Wales’ most wanted man: Police chase new leads on Mohammed Ali Ege


Police hunting a fugitive wanted in connection with the 2010 murder of a 17-year-old boy in south Wales are following up new information.

Aamir Siddiqi was hacked to death at his home in Cardiff 11 years ago after his killers went to the wrong house.

Mohammed Ali Ege, 43, fled to India before detectives in Wales could arrest him in connection with the murder.

South Wales Police say he is Wales’ most wanted man and released new images of him earlier this week.

Mr Ege was arrested in India in 2011 on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.

But he escaped custody in 2017 while in a New Delhi railway station toilet as police officers prepared to extradite him back to the UK.

Officers said the pictures of Mr Ege, who is from the Riverside area of Cardiff, were taken while he was in custody in 2013 and they were released earlier this week with an appeal for information.

It comes 11 years after Aamir was murdered in front of his parents as he waited for his Quran teacher at his home in Roath.

“Information has been received as a result of a recent public appeal and South Wales Police wishes to thank those individuals who have taken the time to make contact,” South Wales Police said in a statement.

Jason Richards and Ben Hope were jailed for a minimum of 40 years in 2013.

The pair had been paid £1,000 by a businessman, angry over a collapsed property deal, to kill a father-of-four who lived in a neighbouring street.

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Masters 2021: Hideki Matsuyama leads from Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele at Augusta National


-11 H Matsuyama (Jpn); -7 X Schauffele (US), M Leishman (Aus), J Rose (Eng), W Zalatoris (US); -6 C Conners (Can); -5 J Spieth (US); -4 B Harman (US)
Selected others: -2 R MacIntyre (Sco); +1 M Laird (Sco), T Fleetwood (Eng), M Fitzpatrick (Eng), M Wallace (Eng); +3 I Poulter (Eng), T Hatton (Eng); +4 P Casey (Eng)

Hideki Matsuyama shot a 65 on Saturday to take a four-shot lead into the final day of the Masters as he aims to become the first Japanese man to win a major.

The 29-year-old posted the first bogey-free round at Augusta National this week to leapfrog England’s Justin Rose into top spot and lead on 11 under.

Overnight leader Rose scrambled to a 72 and is one of four at seven under.

Americans Xander Schauffele and Will Zalatoris and Australia’s Marc Leishman are also tied with Rose.

Schauffele had four birdies, an eagle and two bogeys in his 68, while Leishman had four birdies in his 70.

Jordan Spieth, the 2015 champion, is two further back after recovering from a double bogey at seven to make a level-par 72 that leaves him at five under.

Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, on his Masters debut, sits at two under par in joint 10th after a second successive 70, trading six birdies with four bogeys.

“When the wind calmed down you could kind of get at it. I am happy enough with the last couple of days’ play,” said the 24-year-old.

World number two Justin Thomas began the day three shots back but endured a difficult round in which he made four bogeys and a triple-bogey eight at 13 to slip to one under par.

Play was suspended for more than an hour on Saturday because of a storm passing through Georgia.

Matsuyama makes his move

Matsuyama posted rounds of 69 and 71 to keep himself within touching distance heading into the weekend and he started the day three off the pace set by Rose.

The world number 25 made a steady start with pars on his opening six holes before a birdie at seven preceded an impressive run.

With Rose dropping shots at the fourth and fifth, the former world number two carded two successive birdies on 11 and 12 to move into a share of the lead with the Englishman.

That became a three-way tie for top spot when Zalatoris, playing in the final pairing alongside Rose, birdied the 10th.

Schauffele briefly made it four players in a share of the lead with an eagle at the par-five 15th, only for Rose to birdie 12 moments later and edge clear again at eight under.

But it was Matsuyama who jumped into the outright lead seconds later with an eagle of his own at the 15th to go nine under.

Matsuyama, who has occupied a top-10 spot entering the final round of a major on eight previous occasions, extended his lead to two after landing his tee shot at the par-three 16th four feet from the pin, before prodding in for birdie.

He stretched that advantage to three shots with a 10-foot birdie putt at 17, and made a smart up-and-down to save par on 18 and set the clubhouse lead.

Matsuyama, who has two top-10 finishes at Augusta National, becomes the first Japanese player to lead a round at the Masters.

“Before the horn blew I didn’t hit a very good drive but after the restart I hit practically every shot exactly how I wanted to,” he said after playing the last eight holes in six under par.

“It will be a new experience for me, being a leader going into the final round of a major. All I can do is relax, prepare well and do my best.”

Rose scrambles to stay in touch

Justin Rose has led a round at the Masters on seven previous occasions

Rose’s struggles during the opening two rounds had come in the first seven holes, while he had not made a bogey on either day beyond that.

