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I was filling ill as in fully siqq so had to take the day off welk. I legged it at 2km an hour to Breakfast Thieves in Fitzroy cos, I hadn’t dined there before and also I didn’t have to turn any corners to get there (please don’t stalk me). Taking a seat at the long table out the front, I was NAWT in the mood for making decisions, so the waitress was given simple instructions ‘am veggo, hate chilli’. In what seemed like minutes, out came a solid mix of scrambled eggs 1982 style, spinach with red dust on them, insanely tasty *and sweet* baked beans that had been massaged during their childhood cos they tasted happy.. and LITERALLY the best mushrooms Sprink has EVER HAD IN HER LIFE.
I’m not sh*tting you, the mushies were like what magic mushrooms do to your mind, but like, to your mouth. I beckoned to the waitress ‘Fair maiden how doth these ere schrooms taste like Alice’s Adventures?’ She shrugged and cleared the plate.
I sat there basking in my post-mush trip listening to some Melbourne Uni kids talk about movies. I corrected their many mistakes, and then was invited to join their trivia team. I declined because LIT below are some of the things they were saying:
Naomi Watts is supposed to be total airhead but she must have depth, she has such great acting skills, especially in Talented Mr Ripley’s.
Nicole Kidman has f*cked with her face too much but omg she was so good in Dogma.
I want to see Francis McDonald in the Three Billboards movie, she was so good.
Have you seen the one out now with Michelle Williams and Ryan Reynolds?
Paul Rissmann’s musical adventure Stan & Mabel is a perfect introduction to classical music for young audiences.
Based on the book written and illustrated by Jason Chapman, it tells the story of a music-loving dog and cat whose mission is to perform in the greatest orchestra in the world.
This highly interactive concert will captivate young children with its mix of music, illustrated projections and audience participation and imaginative narration ready by Tripod’s Scott Edgar. Participation packs, containing songs and actions from the story, are available for download (under the downloads link to the right of this page).
Part of series:
Music Play Family Festival 2018
17 -20 January 2018
NOTE: We only have ONE family pass for this show. This pass is valid for two adults and two children.
The name Evonne Fay Goolagong-Cawley is well known in the history of Australian sport and the sport of tennis throughout the world. At the end of the 1960s this young athlete emerged from the small township of Barellan, New South Wales to become one of the great tennis players of the modern era.
Goolagong won seven Grand Slam tournaments and was the first indigenous Australian to achieve prominence in international sport. Her story is even more remarkable, as at the time of her wins, she was also one of the very few women to have won a major tournament as a mother.
In her long and glorious tennis career she won well over a million dollars, ninety professional tournaments and was a finalist in eighteen Grand Slam events. A five-time Wimbledon finalist, Evonne faced and defeated some of the greatest tennis players in history such as Margaret Court, Billie Jean King and Chris Evert. She won Wimbledon twice, the Australian Open four times and the French Open once. Although she never won the US Open, she was runner up four years in succession.
As a child Goolagong use to hide under her bed when a stranger came to the door of her childhood home, living in Griffith, NSW. It became a knee-jerk reaction for any young Aboriginal child who was repeatedly taunted of the dangers of unknown visitors in the era of the stolen generations.
This habit continued when she moved with her family to Barellan, a small town, where her family were the only Aboriginal family on the block. This fear had been passed down from generation to generation. In her extended family, she had cousins who had been taken from their parents.
Goolagong was a member of the Wiradjuri people, and was one of those who witnessed Prime Minister Rudd’s apology to all Indigenous Australians. Goolagong didn’t just want to be part of the historical occasion, she wanted to be there to lend her support to all the women who had their children forcibly taken from them.
In her own words: “Now the healing can start. To finally say sorry, shows a mark of respect. Finally the Australian Government has taken the first step towards reconciliation in this county. When you say sorry, it creates a better working relationship. I think we have a better chance of working together now”.
Goolagong is the third out of eight children born to parents Kenny Goolagong (a sheep shearer and farm hand) and Melinda. The family lived in a tin shack on the outskirts of Barellan and were the only Aboriginal family in the vicinity. Fishing for yabbies, small crayfish, was fun for the children? But there was no money to throw around.
As a young child she spent whole days playing with tennis balls, and even at the tender age of five earned pocket money by retrieving balls at the local War Memorial club, which housed four tennis courts. Renowned for her grace, extremely delicate touch and fluid speed around the court, Goolagong Cawley started playing by hitting a ball against a wall with a board from an apple crate.
