admin

Rugby World Cup 2015: Bernard Foley wants to inspire new generation of Wallabies

Posted on by

Key player: Bernard Foley. Photo: Stuart WalmsleyRWC Schedule: When is the Rugby World Cup final?Full coverage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup
杭州龙凤

LONDON: Bernard Foley got up in the middle of the night 16 years ago to watch the Wallabies win the World Cup and spark the inspiration for his rugby career.

He remembers the tired eyes, the late nights and the moment John Eales lifted the Webb Ellis Cup after the Wallabies beat France in the final. Now he wants to give the same memories to a new generation as he chases his own slice of World Cup history in a blockbuster final against New Zealand.

Fans in will have to wake up at 3am on Sunday to see the Wallabies go for glory against the defending champion All Blacks. That has not been lost in the World Cup bubble, with players making a point to acknowledge the supporter base back home.

“I think this will be the highlight of my rugby career,” Foley said. “It’s something I’ll look back on and as a kid when I was growing up during that 1999 World Cup, I was really inspired by the Wallabies. I got up in the middle of the night to watch those games. For me, it’s replicating that and hopefully I can inspire 12 year olds to get up, get them excited to watch the Wallabies and be passionate.”

The battered and bruised Wallabies are rising again for their moment to shine in the World Cup spotlight. New Zealand are favourites to take the title and farewell greats Richie McCaw and Dan Carter with a perfect Test send off.

But the Wallabies want to spoil the party, and while has struggled in Bledisloe Cup matches for more than a decade, there’s a contingent of players who know what it’s like to spoil a Kiwi party.

The NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds beat McCaw and Carter’s Canterbury Crusaders in the 2014 and 2011 Super Rugby finals respectively.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was in charge of the Waratahs when Foley booted a last-minute penalty to break Crusaders hearts last year. “You can draw on those big games for sure and it’s great to win those, but you can’t really compare that to this week or the momentum,” Foley said. “What we’ve done as a side here has been great, we’ve really enjoyed it and what we’re trying to do is be really proud to go out there and put on a display for all the ns getting up in the middle of the night, the ones making a late dash here or the expats that are here already. I don’t think you can compare the two games, [but] you can take confidence that you’ve been in those games before but this is a new magnitude.”

Foley said the Wallabies were “battle ready” after a road to the final which has included wins against England, Wales, Scotland and Argentina. Most of those games have gone down to the dying minutes, with the exception of a Foley-inspired 20-point drubbing of England.

In contrast the All Blacks cruised through their group stages with easy wins against Georgia, Namibia and Tonga before belting France in the quarter-final. “As a side we’ve always had a great belief in our preparation and groundwork … putting that in place during games, the belief definitely grows,” Foley said. “We can draw on those challenges and times we’ve had in games when we start to face it again on Saturday. You can’t count on past wins or losses to help you.”

Foley joked that Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham had been showing replays of his 1999 semi-final winning drop-goal, as well as highlights from a 102-Test career, in team meetings. Sixteen years ago then Wallabies assistant coach Tim Lane pulled Larkham aside before extra-time and told him to take a drop goal attempt if the opportunity came up.

The result was a kick etched in history and the moment that spurred the Wallabies to World Cup glory.

Foley has scored 75 points in his five World Cup games and it’s not lost on him that his kicking moment could come against the All Blacks.

“[Larkham] hasn’t spoken about that in depth. It just comes down to the context of the game and as a playing unit out on the field, we will talk about it,” he said. “If the time is right to hit a field goal, we will take that opportunity.” 

The APS’s ‘gap in capability’

Posted on by

Digital Transformation Office chief executive Paul Shetler wants better design and delivery in online services. Photo: Christopher PearceMore public service news
杭州龙凤

Public servants feel under-equipped to meet the challenge of the digital reforms about to sweep through the bureaucracy, according to the n Public Service Commission’s State of the Service report.

About a third of staff said they had not received training, while 28 per cent were learning on an ad-hoc basis as they did their job.

A quarter already had the skills needed for their job and 15 per cent were receiving formal digital skills training.

Digital Transformation Office chief executive Paul Shetler, whose agency will help agencies make digital reforms, said the survey identified a clear gap in capability.

The results showed only parts of some agencies were digitally capable while others had not developed capability.

“The need for comprehensive digital planning across the APS and the need to ensure digital strategies are integrated with broader agency strategic planning,” Mr Shetler said.

