Big Blue a crying game to Niedermeier

Melbourne Victory import Georg Niedermeier looks forward to experiencing an A-League Big Blue clash.Melbourne Victory defender Georg Niedermeier’s n football education continues as his teammates school him in the Big Blue ahead of Sunday’s renewal of the A-League rivalry.
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The Victory-Sydney FC rivalry has always been a massive clash, and perhaps never bigger than now with the two heavyweight clubs firmly established as the country’s best.

The two clubs have shared six of the past eight A-League trophies, squaring off in the 2015 and 2017 grand finals.

A new chapter was written in the rivalry last April, when Victory beat FC 3-2 in an epic semi-final en route to their title win.

Niedermeier, a new arrival at AAMI Park this season, has seen the highlights and had one takeaway.

“I saw the crying guy. Scoring two goals but counting one,” he said.

The ‘crying guy’ would be teammate Terry Antonis, driven to tears after scoring an own goal and then an extra-time winner for Victory against his old side.

Niedermeier is no stranger to big occasions, playing his fair share in Germany before joining Victory, and is eager to sample this rivalry.

“The boys are talking about this game, the Big Blue. Every league has the game with two big rivals fighting each other,” he said.

“These big games in Germany are pretty intense. Stuttgart v Hoffenheim … Schalke v Dortmund. Bayern Munich against Dortmund.

“My first match on the bench for the first team was in Dortmund.

“My knees were a bit shaky to be honest but no worries on the weekend. They won’t be.”

Niedermeier has won plaudits for his first month in Melbourne, starting all four matches and looking the business at the back – save for two moments against Perth Glory.

The giant German ducked a header that allowed Andy Keogh to score in the Glory’s 3-2 win, before being knocked out by goalkeeper Liam Reddy in a fair but sickening clash.

While Niedermeier didn’t lose his place in the team after the result, fellow centre-back Nick Ansell did, with Thomas Deng and Niedermeier partnering for two wins since.

“Nick was struggling a bit with his body after those two matches,” Niedermeier said.

“They both have qualities … it’s good to give the boss some problems.”

Fellow imports Ola Toivonen and Raul Baena trained strongly on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s clash, with both in contention to start against Steve Corica’s side.

Toivonen has just a substitute appearance to his name since arriving in while Baena missed the past two wins with a hamstring issue.

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Tas gender law push ‘ridiculous’: PM

Tasmania is poised to become to first state to make it optional to include gender on birth certificates, but the prime minister has slammed the push as “ridiculous”.
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Landmark transgender rights reforms, put forward by the Labor opposition and the Greens, passed the Tasmanian lower house late on Tuesday night.

The changes were passed against the state government’s wishes by the casting vote of rogue Liberal Speaker Sue Hickey, who voted against her party.

They’ve been hailed by transgender right groups but Scott Morrison and religious groups have voiced opposition.

“Labor’s plan to remove gender from birth certificates in Tasmania is ridiculous,” Mr Morrison tweeted on Wednesday.

“Bill Shorten should step up and commit to put motion to ALP Federal Conference to outlaw it.”

Mr Shorten said he had no plans to change the way birth certificates are filled out.

The legislation allows people aged 16 or older to change the gender on their birth certificate by filling out a statutory declaration.

It also allows parents to decide whether their child’s gender is recorded on birth certificates.

An anti-discrimination law amendment, designed to ensure the correct use of transgender people’s names and honorifics, was also passed.

“It’s going to make our lives so much easier and so much safer,” Roen Meijers, spokesperson for Transforming Tasmania, a transgender and gender-diverse rights group, told AAP.

“When young people want to apply for jobs, and they have to show their birth certificate to show their age, they won’t immediately be outed to everyone they’re working with.”

State Health Minister Michael Ferguson accused Labor and the Greens of conducting a social experiment on kids.

Ms Hickey labelled Mr Ferguson’s comments disappointing and accused Mr Morrison of making judgments on the run.

“I think we just need to get with the times,” she told reporters.

“That’s the kind of stuff that has been very harmful to the transgender community.

“People have to realise the Liberal Party has a very strong, right-wing Christian element.”

The bill must still pass Tasmania’s 15-member upper house, nine of whom are independents.

With Labor’s four upper house members likely to vote for the legislation, only four independents will need to support it for it to become law.

The state government wants the amendments referred to the Tasmania Law Reform Institute, with Attorney-General Elise Archer describing them as “deeply flawed”.

The n Christian Lobby said the removal of gender on birth certificates was ignoring biological truths.

Labor MP Ella Haddad and Greens leader Cassy O’Connor hugged in the House of Assembly when the legislation passed.