By the age of six, Goolagong had been given her very own racquet and spent every spare minute practicing, and learning basic tennis skills from members of Barellan’s War Memorial Tennis Club.
As fate would have it, London-born Vic Edwards, who ran a huge coaching operation from Sydney, was persuaded to include Barellan in his network of week-long tennis schools held in bush towns while children were on holiday. Edwards was one of Australia’s most renown coaches of that time. It was in fact the two coaches that were assigned to the property that recommended Edwards fly out and take a look at nine year old Goolagong and her technique. Edwards was so impressed by the youngster, he spoke to her parents about re-locating her to Sydney to be professionally trained. Two years later, she moved in with Edwards and his family. Edwards became her legal guardian, assuming responsibility for her education on and off court, but she remained in constant contact with her family back in Barellan. The locals also played there part in her career, often dipping into their own pockets to subsidize her career.
After winning multitudes of Australian amateur championships, Goolagong became “Australian Junior Champion” without losing a set. In 1970 she embarked on her first international tour, winning seven of the 21 tournaments she entered. In 1971, Goolagong turned professional and lost no time in establishing herself on the world tennis circuit. That year she won the French Open and stunned the favoured Australian, Margaret Court with a Wimbledon finals victory. Edwards travelled with Goolagong as her coach, manager, mentor and surrogate father right up until 1976, by which time Goolagong had matured, married and was assuming an independent lifestyle.
Throughout the 70’s and well into the early 80’s Goolagong held her own among some of the top players in professional tennis. She reached the Wimbledon finals three more times in the 70’s. No one could touch her in the Australian Open as she won every year from 1974 to 1977. She also won the Australian Doubles crown in 1971, 1974, 1975 and 1976. Goolagong was the main stay of Australia’s Federation Cup team that won the Cup in 1971, 1973 and 1974, and reached the final in 1975 and 1976.
In 1972, Goolagong was a recipient of an MBE, after being added to the “Queens honours list” for her contribution to Tennis. That same year on Australia Day, Goolagong was named “Australian of the Year”. In 1982, Her Majesty the Queen, once again recognised her contribution to Tennis and the Aboriginal community by awarding her an “Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).
Goolagong and former junior British tennis player Roger Cawley married in London, in 1975. Goolagong yearned to win another title and had her sights set on Wimbledon. By 1980, most had written Goolagong off as a “has been”, but then she pulled a rabbit out of her hat by winning Wimbledon that year in a memorable final against Chris Evert. The crowning glory was to be even more memorable, as she was the first mother to win a singles final since 1914. Even though the fire inside of her wanted to continue playing, her injuries were making it more and more difficult, so in 1983, Goolagong retired from the world tennis circuit.
In 1988, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Even off the court, Goolagongs life hasn’t slowed down. She is a successful businesswoman, a tireless charity worker and devoted mother and wife. Once a resident of Florida (8 yrs), Goolagong and her family including her two United States born children Kelly and Morgan, relocated to Noosa Heads in Queensland, where Goolagong has become increasingly involved in Aboriginal Affairs here in Australia.
In 1997 Evonne was appointed by the Minister for Sport and Local Government, the Honourable Warwick Smith MP, as a sporting ambassador for the Australian Sports Commission with the role of encouraging Aboriginal children to become more actively involved in sporting activities. Her role had three major responsibilities:-
To work with national sporting organisation to provide the sport input into the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation’s evaluation of the status of reconciliation in Australia.
To use her role model appeal by visiting communities, addressing school groups and meeting with ATSIC Regional Councils.
To head up the “Evonne Goolagong Sports Trust” to obtain corporate and community donations for Aboriginal sport. The trust was established through the Australian Sports Foundation.
Goolagong even found time to write an autobiography entitled “Home” published in 1993, that traces her family’s history and documents her life as a tennis professional.
In 2016, Goolagong was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the Charles Sturt University in South Australia in recognition for her distinguished service to the aboriginal community and international tennis circuit.
Goolagong also has had a trophy named in her honour awarded to the female champion of the Brisbane International. It’s called the “Evonne Goolagong Cawley Trophy”.
And if that wasn’t enough recognition, in February 2016 she along with ten other Australian tennis players were honoured by Australia Post as the recipients of the 2016 Australia Post Legends Award and appeared on a postage stamp set, named “Australian Legends of Singles Tennis”.
Should you want to get up close and personal with Goolagong’s achievements, The National Museum of Australia is home to a collection of Goolagong memorabilia, including her 1971 and 1980 Wimbledon singles trophies. Also the trophy from her 1974 doubles win, and two racquets used in these tournaments.