“What’s been lacking until recently has been a clear mandate for the way forward, a road map for the steps to take, and strong government support for the – sometimes small, sometimes radical – changes that need to be made.”

He said his office would play a major role in providing the road map.

Agencies have been working on “digital transformation plans” and putting together project teams to change the way they dealt with the public online.

“We’ll be working to increase our digital knowledge and capabilities right across the service,” Mr Shetler said.

“Digital transformation doesn’t need to be huge and overwhelming.

“Yes, some of us are dealing with services that cost millions of dollars and affect huge numbers of people.

“But we don’t need to change the world overnight.”

The survey found nearly two-thirds of federal public servants used their agency’s suite of digital technologies for carrying out tasks and interacting with colleagues.

Eighty-three percent believed digital technologies gave them greater access to information.

You’ll often hear me say, think big, start small. Part of our approach is picking out small parts of those large, complex services; getting an improved basic version out very quickly; then making incremental changes that can be tested, improved and gradually scaled-up.

Wallabies hope NFL-style restart gives them the edge

Posted on by

RWC Schedule: When is the Rugby World Cup final?Full coverage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup
杭州龙凤

LONDON: It’s the gridiron-style tactic from Michael Cheika’s bag of tricks that has got the World Cup talking and it looms as a Wallabies weapon for the final.

The Wallabies will use their kick-off set-up against New Zealand in the World Cup final to ensure they are in the right mental frame for the trans-Tasman contest. The men in gold have mastered Cheika’s innovative restart, more familiar with the NFL than rugby union, to better challenge for possession at every opportunity.

That means lining up 10 metres behind halfway and hitting full speed by the time five-eighth Bernard Foley launches the ball into the air. Cheika used the same move at the NSW Waratahs to instil a new mentality from kick-offs, and winger Drew Mitchell said it was the “trigger” to be ready for action.

Instead of ambling down the field, wingers Mitchell and Adam Ashley-Cooper fly through the pack and attempt to leap above opposition players to pinch the ball, or at least put on extra pressure. “It’s one of those things where it can become a real tool,” Mitchell said.

“If you can put pressure on the receipt, or the kicker or wherever it may be then you may get a better outcome. For us it’s more of a trigger of a mindset thing than anything. If we’re starting on the 10-metre line and we don’t put in a hard chase then we’re even further off. It’s a good way for us to trigger the mind and say, ‘OK, we’re on here’ … really show our intent.”

There’s a method behind Cheika’s madness. He introduced the kick-off technique to the Wallabies when he took over the top job last year and said: “It’s symbolic, we’re prepared to run 10 metres to gain 20 centimetres at the other end if that’s what it takes.”

New Zealand kicker Dan Carter is an expert at giving his teammates plenty of time to chase through the kick-off and win back possession. It’s an area of the game that can often be neglected. But Wallabies five-eighth Foley said had poured hours of work into their restarts to make them a weapon instead of simply handing the opposition the ball.

“Those kicks we have worked on to maximise hang time and make them land where we want them to, and on players we think are maybe vulnerable,” Foley said. “We have a whole calling structure where we identify where the best place is to kick, and where [opponents] may be uneasy kicking out of. That’s a good mentality for us to be able to try and put them under pressure.” 

Why Sam Burgess is poised to return to South Sydney Rabbitohs

Posted on by

Peter Dutton casts doubt on Russell Packer’s NRL return
杭州龙凤

South Sydney’s fall from grace this season may be the catalyst for Sam Burgess’ expected return, with the English dual international motivated by the challenge of helping the Rabbitohs win another premiership.

After being given time off by Bath coach Mike Ford to consider his playing future, Burgess could finalise a switch back from rugby union to the NRL before his scheduled return to training next Monday and officials from England’s Rugby Football League are believed to be helping with the move.

With Burgess wanting to re-join brothers George and Thomas at Souths and money no real problem for a club in which James Packer and Russell Crowe are owners, the only obstacle to him returning is a release from the remaining two years of his contract with Bath.

Ford is believed to be keen for Burgess to stay and continue his development in the forwards but few clubs will stand in the way of a player who wants to be elsewhere – especially when they could earn up to $1 million compensation, which is the amount Bath reportedly paid the Rabbitohs last year to release Burgess.

The NRL has confirmed that any transfer fee Souths pay Bath will not be included in their salary cap, nor will Burgess become the first player to benefit from the governing body’s ability to centrally contract stars it wants playing in the competition.

