Category Archives: Australian culture

Britain and Canberra accused of Misreading China

Daniel Hurst, in The Guardian, 24 January 2022, with this title  “Former Australian PM Paul Keating criticises Liz Truss over ‘demented’ China comments”

The former Australian prime minister Paul Keating has accused Liz Truss of making “demented” comments about Chinese military aggression and urged the British foreign secretary to hurry “back to her collapsing, disreputable government”.  Keating, in a blistering op-ed, also said Britain “suffers delusions of grandeur and relevance deprivation” and its tilt to the Indo-Pacific lacks credibility.

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Serbia, Rio Tinto, Novak Djokovic and Australia’s Rancid Hypocrisy  

Fair Dinkum

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić has announced her country is expelling Rio Tinto as it pulls out of the Jadar lithium project, costing Australia $3.6 billion. Brnabić told reporters: “All decisions (linked to the lithium project) and all licences have been annulled.” She went on to conclude: “As far as project Jadar is concerned, this is an end.”

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić speaks during a news conference after a Serbian government session about Rio Tinto, in Belgrade, Serbia, January 20, 2022.

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The Pandora’s Box That is the Djokovic Case

Josh Roose, in The Age, 16 January 2022, where the chosen title runs thus: “Right and left unite over Djokovic – and why they are both wrong”

It is easy to dislike Novak Djokovic. At the height of a pandemic that has claimed millions of lives globally, he has consistently refused to reveal his vaccination status, despite freely travelling the world for tennis tournaments, and has been pictured acting irresponsibly on numerous occasions.For many, he has become the embodiment of the adage that one rule applies for the wealthy and powerful and another for the rest of us.

 

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Paul McNamee steps into the Djokovic Courtside Drama

Paul McNamee in The Age, 15 January 2022, where the title reads “Djokovic an easy target in anti-vaxxer witch hunt”

Clearly, the outcome of the Federal Court case on Sunday has implications for Novak Djokovic. How about for the Australian Open?

The Australian Open is far and away Australia’s biggest international sporting event. Hosting all the world’s best tennis players in arguably the best sporting precinct in the world, it generates close to one billion dollars in economic impact for the state of Victoria. It puts Melbourne front and centre on the world stage for two weeks but, this year, for all the wrong reasons.

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Cricketing Stars who stimulated Ceylon Cricket


A. C. de S., in Sunday Observer, 30 May 2004, where the tiltle is “Ceylon privileged to be coached by cricketing knights”

Sri Lanka has had the good fortune of witnessing six great cricketing knights play in the country and indulge in coaching for the Sri Lanka benefit of the younger generation. The six cricketers all knighted for their splendid deeds for their country of birth, had a liking to Sri Lanka (Ceylon as we were then known) and besides playing in matches, have also indulged in coaching in Colombo and in the outstation towns as well.

The cricketing knights – Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Learie Constantine, Sir Jack Hobbs, Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Len Hutton and Sir Garfield Sobers were a big draw for the young cricketers then and the enthusiasm to forge ahead in cricket seemed to be uppermost in the minds of the local cricketers and the administrators as well.

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Djokovic and the “Secretary-Bird”

Michael Roberts

When my wife and I went on a Safari tour in Zimbabwe in the 1990s I was fascinated by sightings of a “Secretary Bird” through my binoculars. The official identity of this strange figure  was Sagittarius serpentarius.”   But, in my reading and juxtaposition, its upright walking stance simply indicated a prim and proper secretary persona.           

When I first saw Novak Djokovic on the tennis court, I immediately associated the two figures.  Maybe a strange leap; but it is a fixed asociation im my mind –one which did not, and does not, degrade my admiration for Djokovic’s tennis. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Australia vs Ceylon at the Colombo Oval in March 1953 … and Constantine

Michael Roberts

In focusing on Learie Constantine’s spell as a coach in the island in 1953 I was prompted initially by his report on the one-day encounter between the Australian cricket team led by Lindsay Hassett and a Ceylon team, a “whistle-stop game” as it was known then because the Aussies played such matches on their way to England by ship on several occasions dating from the early decades of the 20th century.

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Australia vs Ceylon, Colombo Oval, 29 March 1953

Hassett and Others at Cricket in Colombo, 29 March 1953 ………………Michael Roberts (compiler) …. with the presentation here being facilitated by the technical wizardry of Johnny De Silva (a fellow-Aloysian) and Victor Melder (Master Lexigrapher & Recordkeeper) who both reside in Melbourne

 

 

Bill O’Reilly’s Report on the Match:

……………………….Ceylon Does Well against Hassett’s Team

………………………………………..C. H Gunasekara’s Batting Impresses

From Ceylon’s point of view by far the most interesting angle of their short-time match against the Australians was the outstanding batting performance of C. H. Gunasekara, who faced up to the full strength of Australia’s Test attack so confidently that it seemed he would have preferred the match to last long enough to do his undoubted batting talent full justice.

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Australian Government’s Covid-Policy as Totally Shambolic

Dr. Kerryn Phelps, in The Guardian, 4 January 2022, where the tile runs  thus: “A shambolic mess’: the only example Australia is giving the world now is how not to manage Covid”

Where did it all go wrong? How did Australia go from being the envy of the world with our best practice public health measures, low case numbers, a prepared health system and an economy ticking along nicely to what can only be described as a shambolic mess?

The only example Australia is providing to the world now is a warning about what not to do with the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Penetrating White Australia, 1948-to-1970s: Burghers and Amahs

Earl Forbes,  whose preferred title is  “Burghers and Amahs.  First to enter White Australia from Independent Ceylon, ,”.… Note that the highlights are impositions by The Editor, Thuppahi

The diplomatic relationship between Ceylon and Australia commenced even before the formal declaration of Ceylon’s Independence. Australia established a Representative Office in Colombo, on the 29th April 1947. On Independence Day, (4th February 1948) this representation was upgraded to High Commission status. As further indication of the importance placed on the relationship between the two countries, the Australian High Commission Office was moved from its temporary location at the Galle Face Hotel, to more permanent premises at Gafoor Building, in the Fort, Colombo.

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