Four stars in the night sky have been formally recognised by their Australian Aboriginal names.
The names include three from the Wardaman people of the Northern Territory and one from the Boorong people of western Victoria. The Wardaman star names are Larawag, Wurren and Ginan in the Western constellations Scorpius, Phoenix and Crux (the Southern Cross). The Boorong star name is Unurgunite in Canis Majoris (the Great Dog).
They are among 86 new star names drawn from Chinese, Coptic, Hindu, Mayan, Polynesian, South African and Aboriginal Australian cultures.
These names represent a step forward by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) – the global network of the world’s roughly 12,000 professional astronomers – in recognising the importance of traditional language and Indigenous starlore.
What’s that star called?
Many cultures around the world have their own names for the stars scattered across the night sky. But until 2016, the IAU never officially recognised any popular name for any star.
Instead, each star is assigned a Bayer Designation, thanks to a book published in 1603 by German astronomer Johann Bayer. He systematically assigned visible stars a designation: a combination of a Greek letter and the Latin name of the constellation in which it is found.
He gave the brightest star in a constellation the letter Alpha, then the next brightest star Beta, and so on down the list. For example, the brightest star in the Southern Cross is Alpha Crucis.
The IAU recognised that the lack of official star names was a problem. So the Working Group on Star Names (WGSN) was formed in 2016 to officially assign popular names to the hundreds of stars visible in the night sky.
That year the working group officiated 313 star names, derived mainly from the most commonly used Arabic, Roman and Greek names in astronomy. But the list contained few Indigenous or non-Western names.
The WGSN is looking to identify even more star names from Australia and other Indigenous cultures around the world. As Indigenous cultures have a rich collection of names for even the faintest stars, many new star names could gain IAU recognition.
So what do we know about these four stars and the origin of their names?
Wardaman star names
The Wardaman people live 145km southwest of Katherine in the Northern Territory. Wardaman star names come from Senior Elder Bill Yidumduma Harney, a well known artist, author and musician.
He worked with Dr Hugh Cairns to publish some of his traditional star knowledge in the books Dark Sparklers (2003) and Four Circles (2015). These books remain the most detailed records of the astronomical knowledge of any Aboriginal group in Australia.
Larawag (Epsilon Scorpii)
The stars of the Western constellation Scorpius feature prominently in Wardaman traditions, which inform the procedures of initiation ceremonies.
Merrerrebena is the wife of the Sky Boss, Nardi. She mandates ceremonial law, which is embodied in the red star Antares (Alpha Scorpii). Each star in the body of Scorpius represents a different person involved in the ceremony.
Larawag is the signal watcher, noting when only legitimate participants are present and in view of the ceremony. He gives the “All clear” signal, allowing the secret part of the ceremony to continue.
Epsilon Scorpii is an orange giant star, lying 63.7 light years away.
Wurren (Zeta Phoenicis)
Wurren means “child” in Wardaman. In this context it refers to the “Little Fish”, a child of Dungdung – the life-creating Frog Lady. Wurren gives water to Gawalyan, the echidna (the star Achernar), which they direct Earthly initiates to carry in small bowls. The water came from a great waterfall used to cool the people during ceremony.
Just as the water at the base of the waterfall keeps people cool and rises to the sky as mist, the water in the initiates’ bowls keeps them cool and symbolically transforms into clouds that bring the wet rains of the monsoon season. These ceremonies occur in late December when the weather is hot and these stars are high in the evening sky, signalling the start of the monsoon.
Zeta Phoenicis comprises two blue stars orbiting each other, 300 light years away. From our perspective, these two stars eclipse each other, changing in brightness from magnitude 3.9 to 4.4 every 1.7 days.
Ginan (Epsilon Crucis)
Ginan is the fifth-brightest star in the Southern Cross. It represents a red dilly-bag filled with special songs of knowledge.
Ginan was found by Mulugurnden (the crayfish), who brought the red flying foxes from the underworld to the sky. The bats flew up the track of the Milky Way and traded the spiritual song to Guyaru, the Night Owl (the star Sirius). The bats fly through the constellation Scorpius on their way to the Southern Cross, trading songs as they go.
The song informs the people about initiation, which is managed by the stars in Scorpius and related to Larawag (who ensures the appropriate personnel are present for the final stages of the ceremony).
The brownish-red colour of the dilly bag is represented by the colour of Epsilon Crucis, which is an orange giant that lies 228 light years away.