As a value will be placed on Burgess by the NRL, the Rabbitohs will have to make some adjustments to their 2016 roster to accommodate him but the departure of star hooker Issac Luke to the Warriors and Glenn Stewart to Catalans means the salary cap won’t pose a significant problem for the club.

Stewart was signed from Manly as a replacement for Burgess but failed to provide the same impact as the 26-year-old, who inspired Souths to their first premiership in 43 years after playing the 2014 grand final with a fractured eye-socket suffered in the opening tackle.

Had the Rabbitohs won back-to-back premierships, it is less likely that Burgess would want to return so soon but after they slumped to seventh place this season he has a desire to take the club back to the pinnacle he helped it reach last year.

The decision of twins, George and Thomas, to extend their contracts with Souths until the end of the 2018 season was viewed as an indication that Sam would return to the club at some stage in the next three years. But Fairfax Media has been told that moves for that to happen immediately hit a wall last week after Bath stood firm in their refusal to release him.

However, Burgess’ future was thrust into the spotlight when he attended last weekend’s league Test between England and France as a special guest of the RFL at the same time Bath were playing Wasps in Coventry. He was photographed sitting alongside England coach Steve McNamara during the record 84-4 win at Leigh Sports Village.

Burgess and his n fiancee Phoebe Hooke were in the same corporate box as RFL chief executive Nigel Wood and sources say they discussed with him and other high-ranking officials his wish to return to the NRL after a frustrating 12-month stint in rugby union, in which he was continually subjected to heavy criticism over his transition to the code as a centre.

With doubt surrounding the future of England coach Stuart Lancaster and backs coach Andy Farrell, who had convinced him to make the switch after the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, Burgess may be without the support of his two most powerful backers at international level next season.

Besides George and Thomas, Burgess’ elder brother Luke and mother Julie also live in Sydney, as does Hooke’s family.

Burgess would be a certain selection for England in next year’s Four Nations and while a stint with Super League premiers Leeds has been ruled out, RFL officials believe his return to league would significantly boost the chances of McNamara’s men winning the World Cup in the following season.

McNamara, who turned down a role as an assistant to Ford at Bath after the 2013 RLWC to join the coaching staff at Sydney Roosters, has a close relationship with Burgess after giving him his Super League debut as a 17-year-old with Bradford in 2006.

However, there is little chance of Burgess joining the Roosters or any other club as a clause in his deed of release from Souths gives the Rabbitohs first option on his services if returned to the NRL.

Gambling credit still available to punters despite Coalition pledge to ban it

Posted on by

Bookies are still able to offer credit to punters, despite a Coalition pledge to ban it. Photo: Erin JonassonOnline bookmakers are still offering thousands of dollars in credit to punters more than two years after the federal Coalition promised to ban the practice because it was contrary to responsible gambling.
杭州龙凤

The August 2013 “Coalition’s Plan to Help Problem Gamblers” policy said responsible gambling was “all about people gambling within their means”.

“Extending lines of credit to gamblers runs contrary to this principle and the Coalition will legislate to prohibit the practice,” the policy stated.

Victorian Liberal MP Alan Tudge​, now an Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Social Services, championed the cause of banning credit betting after a constituent racked up an $80,000 debt with online bookie Sportsbet.

The Wantirna man said he had been lured to the bookmaker by free bets. Sportsbet took him to court to recoup the debt but a settlement was made out of court.

It is illegal in many states, including Victoria, for bookmakers to offer credit to punters but most online gambling companies are registered in the Northern Territory where such a ban does not exist so Victorian punters can still get credit.

Bookmakers can offer credit to a punter to keep betting when they have exhausted funds.

Before the September leadership spill, the federal government announced a review of online gambling laws, to be chaired by former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell.  The focus of the review was on illegal offshore bookmakers.

Mr Tudge told Fairfax Media that banning credit betting would be informed by Mr O’Farrell’s review.

“As a basic protective measure, you cannot get credit at a casino, and nor should you in the online space. It is too much of a conflict of interest for a gambling provider to also be a bank. It can lead to devastating consequences,” Mr Tudge said.

The peak body for financial counsellors in August called for urgent action to be taken against online corporate bookmakers.

“The most appropriate, and the strongest reform, would be to prohibit credit for gambling purposes,” the report said.

The Financial Counselling report Duds, Mugs and the A List, said without a ban government should change credit laws to include sports betting groups.