“These changes will make people, who we should all care about, feel happier, safer and more included,” Ms O’Connor told parliament.

The changes were attached to a bill introduced by the government that would stop people who change genders from being forced to divorce, bringing state laws in line with federal legislation.

Under the amendments, the sex of children would still be recorded on medical records.

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Left ‘progressives’ to gather for annual dinner at Carrington Bowlo on Saturday night

Alex Edney-BrowneA MELBOURNE activist and academic will speak in Newcastle on Saturday night on what she says are the increasing links between the weapons industry and n universities.
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Alex Edney-Browne, who has written and lectured extensively on she calls “themilitarisation of education”, is the guest speaker at the Hunter Broad Left’s annual Red Flag Dinner at Carrington Bowling Club.

MsEdney-Browne is in the final stages of a PhD in International Studies at the University of Melbourne, looking at the psycho-social effects of drone warfare on the Afghan civilian population and US military drone operators alike.

Ms Edney-Browne said it had become obvious that the supposed“surgical precision” of drone warfare was a“dangerous myth” that overlooked a high civilian casualty rate and the“psychological torment” experienced by the operators.

On thelinks between military funding and academia, Ms Edney-Browne said universities were places that should teach the resolution of conflict through more peaceful means.

“Universities should not be doing research that contributes to the death of people,” Ms Edney-Browne said.

She said a number of n universities had embarked on joint ventures or partnerships with big weapons companies including Lockheed Martin, Thales, Raytheon and BAE.

She said these companies liked to call themselves“defence” manufacturers but they were really about promoting war, not defence.

Hunter Broad Left spokesperson Rod Noble said the group was bringing Ms Edney-Browne to Newcastle after hearing her at a peace conference in Melbourne.

“This is very relevant to us here in Newcastle, given the proximity of the RAAF base at Williamtown and the links that the University of Newcastle has already established with the RAAF and some of the major companies,” Mr Noble said.

A conjoint lecturer in health sciences at the university, Mr Noble said it was time that university ethics committees looked more closely at some of the research that was being approved at n universities.

For its part, Newcastle Universityisforging closer links with the defence sector, and in one example announced a newBachelor of Aerospace Engineering (Honours) degree in August, developed“with input from key industry partners” including the RAAF, Boeing and BAE.

“Graduates . . .will be highly qualified for positions within aircraft design and manufacturing companies, n and international airlines, airworthiness organisations and the n Defence Force as aerospace, satellite and systems engineers,” the university says on its website.

Mr Noble said Saturday’s dinner started at 7pm, with the bistro and bar open from 6pm.

Previous Broad Left dinners

US influence greatly outweighs China’s, says Sydney academic

Burgmann calls ASIO ‘incompetent, offensive and inefficient’

Pat O’Shane at Red Flag dinner

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How winning Future Leaders team aims to stem brain drain from Hunter

Forward thinkers: Team Worrimi members Amanda Murray, Tyler Plowright, Teegan Bell, Adam Fisher, Kate Thomson, Jude Sneesby and Trudie Larnach with HunterNet chief Tony Cade (blue suit).STEMMING the “brain drain” from the Hunter and attracting more talent, skills and businesses from outside the region.
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The task for the record number of teams in the 2018 edition of HunterNet’s Future Leaders program was not easy, but HunterNet CEO Tony Cade said the five teams rose to the challenge.

“We received fivepractical and innovative submissions, all of which are able to be implemented and could help arrest the brain drain of the region,” he said. “The program is very fortunate to have such a high calibre judging panel and a group of mentors focused and committed to the development of our regions young leaders.”

At a recent gala event Team Worrimi was named winner of the Future Leaders 2018 program with its Ninety° submission. The team comprised Kate Thomson (n Business Lawyers),Teegan Bell (Newcastle Airport),Tyler Plowright (Pacific National), Jude Sneesby (Hunter Industrial Ceramics),Amanda Murray andAdam Fisher (both from Amp Control) and its mentor was Port Waratah Coal Services executive Trudie Larnach.

In its winning presentation, Team Worrimi said the Hunter wassuffering from a brain drain of degree qualified young people away from the region, with many lost permanently to the region. It said the ramifications of the exodus were manifold, but the economic implications for the development and maintenance of a modern, service-based economy are significant.

Its proposal addressed two confined but critical aspects of thebigger issue.

It undertook to provide market research services to ensure that both students and business have the information they need to identify areas of growth, potential skills shortages and to enable better matching graduates with areas of demand.