Boorong star name
Unurgunite (Sigma Canis Majoris)
The Boorong people of the Wergaia language group near Lake Tyrell in northwestern Victoria pride themselves on their detailed astronomical knowledge. In the 1840s, they imparted more than 40 star and planet names and their associated stories to the Englishman William Stanbridge, which he published in 1857.
In Boorong astronomy, Unurgunite is an ancestral figure with two wives. The Moon is called Mityan, the quoll. Mityan fell in love with one of the wives of Unurgunite and tried to lure her away.
Unurgunite discovered Mityan’s trickery and attacked him, leading to a great fight in which Mityan was defeated. The Moon has been wandering the heavens ever since, the scars of the battle still visible on his face.
Unurgunite can be seen as the star Sigma Canis Majoris (the Great Dog), with the two brighter stars on either side representing his wives.
One of the wives (Delta Canis Majoris) lies further away from Unurgunite and is closer to the Moon than the other wife (Epsilon Canis Majoris). This is the wife Mityan tried to lure away.
On rare occasions, the Moon passes directly over the wife of his desires, symbolising his attempts to draw her away. He also passes over Unurgunite, representing their battle in the sky. But Mityan, and Moon, never passes over the other wife (with the Arabic name Adhara).
Delta Canis Majoris is an orange-red supergiant that lies 1,120 light years away.
Expectant mothers have long complained of
inattention, forgetfulness and reduced cognitive functioning during pregnancy.
They weren’t wrong.
So-called “baby brain” refers to increased forgetfulness, inattention, and mental “fogginess” reported by four out of five pregnant women. These changes in brain function during pregnancy have long been recognised in midwifery folklore, but our new study has confirmed “baby brain” is a very real phenomenon, and also affects several cognitive areas.
We combined data from 20 studies reporting the relationship between pregnancy and brain changes. We then pooled these differences together to assess the cognitive functioning of 709 pregnant women and 521 non-pregnant women.
Our study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, is the first to explore how pregnancy may affect other cognitive areas beyond memory and to look specifically at how these changes might vary according to pregnancy trimesters.
What we found
Our results showed that when pregnant women are compared to non-pregnant women, they perform much worse on tasks measuring memory and executive functioning (which includes attention, inhibition, decision-making and planning), and this difference is most pronounced during the third trimester. Women were tested with tasks such as the digit span test, which involves remembering digits in a line.
We also found when the same women were tested at multiple points during their pregnancies, the decline appeared to start during the first trimester, then stabilise from the middle to the end of the pregnancy.
But it’s important to note that while we found differences, the pregnant women were still broadly performing in the normal range, albeit at the lower end, particularly for memory tasks. So while some pregnant women may notice they don’t feel as “sharp” as usual, these effects are realistically not likely to have any dramatic impact on everyday life.
Instead, some women will simply find it seems to take more mental effort to do tasks that were previously routine. These changes might be noticeable to people very close to them such as family or friends, but this is highly dependent on each woman’s personal experience of pregnancy.
What causes baby brain?
There’s still a lot of speculation about what might cause “baby brain” and we have a long way to go before we have any definitive answers.
An intriguing study published last year showed there were reductions in grey matter in the brains of pregnant women in regions known to be closely tied to processing social information, such as decoding infant facial expressions and establishing healthy bonding between mum and baby.
This presents a compelling idea that “baby brain” is actually an important adaptive phenomenon that might help women prepare for raising their children by allowing the their brains to adapt to their new role as mothers. Importantly, this same study showed losses of grey matter in the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for memory function, are restored two years after the birth of a child. This supports the idea cognitive declines are not permanent.
There are still several questions that will need to be answered so we can understand more about this phenomenon. First, postpartum measures of cognitive functioning are frequently not included when exploring cognition and pregnancy. This means it’s unclear whether the changes seen during pregnancy extend into early parenthood and, if so, how long they might last.
Second, the underlying mechanisms of this relationship are still open to speculation. Given women experience huge hormonal shifts during pregnancy, it’s likely increases in hormones oestrogen, progesterone and oxytocin play an important role in facilitating these cognitive changes.
Other factors may also contribute, such as disrupted sleep patterns, mood changes, increased stress levels, and morning sickness – all of which are natural experiences of pregnancy. After all, pregnancy is a time of massive physical, psychological, and social change, so it isn’t surprising this is distracting.
Patrick “Pat” Hart Cash was born 27 May, 1965 in Melbourne, Victoria Australia. Cash won a total of 6 titles and reaching a career high singles ranking of World #4 in May 1988, but the rise to fame came at a terrible cost, to Cash and his family.