The n Wagering Council says it understands community concern around credit – what the industry refers to as “deferred settlement facilities” – but said the industry was already highly regulated.

“Any future policies developed to regulate the wagering industry must be evidence-based,” a spokesman said.

The council said that credit should not be offered to punters on an unsolicited basis.

Earlier this month the NT government set up a new code of practice for credit as condition of a bookmaker’s licence. It includes rules that credit can only be sought by the punter, not offered by the bookie.

Credit betting is not the only unfulfilled Coalition problem gambling election pledge.

In a move that enraged gambling reformers the Coalition promised to set up an advisory council made up of representatives from the clubs lobby to meet quarterly with the responsible minister to develop a detailed plan for the roll-out of appropriately targeted counselling and support services.

The states and territories would also be engaged to work on a self-exclusion process, where punters can have themselves banned from pokies venues.

The government is still considering establishing the advisory council and the Victorian government says it has had little correspondence with Canberra on other measures to curtail problem gambling. 

The Turnbull government says the O’Farrell review will investigate the effectiveness of existing protection measures for gamblers, including warnings, information resources and public information campaigns.

The Coalition did quickly fulfil its promise to stop the trial of a mandatory scheme in the ACT which forced gamblers to preset how much they were willing to lose on the pokies before playing.

Instead it pledged to support a national system where punters could opt to preset a limit if they wanted to – the policy said it would talk to the industry on how best to introduce a venue-based system of precommitment.

Hume get kudos for semi but should have stayed in Broady

Posted on by

Hume City did themselves proud in their FFA Cup semi-final clash with A-League champions Melbourne Victory with a fighting display that kept them in the game until the 88th minute, when Victory was held to a slender 1-0 lead.
杭州龙凤

But two goals in the dying minutes of the game gave the big boys a 3-0 advantage, a scoreline that rather flattered them and did not reflect how much trouble the NPL Victoria side gave the A League standard bearers.

The only downside for Hume, which was looking to make this match a money spinner, was the crowd – just on 6,500.

Victory fans, for whom this was an away game, didn’t turn up in anything like the numbers that might have been expected – perhaps saving their cash for the final against Perth Glory, which will be played at AAMI Park on November 7.

Hume, as a NPL club, has a much smaller fan base; many of their supporters did show up and make a lot of noise, creating a good atmosphere.

But the question has to be asked: would this game have been better being played at Hume’s small ABD Stadium at Broadmeadows?

When the team from the northern suburbs first qualified to play Victory there was talk of the match being staged at Etihad Stadium, although that was contingent on Hume being able to sign one or more of a wish list of big name foreign players on a one-off basis.

Had they been able to secure the services of Ronaldinho, Arda Turan, David Trezeguet or Giorgios Karagounis the numbers would undoubtedly have been far greater.

But they didn’t, and there was a feeling, when the adventure ended, that their chances might have been better had they just stuck to their knitting and played the game in their ownenvironment, which would in the circumstances have turned into an anti-Victory fortress.

It is easy to be wise after the event, as  Lou Acevski, the Hume coach, acknowledged.

But he also admitted that his team might have had a better shot at pulling off one of the biggest upsets in the n domestic game had they stayed on their own pitch.

“Playing on your home turf, its small, its compact, I believe it would have been fantastic, but the FFA did not let us do that. The crowd of 6500 has done us no favours; at our place 5000 would have been capacity and the atmosphere would have been fantastic.”

James McDonald ready for ‘the best 15 minutes of Derby Day’ on Exosphere

Posted on by

Out of this world: Jockey James McDonald rides Exosphere to win the Roman Consul Stakes. Photo: bradleyphotos杭州龙凤论坛m.auWizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all RacingFollow our Derby Day tips to find a winner
杭州龙凤

Exosphere has a name that is out of this world and the talent to match but he could quite easily have been something less terrestrial.

Godolphin gatekeeper of names Suzanne Philcox admits the name for the son of Lonhro out of a mare called Altitude caused her more trouble than most.

“I was looking at rising and lifting off but we couldn’t get anything to stick,” she said. “That’s when I went looking to atmosphere and the Greek and this came up; it is quite good for him. The horse makes the name and he has done that.”

The exosphere is actually the outer layer of Earth’s atmosphere.

The colt has certainly been out of this world since turning three – he is unbeaten and the winner of five of seven overall as he heads to Derby day at Flemington, the star of the program.

