyone else present at the speech complained. In fact, the Rector personally thanked me warmly for my speech. Whilst I apologised to the student, as she had been offended, it is important, especially in an environment of vigorous debate, such as a university, that simple misunderstandings by one student not be blown out of proportion."
Official buckpassing: Nurse wrongly blamed for death at poorly resourced public hospital
Jane Thompson says her life has been reduced to 49 minutes. In that space of time, three children can lose a mother, a husband can lose a wife and a nurse can find herself publicly blamed for the whole lot, in a case that became a cause celebre for stretched hospital resources.
Ms Thompson has written reams of statements and answered thousands of questions about her movements between 8.03am on June 24, 2007, when a 29-year-old woman who had just delivered a baby girl by caesarean section came into her care at Bathurst Hospital, and 8.52am, when she urgently called back the doctors. The woman later died from post-partum haemorrhage.
Now, finally, Ms Thompson has been exonerated of wrongdoing. But the nurse's battle to clear her name came at the cost of her marriage, her career and almost her sanity.
After the incident, the hospital conducted a "root cause analysis", which indicated that it took Ms Thompson 36 minutes between noticing the blood loss and calling back the specialists. That report has since been discredited but it was seized on by the grieving family desperate for answers and the Health Care Complaints Commission, which has pursued Ms Thompson ever since.
It also came into the possession of the then opposition spokeswoman for health, Jillian Skinner, who held a doorstop with the patient's widower in which she presented it as the epitome of what was wrong with NSW hospitals: "Poor communication, inexperienced staff, equipment that didn't work." When that hit the headlines, the town rounded on its hospital, which fielded death threats and abusive phone calls in the days that followed.
Brendan Smith, who was in charge of the anaesthetic department, said the effect on staff was debilitating. "Nurses were bursting into tears in the corridors," he said.
For Ms Thompson, it was too much. She moved out of the operating theatre, which she loved, and into a community role. "I felt that I was No.1 target," she said. "I couldn't cope with it any more, with that high pressure environment."
Worse was to come. In June 2009, a coronial inquiry into the incident was held at Westmead. Ms Thompson was labelled as "junior" and "untrained". She was blamed for taking too long to call the doctors, keeping poor notes and failing to recognise that the patient was about to haemorrhage.
Professor Smith said staff were confused by the focus on Ms Thompson. "I don't know quite what happened at the coroner's inquest but somewhere behind closed doors there seemed to be some kind of agreement that Jane Thompson's pelt was going to be tied to the back fence," he said.
Ms Thompson gave evidence for five hours. "The family's barrister … said I was a liar and incompetent, and I did not look after my patient," she said. "Apart from losing [the patient], it's the most horrific thing that ever happened to me. I can't sleep at night. I'm still stuck in that coroner's court."
The coroner made no adverse findings against Ms Thompson, but the commission pressed on with its case against her. It took its complaint against her to the Professional Standards Committee, and when she was cleared in that forum, it appealed to the Nursing and Midwifery Tribunal, which ordered a new hearing.
But by now, Ms Thompson had legal representation and was better prepared. Two emergency doctors gave evidence that she could not have anticipated the haemorrhage and a more thorough investigation of call records indicated she had informed doctors immediately.
She told the tribunal: "I still cannot believe that out of the entire team that was on that day that I am the only one that is being accused of anything … I looked after my patient."
The Nursing and Midwifery Tribunal dismissed the case against Ms Thompson earlier this month. The decision is a vindication of Ms Thompson but for her there is something bigger at stake.
"These five years I've been under intense pressure, fighting for every breath I took," she said. "If I gave up, I knew I was going to be tainted with the death of [the patient] and I didn't want to live with that and I didn't want them to live with that. "I didn't want those three little children to believe that I was the cause of their mother's death."
Stupid Bureaucrats put Customs staff in danger
They should be indentifiable but numbers should suffice -- as is long-standing police practice
AN INDUSTRIAL dispute involving Customs and Border Protection has erupted after officers expressed fears a new dress code forcing them to wear badges with their full names will make them targets for organised crime syndicates, drug dealers and angry members of the public.
The Community and Public Sector Union has warned Customs that the move is considered to be a potentially serious security risk.
It is understood that there has already been a case, in which the family of an officer whose identify was revealed, were stalked.
Rebecca Fawcett, the acting deputy secretary of the union, said the members felt so strongly that the matter may escalate and end up before Fair Work Australia.
"Customs officers have difficult and dangerous duties particularly when they are our frontline of border protection. This presents a real risk and makes them a target."
The changes follow a review of uniform policies earlier this year, in which Customs introduced a requirement for all uniformed and non-uniformed officers with public contact to wear a name badge with their full name displayed.
A spokesman for Customs said that the requirement is not new, adding there have been discussions with the union since April this year, regarding the change in policy.
"Customs and Border Protection is aware that staff and the Community and Public Sector Union have concerns regarding the name badge policy," said the spokesman.
He said that where an officer has "evidence that complying with these requirements would compromise their personal safety, the officer can seek an exemption."
Food Fascists still bleating
No correlation between health and advertising restrictions has ever been shown but it seems to give these do-gooders a high to propose restrictions on what people do and see
A group of leading public health agencies says current measures to restrict junk food marketing to children have failed and tougher restrictions are needed.
The Obesity Policy Coalition has sent a report to state and federal health ministers, calling on them to forcibly restrict junk food ads targeting children.
The coalition's executive manager, Jane Martin, says there is a clear conflict of interest because the code is regulated by the food industry. She says the Government's own research backs the coalition's findings that there has been no reduction in advertising exposure to children.
"The reason this is so important is because children's diets are incredibly bad," she said. "They're eating more and more unhealthy food.
"This food is cheap, heavily promoted, easily available and so we need to look at all the levers we can push, and we know that as part of a comprehensive approach, controls on marketing are absolutely critical."
Ms Martin says something must be done to curb the record levels of childhood obesity.
She says regulating junk food advertising is not the only way to tackle bad eating habits but it is an important factor. "It's part of a comprehensive approach," she said. "It has reduced exposure of children to some extent and we know it's a key driver. So it's very important that we address all the drivers of overweight and obesity."
She said parents also need to be conscious of the food their children eat and resist pressure to buy junk food. "I think parents want the Government to step in now and support them," Ms Martin said.
"Government has been pushing this issue around since the preventative health task force recommended they do something and look to moving beyond self-regulation, if it doesn't work. "I think we've shown that it's not working. [Show something that does work!]