During the 1980’s Cash established himself as a huge contender in the world of tennis as a junior player. The Australian Institute of Sport, awarded him a scholarship to pursue his Tennis dream.
Cash’s international tennis career began when he was just 14. At 16 years, he played his first Wimbledon tournament, where he reached the junior boys singles final, but lost. He came back the following year and won the junior title.
Cash recalls his father congratulating him afterwards, where he looked up at him with a big smile and said, “I’ve won the little one dad, now I’m going after the big one”.
Now 18 years old, Cash becomes the youngest player to win a deciding match in the David Cup and help secure victory for Australia. A few weeks before his 19th birthday, Cash reached the semi finals at Wimbledon, and secured the ranking of #7 in the world. Cash established a reputation on the tour as a hard-fighting serve and volleyer and for wearing his trademark black-and-white checked headband and his cross earring.
Even though Cash was a national sporting hero, he lived in constant fear of losing. Cash recalls how it consumed him, he never could quite get his head around the shame and the embarrassment that went with it.
To Cash it was like heroin, winning became a drug he just had to have or he would become depressed. With a loss he felt unloved, and the only way out was to take his own life.
Cash recalls that when he was 17, he struggled communicating what he was feeling, and this made him angry. He would often just go crazy, unable to handle things. He would smash up hotel rooms, and smoke cannabis. Smoking marijuana according to Cash was common among the players at the time. Cash admitted that when he played his first game at Wimbledon, he kept a joint under his pillow which he would puff on every night, to help calm him down. At the time, even though you are told its bad for you, he felt the marijuana wasn’t ruining his game, so he took more, then you take cocaine and the next drug and the next.
When injuries forced Cash out of the tennis circuit, he became dependent on cocaine.
A series of injuries would eventually end Cash’s tennis career and his first a herniated disc in 1985. Cash recalls how extremely painful it was and how it required surgery. “No-one likes pain of any sort, I found it easier to deal with with the help of the ultimate party animal (cocaine). He lived to enjoy and was heavily into cocaine. His playing days were behind him, but his partying ones certainly weren’t. It was at one of Vitas’s drug fuelled parties in Houston that Pat met Norwegian model Anne Britt Kristiansen, his first long term partner and eventually the mother of his two older children Daniel and Mia. When he first saw her, Cash became instantly smitten by her. After meeting Cash, Anne Britt moved in with him and within four months, she was pregnant. Cash celebrated his 21st birthday, and the birth of his son Daniel on May 27, 1986. It wasn’t long before cracks started to appear in the relationship. Pat recalls “I was totally consumed with Wimbledon. Everyone knows that new mothers have a rough time but I was so immersed with my game, that I found it extremely difficult to rationalize. Much to my annoyance, some days I even had to miss training altogether, so I could take Anne-Britt to the movies while someone babysat Daniel.”
The crowning moment of Cash’s career came at Wimbledon in 1987. Having already beaten Mats Wilander in the quarter-finals and Jimmy Connors in the semi-finals, Cash defeated the World Number 1, Ivan Lendl, in the final. Cash sealed the victory by climbing into the stands and up to the player’s box at Centre Court, where he celebrated with his family, girlfriend, and coach, Ian Barclay. This started a Wimbledon tradition that has been followed by many other champions at Wimbledon and other Grand Slam tournaments since.
After the birth of his second child, a daughter named Mai, his relationship with Anne-Britt was all but over. Before he turned 23, they separated. Cash’s life was a complete mess. Cash felt he’d rotted his stomach from too much alcohol and was in desperate need of a break from tennis. The gods must have been listening to him, as he was forced to take time out after he snapped his Achilles tendon in Tokyo later that year. Cash was depressed after the injury, and this brought about more terrible rows with Anne Britt. Cash wanted to live a little, when in fact, he lived a lot with the help of alcohol, ecstasy and cocaine. It was around this time Cash met Brazilian PR representative Emily Bendit. After what they refer to as a whirlwind romance, the two married via poolside in Jamaica in 1990. Cash hoped this marriage would last forever.
He returned to tennis but would never completely recover his form. He had far to many injuries to contend with, and his lifestyle was affecting his game.