In Sydney, he won the Run To The Rose and then dominated in the Golden Rose before he blitzed his rivals in record time in the Roman Consul Stakes.

The $1.40 odds bookmakers are offering of another group 1 victory in Saturday’s Coolmore Stud Stakes will probably preclude most from backing the star but they will be able to enjoy it like jockey James McDonald.

The Godolphin-retained jockey rides the majority of the horses for the operation but it is days like Saturday that are special. “When you are involved in the quantity and quality of horse that there are at Godolphin, you are very lucky, but you look forward to the ones that stand out,” McDonald said. “This bloke does. The best thing about him is he is so straightforward to ride, so you can really enjoy it. He is just laid back, after the Golden Rose he was so relaxed that I could get excited and not worry about him being a smart arse and doing something stupid.

“When you get on him it is the best 15 minutes of the day because he is just a machine.”

McDonald will have a busy day at Flemington and other than Exosphere, he will ride Contributer in the Mackinnon Stakes and Etymology in the Victoria Derby for Godolphin, while Fenway will complete his group 1 rides for Lee and Shannon Hope in the Myer Classic.

“She was a nice ride to pick up and if you forget her last run, she is right in it,” McDonald said. “I’m really looking forward to getting back on Contributer, because I haven’t been on him for while.

“I know his form isn’t that great this spring but the bloke who rides his work has told me he has turned the corner in the past couple of weeks and is back like he was in the Sydney autumn.

“If that’s right, we might be in for a good result because they couldn’t beat him in the autumn.”

The ultimate racing guide with the latest information on fields, form, tips, market fluctuations and odds, available on mobile, tablet and desktop.

People-smuggler cash scandal: Indonesian MP calls for China to abandon push-back policy

Posted on by

Police officers displaying six stacks of $US100 bills during a press conference by Nusa Tenggara Timur police chief Endang Sunjaya at Rote police station in June. Photo: Supplied Jasmine, one of two boats which asylum seekers claim they were transferred onto by n Border Force after being intercepted. Photo: Amnesty International
杭州龙凤

Cash Indonesia police said was paid to people smugglers.

Push for royal commission into people smuggler cash scandalPeople smuggler cash: boat captain speaksHow events unfolded

Jakarta: A member of President Joko Widodo’s ruling party has called on the Indonesian government to “send a strong protest” after a report found n officials paid people smugglers to return to Indonesia.

Charles Honoris​, a member of the Indonesian House of Representatives, also renewed calls for to abandon its controversial boat push-back policy and said he hoped the n government would be more transparent under the new Prime Minister.

“Foreign Minister Retno [Marsudi] has demanded an explanation on the June incident but got no response,” said Mr Honoris, a member of Mr Joko’s Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP).

“The Foreign Minister must demand it again, especially after the release of the Amnesty International report. The Indonesian government must send a strong protest to the n government so that it will not recur in the future.”

The Amnesty International report said n officials who paid people smugglers to return a boat of asylum seekers to Indonesia had committed a transnational crime, put dozens of lives at risk and called for a royal commission into the scandal.

Mr Honoris also proposed a joint investigation into the people smuggling payments between Indonesia and .

“Now there is a new prime minister in we hope the government will be transparent in this particular case. They have to explain what happened and I think it is time for them to abandon the boat push-back policy. I am sure the payment to boat crews – if the Amnesty International report is accurate – is something that is even against n law, let alone international law.”

The n government maintained its defence of Operation Sovereign Borders on Thursday. Asked whether n officials had committed international crimes by paying people smugglers, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that “all of our agencies operate within the law and they operate within the law keeping our borders secure”.

He would not be drawn on whether to establish a new inquiry into the matter, saying the government was satisfied its agencies were operating legally. “We have got a very important role to ensure that we stop people smuggling. People smuggling is a very, very serious crime.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop rejected the report outright. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said that people intercepted by the n Border Force and Defence Force were “held lawfully in secure, safe, humane, and appropriate conditions … to suggest otherwise, as Amnesty has done, is to cast a slur on the men and women of the ABF and ADF.”

He told n radio station 2GB the government would not “water down” its policy of turning back asylum seeker boats.

Shadow Immigration Minister Richard Marles urged the government to immediately say whether the allegations were true: “The n community deserves to be told whether this government has used taxpayer money to pay people smugglers to turn boats around at sea.”