“Ninety° will also provide student placement services in a number of guises to link students with business,” it said. “This will ensure students complete tertiary education with the experience, skills and connections necessary to find jobs in the Hunter and with opportunities for career advancement to retain them in the region long-term.”

Team mentor Ms Larnach said while other student placement programs and market research organisations existed, the Ninety° point of difference layin its unique combination of the two –a focus on the social and economic sustainability of the Hunter region and the deep relationships it would form with key stakeholders.

Ms Larnarch encouraged businesses to encourage their“shining stars” to participate in the “engaging and practical” Future Leaders program.

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Franjic still craves Socceroos recall

Ivan Franjic (left) is hoping with the help of coach Tony Popovic he will return to the Socceroos.Perth Glory defender Ivan Franjic hasn’t given up hope of reigniting his Socceroos career, but he knows words are cheap.
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Franjic played in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and was also part of ‘s 2015 Asian Cup title triumph.

The 31-year-old has fallen out of favour in recent times, but is determined to work his way back in.

Franjic, a three-time title winner with Brisbane Roar, hopes new Glory coach Tony Popovic can help him get back into the national set-up.

The speedy defender has played an important role in Perth’s unbeaten start to the A-League season and hopes team success will also lead to individual honours.

But he faces an uphill battle to win a recall in time for January’s Asian Cup given he wasn’t selected for recent friendlies against Lebanon and South Korea.

“Socceroos is something you always want to be a part of,” Franjic said.

“It’s a great honour to play for the national team. I’ve been fortunate enough to win the Asian Cup and play at the World Cup.

“It would be something I’d love to get back into. But unless I’m playing well at club level, it’s very hard to get in.

“I want to let my football do the talking and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.”

Glory will be aiming to continue their hot start to the season when they host last-placed Central Coast at nib Stadium on Sunday.

The Mariners have just two points to their name after four rounds, while the Glory have notched three wins and a draw.

Glory skipper Diego Castro has been grounded since injuring his hamstring during the pre-season and is no guarantee to return against the Mariners.

Franjic praised the influence of Popovic, who has helped transform Glory into title contenders.

“He’s a great coach. He knows how to get the best out of every player and that’s important,” Franjic said.

“I think we’re only going to get better as the season goes on.

“You’re seeing glimpses in games and it’s really exciting when we move the ball fast and play around the opposition.”

Glory lost to EPL powerhouse Chelsea 1-0 in July, but Popovic’s charges will get another chance to take down a big scalp when they face Manchester United in Perth on July 13.

Manchester United will then play fellow English side Leeds United at Optus Stadium on July 17.

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Muslim leaders to boycott PM meeting

Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, Mufti of , has declined to meet with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.Muslim leaders will boycott a proposed meeting with Scott Morrison over his comments about how they should do more to combat extremism.
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However, the prime minister says the private meeting will still go ahead with those who want to seriously deal with the issue “rather than look the other way”.

The group of leaders, including Grand Mufti IbrahimAbuMohamed, signed a letter on Tuesday night telling the prime minister they won’t attend the meeting.

“ManyintheMuslimcommunity… aredeeplyconcernedand disappointedwithstatementsmadebysenior government ministersandthe prime ministerintherecentpast, whichinferthatthecommunityiscollectivelyculpablefor thecriminalactionsofindividuals andshouldbedoingmoretopreventsuchactsof violence,” the letter said.

“Thesestatementshaveachievednothingtoaddressunderlyingissues,but rather,havealienatedlargesegmentsoftheMuslimcommunity.”

They say they were invited to a meeting this week after Mr Morrison postponed an earlier meeting.

The n Federation of Islamic Councils said there was no agenda for the proposed meeting, and Mr Morrison has not responded to concerns sent to him on November 12.

Mr Morrison told Islamic leaders they need to do more to combat extremism after a man stabbed another man to death in Melbourne’s Bourke Street on November 11.

“The objective of the proposed meeting disregards many of the points that our community had raised in the past week and which we believe need to be discussed in a frank and honest manner prior to any discussion about solutions,” AFIC said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mr Morrison tweeted in response to the statements that he had privately invited Muslim leaders to a meeting in good faith “to talk honestly about what more we should be doing together to protect our communities”.

“Some have chosen to publicly boycott this meeting. Continuing down a path of denial only lets their communities down. It makes their communities less safe and more vulnerable,” he wrote.

“The meeting is going ahead with those who want to deal with this issue seriously rather than look the other way.

“And where some can genuinely not attend, I look forward to following up with them at a later time, including with key ministers.”