Cash recalls “ Emily and I were bingers. We’d go out and have a big night and then not do it again for a couple of weeks. I was obsessive about everything I did. My anger was obsessive, partying was obsessive, and training was obsessive. It was a terrible cycle, I couldn’t seem to break out of. I’d train for five solid hours until I was so exhausted, I couldn’t even speak to Emily when I got home. The next morning there would be the hangover and I’d feel guilty about what I’d done to my body. I’d be very angry, slamming doors, shouting, and then I’d fall into depression. Once in the Hilton Hotel in Adelaide, I was so angry, I smashed the room to pieces. I was in a complete rage and it was scary as hell. Then I got so depressed, I became suicidal. I didn’t like what was happening to me, but I couldn’t seem to stop it.”
In 1994, the couple welcomed twin boys Shannon and Jett.
Cash’s forced retirement from the game simply exacerbated his problems. For twenty years tennis had controlled him, now without it, he was completely lost. A turning point came in 1999 when Cash checked himself into Cottonwood, a exclusive Arizona rehabilitation clinic. Emily had booked herself in five weeks earlier. They both were diagnosed severely depressed. Time at Cottonwood taught Cash that his self esteem has nothing to do with the outcome of a tennis match. Cash now realizes that he was always chasing the next victory, when he should have been enjoying the moment for what it was.
He recalls, “When I won Wimbledon, one of the first things I said to my coach was, now lets go and win the US Open. I was always looking for the next mountain”.
In 2002 Cash and Emily divorced.
Cash these days supports various charities including GOAL, The Orchid Appeal and Australia’s best known environmental charity that he founded with mate Jon Dee “Planet Ark”. The two now have set up “Do Something” an organization that helps Australian’s create social and environmental change.
Since his retirement from the tour, Cash resides mainly in London. He is the host of CNN’s tennis-focused magazine show “Open Court”, and has also worked as a TV commentator, primarily for the BBC. He has coached top players including Greg Rusedski and Mark Philippoussis. Cash opened a tennis academy on the Gold Coast of Australia and has coached numerous top ranked Australian juniors. He is opening academies in Ko Sumui, Thailand and in the Caribbean St Vincent, St Lucia and Dominican Republic as well.
In his spare time, he helps coach his son Jett, an up and coming tennis player in his own right.
Cash’s main passion away from tennis and his family is playing the guitar. He took to the stage with INXS at his Australian Tennis Hall of Fame induction at the 2003 Australian Open and has played with his own band at various events and festivals.
NZ Labour had been polling in the mid-20s before
Jacinda Ardern became its leader and eventually won the 2017 election.
In 2018 there will be elections in the Australian states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, as well as in Italy, the US and Mexico.
Essential has released polling for the five mainland Australian states, conducted from October to December. Figures are given by month for the three eastern seaboard states.
In South Australia, Labor led 51-49 in October to December, a one-point gain for the Liberals since July to September. Primary votes were 34% Labor (down three), 31% Liberals (up one), 22% for Nick Xenophon’s SA-BEST (up four) and 8% Greens (up two). The South Australian election will be held on March 17.
Newspoll had SA-BEST at 32% from polling conducted in the same period as Essential. Essential is assuming SA-BEST preferences flow to the Liberals at a 60-40 rate, but at the 2016 federal election, these preferences flowed to Labor at a 60-40 rate. Essential’s justification is that the Liberals have lost far more primary votes than Labor since the 2014 state election.
In Victoria, the Coalition led 51-49 in December, a two-point gain for the Coalition since November. Primary votes were 46% Coalition (up three), 37% Labor (steady) and 9% Greens (down one). For the October to December period, Labor was just ahead, 51-49. The Victorian election will be held November 24.
The Age commissioned ReachTEL polls of the Labor-held Victorian seats of Tarneit and Cranbourne on January 5. On the primary votes, there is a substantial anti-Labor swing in Tarneit, but little swing in Cranbourne.
There were many questions in the ReachTEL polls on youth crime. About two-thirds in both seats said the main youth crime issue was African gangs, and more than 55% said they were less likely to go out at night. A positive for Labor was that Premier Daniel Andrews had a large lead over Opposition Leader Matthew Guy on dealing with crime.
In the New South Wales Essential poll, Labor led 52-48 in December, a three-point gain for Labor since November. Primary votes were 40% Coalition (down three), 40% Labor (up three) and 9% Greens (steady). For October to December, Labor led 51-49.
I believe this is the first time Labor has led in a NSW state poll since shortly after the 2007 state election. The next NSW election will be held in March 2019.
In Queensland, Labor led 55-45 in December, a four-point gain for Labor since the November election. In Western Australia, Labor led 57-43 in October to December, a three-point gain for Labor since July to September.
The Tasmanian election is likely to be held in March, and it appears Labor is ahead under its popular leader Rebecca White.