General Endang Sunjaya, the police chief of Nusa Tenggara Timur province who oversaw the investigation into the people smuggler payments, said n officials put the lives of asylum seekers in danger.

He also told Fairfax Media that put Indonesia in a disadvantaged position because it now had to assist and process “abundant numbers of illegal immigrants”.

General Endang said n officials had paid the captain and crew and then returned the asylum seekers in boats that lacked adequate navigational systems and fuel.

“They were turned back with less than minimal safety,” he said.

“It endangered the people and as they approached Landu Island they were stranded and ran out of fuel and food supplies. This is [something that ] needs to be fully aware of – it put the illegal immigrants in danger. and Indonesia need to sit down and thoroughly discuss these issues to ensure no country is put at a disadvantage.”

General Endang said Indonesian police had proved the existence of bribes to people smugglers in June. But he said that while the Amnesty International report had mentioned possible payments to people smugglers on a second boat in July, Nusa Tenggara Timur police had found no evidence of this.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Arrmanatha Nasir, said the government would study the Amnesty International report.

“The Indonesian position is clear that successfully handling irregular migrants takes co-operation and commitment between countries of origin, transit and destination.”

He said Indonesia remained opposed to ‘s boat push-back policy.

The head of n National University’s College of Law, Professor Don Rothwell, said that Indonesia was unlikely to pursue the range of legal options it had on ‘s alleged breaches of international law: “[Indonesia has] been in possession of these facts for a very long period of time now, yet it’s chosen to deal with the matter by diplomatic means.”

Amnesty International said in its report that n officials had breached the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land Sea and Air. Under the protocol, Indonesia could engage in a range of dispute resolutions, but all rely on ‘s co-operation to go ahead, including the option of suing at the International Court of Justice.

International law experts said that more than the current Senate inquiry was needed to deal with the allegations domestically. Sydney University international law Professor Ben Saul backed the report’s recommendation for a royal commission, saying the inquiry did not have the power to deal with classified evidence without prejudicing security operations.

“At least you’d get an independent quasi-judicial scrutiny of what’s going on,” he said. “It could say this is legitimate or make recommendations against the practice but at the moment that can’t happen because a parliamentary inquiry is limited to scrutinising technical matters of the regime without fundamentally questioning the policy premises.”

Professor Rothwell said a royal commission was “premature”, but, given the government had consistently refused to discuss a range of issues raised on asylum seekers and Operation Sovereign Borders, “it is fair to say that even parliamentary inquiries are unable to fully determine the truth of some of these matters”.

Follow Jewel Topsfield on Facebook

Follow FairfaxForeign on Twitter

Follow FairfaxForeign on Facebook

Unique International College: Students allegedly paid cash to go into $25,000 debt

Posted on by

The house bought by Unique International College and its owner Amarjhit Khela. Unique International College in Granville.
杭州龙凤

The Kenthurst property formerly owned by Unique International College. Photo: Domain

Follow SMH Student on FacebookCrackdown on Sydney private college recruiting ‘illiterate and disabled students’Living the high life: Unique College International’s Amarjit Khela

A private Sydney college allegedly paid students up to $2000 to sign documents they could not read in order to take out Commonwealth loans of up to $25,000, according to students targeted by the school.

The Unique International College came under scrutiny this week for its allegedly “unconscionable conduct” in poor rural areas targeting disabled and illiterate students in remote Aboriginal communities.

Fairfax Media can reveal that large groups of students in Sydney’s west were also allegedly brought into the one-room campus en masse to sign up to courses they did not understand they were taking and clock up debts of up to $25,000.

Despite being pursued by the n Competition and Consumer Commission for $57 million in taxpayer funding, the college above Silly Willy’s $2 shop in Granville continues to operate.

When Fairfax Media contacted the college on Thursday an employee said it was business as usual for its diplomas in marketing and hairdressing.

Its founder and CEO, Amarjit Khela, a multi-millionaire with a penchant for one-tonne chandeliers, sherry scotch and 12-car garages, has gone into hiding.

“I am quiet because of legal advice but I am not dead,” the man known as “bhaji” wrote to friends on Thursday.

“I shall speak with solid evidence when the time is ripe. I do not blame my brothers who have hurt me.  For them I say that the insult of a kaffir is better than the false praise of a believer. May God spread happiness and kheer [an Indian sweet milk drink] in the homes of all.”