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Sydney band Lime Cordiale to perform Newcastle High gig in memory of student Isaac Lourie

In tribute: Brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach from Sydney indie band Lime Cordiale will perform at Newcastle High between 11.45am and 12.15pm on Friday. They will also play The Cambridge on Friday night.MUSIC enthusiastIsaac Lourie’s legacy will live on forever at Newcastle High, through a scholarship designed to foster budding talent and provide access to the instrument he loved most.
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“Isaac made a major impact not just on the kids, but on our staff and the whole school community,” principal Nathan Towney said about Isaac, 17, who died on January 5 in a ski boat accident on the Williams River near Raymond Terrace.

Missed: Isaac Lourie.

“He was a very bright young man, loyal to his friends, stood up for what he believed in, had a very good sense of humour and was quite cheeky.

“The graduation was a really emotional day –his year wanted him to be a part of it and it was not fair that he was not there.”

Isaac’s parents Ross and Anna placed one of the guitar picks he hadmade from recycled plastic and credit cardson every graduating student’s chair at the assembly, apart from one chair that held his school bag.

The bag, which he had owned since year seven, had pride of place in the school’s senior study spacewhile his grade prepared for the Higher School Certificate.

“Isaac’s friends have thought of a number of different ways to remember him,” Mr Towney said.

“They felt he was still part of their school year.”

Isaac’s life will be celebrated on Friday when one of his favourite bands, Lime Cordiale, performs at the school and his family launches the Isaac Lourie Scholarship.

Mr Towney said school captain Natalie Cox approached him at the start of the year about the possibility of the band playing at the school formal.

Mr Towney contacted The Cambridge’s Greg Mathew, who reached out to the band.

“He told us about the band coming on the 23rd and we were just blown away.”

Lime Cordiale frontman Oli Leimbach told the Herald the duo didn’t think twice.

“For someone to already be a fan of our band is pretty emotional for us, especially when they’re outside of Sydney,” he said.

“Hearing that someone has passed away it felt like one of our crew, one of our family, had passed away.

“It hit pretty hard.

“To not even know [Isaac] and to know this school is remembering him with this music, that’s amazing.”

Isaac’s family will attend and explain the scholarship, which comprises a year of access to a guitar and tuition from Reynolds & Co.

The school has helped establishAFL tournament, The Isaac Lourie Cup, between Newcastle High and Merewether High. It was held on July 27.

The school will present to the Louries on Friday two jumpers signed by the players in each team.

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New Socceroo Rhyan Grant ready for trim

Rhyan Grant (left) impressed in a timely Socceroos debut against Lebanon ahead of the Asian Cup.Rhyan Grant’s spectacular return from a second knee reconstruction has reinvigorated a stalled Socceroo career and may prompt him to give his infamous mullet a trim prior to a potential Asian Cup call-up.
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Long-serving Sydney FC defender Grant made an assured international debut against Lebanon on Wednesday, when he became the 600th man to win a Socceroos cap.

It came almost 10 years after he made his A-League debut, but circumstance have often forced the 27-year-old right-back to play the waiting game.

He underwent a knee reconstruction early in the 2013-14 season and experienced another before the 2017-18 campaign, which sidelined him for that season.

Grant was first called into the Socceroos squad by then coach Ange Postecoglou in March 2017.

He had to wait 20 months before being awarded a Socceroos debut by his old Sydney FC mentor and current Socceroos coach Graham Arnold.

For once, things moved quickly for Grant.

It took him just eight A-League and FFA Cup games this season to persuade Arnold he was ready for international football.

“He gives you that energy up and down and he’s come back from an ACL very well and he had a special night,” Arnold said.

Grant said he hadn’t expected to get a call-up and with the Asian Cup looming just over a month away agreed it was well timed.

“I spoke to my old man and mum and they sort of said the same thing ‘did you expect to be here about six months ago’, I wouldn’t have,’ Grant said.

“To get back in around the squad and then to make my debut is pretty freakish and something I’m pretty proud of.”

Grant, who chalked up his 150th A-League appearance for Sydney FC in his last game, credited the Sky Blues medical staff for his swift return to top form following his long layoff.

His form surge and consequent call-up means even more people will get the chance to see and comment on his notorious mullet.

“It’s getting a lot of traction the haircut,” Grant said, when asked if he would give it a trim if he gets an Asian Cup call-up.

“You either love it or hate it, I suppose you’ve got to take a side but I’m loving it at the minute, so I’ll keep it for a while I reckon.

“I’ve been in camp 10 days or so, I haven’t had a chance to be able to cut it myself, but when I get home I’ll trim it up and have it ready, spick and span. It’s getting a bit long and a bit ratty.”

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