The Italian election will be held on March 4. 37% of seats in both chambers of the parliament will be elected using first-past-the-post voting, while the rest use proportional representation.
Polling gives the right-wing coalition about 37%, the left-wing coalition about 27%, and the left-wing populist Five Star Movement about 28%. As the left is more split than the right, the right will have an advantage in the first-past-the-post seats, though it will probably be short of an overall majority.
The Mexican election will be held on July 1. The president is elected by first-past-the-post, and the left-wing candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is currently ahead. By antagonising Mexicans, US President Donald Trump could cause the election of a left-winger who would strongly oppose the proposed border wall.
The FiveThirtyEight poll aggregate currently gives Democrats a 11-point lead over Republicans in the race for the US Congress. Midterm elections will be held in early November, in which all 435 House of Representatives members and one-third of the 100 Senators are up for election. The Senate seats up this year went to Democrats by 25-8 in 2012, and a few Democrats will be defending states Trump won easily in 2016.
Even though Republicans only have a 51-49 Senate majority, the House of Representatives is more likely to switch party control than the Senate.
Left-wing parties performed better than expected in 2017 elections
In 2016, Trump was elected US president, and the UK voted to leave the European Union. Trump and Brexit were triumphs for the populist right, and it was expected that the left would also struggle in 2017. However, in both Australian and overseas elections held in 2017, the left generally performed better than expected.
At the March 2017 Western Australian election, Labor won a landslide, with 41 of the 59 lower house seats.
At the November Queensland election, Labor won a majority, and One Nation won just one seat. There had been much speculation that One Nation would win many seats and hold the balance of power.
A year after Trump’s victory, US Democrats easily won the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections. In the Alabama Senate byelection, Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore by a 50.0-48.3 margin, overturning Trump’s 62-34 Alabama margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Jones was sworn in as a US senator on January 3, replacing Luther Strange, who had been appointed by the Alabama governor after Jeff Sessions resigned to become attorney-general. Republicans now have a 51-49 majority in the US Senate, down from 52-48.
In an April article published after Theresa May called the June 8 UK general election, I said a Conservative landslide was likely – a widely held view. Under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s vote instead increased almost ten points from 2015, and the Conservatives failed to win a majority – though they clung to power with support from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.
In the May French presidential election run-off, Emmanuel Macron crushed Marine Le Pen 66-34. While Macron is a centrist and not a left-winger, he is clearly preferable to a conservative or Le Pen from a left perspective.
In October, Labour won the New Zealand election (which was held in September) after securing a coalition agreement with NZ First. Labour had been polling in the mid-20s before Jacinda Ardern became its leader in August.
While 2017 was generally a good year for the left, there were two poor results. At the October Austrian election, a conservative/far-right government was formed after more than a decade of coalition governments between the major left and right-wing parties.
At the German election in September, the far-right achieved its highest vote share since the second world war (12.6%). The major parties had formed a grand coalition, and both slumped, with the Social Democrats falling to their lowest vote (20.5%) since 1932. Despite this terrible result, it appears likely there will be another grand coalition government led by Angela Merkel.
Where there has been a clear difference between the major left and right-wing parties (the UK, the US and New Zealand), the left-wing party has performed strongly. The dismal results for the left in Germany and Austria have occurred in left/right coalitions, where there was perceived to be little difference between the left and right.
Furthermore, embracing a left-wing agenda neutralises some of the far-right’s appeal. The UK Independence Party won just 1.8% of the vote at the 2017 election, down almost 11 points from 2015, though some of this fall was caused by the Conservatives’ support for Brexit. Macron vigorously attacked Le Pen’s policies, and thrashed her by a bigger than expected margin.
The far-right tends to perform best when voters perceive little difference between the major left- and right-wing parties.
This article was written by:
Adrian Beaumont – [Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Melbourne]
This article is part of a syndicated news program via
Welcome to Listen To Older Voices,
a program produced by Rob Greaves for Uniting Melba and podcast through
the Toorak Times and Tagg.
Listen To Older Voices presents the stories, views and opinions of our older citizens. It is predominantly in a life & times format, with interviewees reflecting upon their lives from earliest memories. An underlying principal of the program is to promote the concept of positive ageing, reinforcing the principle that older people have & continue to make a valuable contribution to both their local & wider community.
The life and Times of Rosalyn Thornton is another Golden Moment repeat program, and as you listen you will understand why we thought it was worthy of being presented to those who may have missed it the first time.