The college’s registration was cancelled in October after it received $42 million in Commonwealth funding despite only 2.4 per cent of its more than 800 students completing courses.

Jeff Tan told the Herald his aunt was allegedly offered $2000 in four $500 payments by Unique to sign a form she could not read that would force her into a course she had no hope of completing.

Her signature would have accrued her a taxpayer-funded debt of $25,000 that was paid to the college for 20 weeks of a Diploma of Salon management course.

“My aunt does not even understand English,” said Mr Tan. “Big groups of people would come into the centre in Granville, they would say they do not speak English and the sales agents would tell them ‘don’t worry about it,’ just sign these forms and you get $2000.”

Students who signed up for the course were then offered a $500 bonus if they referred a friend to take up one of the colleges courses, said Mr Tan.

In May last year fights broke out at a promotional day for the college to sign up students for management, hairdressing or marketing courses as demand outstripped the number of free laptops being used as inducements.

A submission to a Senate committee inquiry into the private college sector from the Canterbury Bankstown Migrant Interagency detailed cash inducements being offered to elderly residents to take out VET-FEE loans in 2014.

“They were each offered a free computer/iPad or $1000 cash by taking out the loan. They were told there was no need to come to class, but if they wish, they could come and free lunch will be offered,” the submission said.

Mr Tan said that during 2013 the college would send out recruiters throughout Asian communities in Auburn, Campsie and Hurstville and news of the bonuses and payments would spread by word of mouth.

The day after his aunt signed up for the course, Mr Tan realised she had unwittingly committed herself to tens of thousand of dollars worth of debt.

The University of NSW student raced down to the Granville office where another group of would-be Unique students were waiting to be signed up and withdrew her paperwork just before it was submitted.

“I think they never intended people to study, it is just a profit-making machine,” the 20-year-old said.

Unique generated a profit of $11 million before tax last year out of taxpayer funded VET-FEE Help loans, but Mr Tan said that learning resources were scarce.

“It was very basic. There was only one main room that was fairly small. The centre could never accommodate that many students who were enrolling to join, my aunt was told you don’t really have to study.”

Statistics posted online by the college claim that business was booming at the time, growing from 500 students in 2012 to more than 800 by 2013.

“In our history so far, despite the others trying to harm us, we always focused on spending our energy, time and resources on continually improving ourselves, rather than wasting time and energy on trying to harm the others” the college wrote in May 2013.

Mr Khela has promised to strenuously defend the actions of the college for operating within Commonwealth legislative frameworks.

The school has until November 23 to appeal ASQA’s decision to cancel its registration. ASQA cancelled the Unique’s registration after it found the college to be non-compliant with training standards and engaged in inappropriate marketing practices.

Mike Baird apologies to Fairbridge Farm School victims in NSW Parliament

Posted on by

NSW Premier Mike Baird. Photo: Peter RaePremier Mike Baird struggled to speak as he apologised to former child migrants who were physically and sexually assaulted at the notorious Fairbridge Farm School in the state’s central west.
杭州龙凤

The school was home to more than 1200 underprivileged children, some as young as four, who had been sent from their homes in England.

Mr Baird’s delivered his touching apology at state parliament on Thursday afternoon, causing the entire lower house to stand and applause.

“I am deeply, deeply sorry,” he said.

“On behalf of the State of NSW, I want to recognise all former child migrants who attended Fairbridge Farm in Molong, NSW.

“They arrived here as vulnerable and trusting children whose parents wanted nothing more than a better life than the one they could offer.”

In June this year, more than 60 adults who were abused as children, were awarded $24 million in what was the largest compensation payment for survivors of institutional child abuse in n legal history.

Former ABC managing director David Hill was a former resident and wrote about the experience in his book The Forgotten Children.

“They were not given the future they were promised, or the childhood they deserved,” Mr Baird said.

“They were betrayed by the people whose job it was to protect them, and were betrayed by this State which did not ensure their safety.

“I recognise these wrongs, knowing that it will not bring back the childhood they were robbed of.

“I acknowledge the burden many of them carry each and every day as a result of their experiences.”

An estimated 130,000 children were taken from the UK and sent to , New Zealand, Canada and Zimbabwe as part of the British child migration scheme.

More than 1200 were sent to the Fairbridge Farm School, which operated from 1938 to 1974.

The former residents were kept in primitive barracks, often starved, exploited for their labour, cruelly punished and sexually assaulted.

1 2 3 4 5 13 14