Originally broadcast in March of 2005, the then 71-year-old Rosalyn tells of moving from Victoria to West Australia at a young age when her father, who was an army officer, was posted there. Rosalyn tells us that her school years were a mixture of joy and frustration, being forced to enrol in at least 14 different schools during her school life. Certainly for her, life was not easy.
She talks about how life changed and of the incredible pressures the family experienced when her father, decorated with a DSO, was killed in action. Yet despite all these set-backs Rosalyn managed to establish a very successful career I the WA Government printing Office where she worked retouching both negatives and prints, which was a job she really loved.
She meets and marries, but again fate deals her a real blow when her husband contracts mesothelioma and passes away.
Click to hear Rosalyn Thornton – Part 1
Previous LTOV Programs can be accessed clicking on this icon –
[Listen To Older Voices receives funding from the Commonwealth Government through the Commonwealth Home Support Program Program]
But now Kodak is exploiting one of the most interesting characteristics of the blockchain (the technology behind Bitcoin) to reshape how we understand and manage intellectual property.
Just like Bitcoin demonstrated it was possible to have a digital currency that didn’t require third parties (banks or governments) to validate transactions, KodakOne hints at a future where intellectual property works without the need for third parties to enforce property rights.
Blockchains are a system of decentralised, distributed ledgers (think of a spreadsheet or database that is held on a number of computers at once). Transactions are verified and then encrypted by the system itself.
Kodak’s plan is to use the Ethereum blockchain to build a digital rights management platform for photographs. Photographers will register their photos on the KodakOne platform and buyers will purchase rights using the KodakCoin cryptocurrency.
The platform will provide cryptographic proof of ownership and monitor the web for infringement, offering an easy payment system for infringers to legitimise their use of photographs.
In one sense, KodakOne resembles one of the many supply chain (or “provenance”) applications for blockchain, which track goods and their inputs (think agricultural products or airplane parts).
But photographs are purely digital assets. In a sense, what we’re seeing is a new form of intellectual property.
In KodakCoin, the underlying asset – the thing that is being bought and sold, the thing that has the economic value – is no longer the photograph, per se. Rather, it’s the entry on the global blockchain ledger. Control of that entry constitutes ownership of the asset.
KodakOne only really gets halfway to this idea. Like so many blockchain applications, the question is how this elegant system will interact with the messy real world. It’s one thing to detect infringing uses of a photograph, it’s quite another to enforce terrestrial copyright law on unco-operative infringers. And KodakOne is hardly the only firm working on digital asset management on a blockchain.
A new kind of intellectual property
But there’s another, more pure example of what blockchains can do for intellectual property that is worth discussing – CryptoKitties.
CryptoKitties is a silly little blockchain game, but the economics are worth taking seriously. Players buy digital cats – cryptographically secure, decentralised, censor-proof digital cats – and breed them with each other. Each cat has a mix of rare and common attributes and the goal is to breed cats with the rarest, most-in-demand attributes.
That’s the game. But in fact what CryptoKitties has invented is a new form of intellectual property. Each cat is a completely unique, entirely digital good. And it is completely, cryptographically secure. It can’t be copied.
Usually the protection of intellectual property requires lawyers and courts. But with CryptoKitties, the intellectual property protection is part of the asset itself – it’s baked in.
This is what blockchains were invented to do. Before blockchains, digital goods could be easily duplicated. That’s a great feature – unless you want to create digital money. Digital money won’t work if everybody can just copy their money and spend it over and over again.
The creator of Bitcoin, known as Satoshi Nakamoto, solved this problem with Bitcoin’s blockchain. Previous attempts to solve the double-spending problem had relied on trusted third parties like banks to validate transactions. Nakamoto managed to get the network to validate itself.
KodakOne (and CryptoKitties) show us that intellectual property has much the same problem as digital currency – and may have the same solution. There’s no need for trusted third parties (governments) to enforce property rights. The blockchain does that for us.
Of course, there’s a lot of work to be done before we see real benefits from this sort of blockchain-enhanced intellectual property. CryptoKitties is its own new form of intellectual property – but can we retrofit “traditional” cultural goods like photographs, music and movies onto the blockchain?
Digitisation has challenged the protection of intellectual property like never before. Cultural producers need to find some way to be paid for their work. This is the direction we should be looking.
This article was co-authored by:
Chris Berg – [Postdoctoral fellow, RMIT University];
Jason Potts – [Professor of Economics, RMIT University]
Sinclair Davidson – [Professor of Institutional Economics, RMIT University]
This article is part of a syndicated news program via