The 40-year-old made a birdie-birdie start on Saturday before being pegged back with successive bogeys on four and five, but it meant he still held a one-stroke lead when the hooter sounded while he was on the seventh green.

An hour and 18 minutes later, the Englishman returned and completed the front nine with a run of pars.

Rose looked to be in trouble on 11 after finding the trees down the right and then the bunker, but chipped out to within a foot for a tap-in par and then made birdie at 12.

He made two excellent pars on the 14th and 15th holes after hitting his approach shots through the green.

The two-time Masters runner-up dropped back to seven under when he bogeyed 16 but finished with two more scrambling pars, including holing a 10-foot putt on the last, to keep himself in contention.

“It was a tricky day, when the storm was approaching it was really windy,” said Rose. “When we came back out it felt there was a period of time to make a score, but then the greens slowed up a lot.

“There was definitely some tricky moments out there. I had to work hard and after 12 holes I thought I was in a nice spot. Hideki hit the jets and I hit the brakes a bit, that was the difference.

“A lot is to do with how Hideki plays, but there is a big chasing pack waiting. We are in a good spot.”

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IPL 2021, Cricket Australia, fixtures, squads, preview, auction prices: Glenn Maxwell leads Indian Premier League Aussies


A group of 16 Australians valued at almost A$18 million are set to take the Indian Premier League by storm when the lucrative cricket franchise starts again on Saturday (AEST).

Some enter the competition with the burden of justifying hefty price tags weighing on their shoulders, others have a point to prove after being snapped up at comparatively dirt cheap prices.

Meanwhile, the T20 World Cup, being held in India from October, is just on the horizon.

There could be no better audition for selection than this year’s IPL.

These are the 16 Australians participating in the IPL, including the five players to look out for.

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Keppel Prince boilermaker leads last-ditch effort to save mates’ wind farm jobs


When boilermaker Dean Wombwell packs his bag and flies to Canberra next week, he’ll be thinking of 42 mates back home who just lost their jobs. 

Mr Wombwell is a second-generation steel worker, plying his trade building wind farm components for Keppel Prince Engineering in Portland, about four hours west of Melbourne. 

Keppel Prince is mainland Australia’s only wind turbine manufacturer, and a point of pride for those who ply their trade in the coastal town, otherwise known for its whales and industrial shipping port. 

In many ways, Mr Wombwell is one of the lucky ones. 

He didn’t lose his job when the company made 42 positions, or roughly 15 per cent of its staff, redundant late last month because of supply concerns.

But he’s worried that round of cuts could be the first of many.

The winds of change

Keppel Prince says about 150 jobs are on the line at its Portland factory unless the federal government brings in new laws to force companies to use local products when building new wind farms. 

Their latest gripe is with Danish company Vestas, which secured the contract to build the 218MW Ryan Corner wind farm near Port Fairy in south-west Victoria, which will provide more than half its power to the federal government’s Snow Hydro 2.0.

After hours of lobbying, the Keppel Prince workers were able to secure a meeting with representatives from Danish company Vestas(

Supplied: AMWU

)

Dozens of steelworkers rallied outside Vestas’ Melbourne office this week, demanding a meeting to discuss the impact the company’s decision to use cheaper imported components was having on the town of Portland and its workers. 

And after hours of chants, progress was made: they secured a meeting.

Mr Wombwell, along with some union delegates, will travel to Canberra next week for a meeting with Vestas bosses.

“I’m just trying to stand behind our blokes after seeing the devastating affect it had on the community and the Portland families of the 40 that were made redundant,” he said.  

Vestas has previously procured towers from Keppel Prince and has indicated it’s open to working with the company again.

A company spokesperson confirmed they’d been invited by federal trade minister and Wannon MP Dan Tehan to meet with the relevant unions and company representatives. 

“Vestas’ preference is to work with local suppliers and manufacturers where possible. However, we do not compromise our expectations on safety, quality, reliability, timeframe and cost to do so,” a spokesperson said. 

“Vestas will source transportation, crane work and installation services from local suppliers. In addition, the long-term maintenance and operation of Ryan Corner Wind Farm will create a number of local jobs. “

How did it get to this?  

Keppel Prince and the Australian Manufacturers Workers Union are pleading with the federal government to order Vestas to use local products at the proposed farm at Ryan Corner. 

Mr Tehan has also expressed his disappointment in the company’s decision not to contract Keppel Prince, and reached out to Vestas, whilst also meeting with a team from Portland in Canberra earlier last month. 

The unions believe this issue could have been headed off at the pass. 

A wind energy turbine
A Vestas windfarm turbine in Macarthur in western Victoria.(

Supplied: Vestas Wind Systems A/S

)

“The Morrison government should include local content requirements in every contract that it signs,” AMWU secretary Steve Murphy said.

“It is effectively underwriting this project through its contracts to purchase power for the Snowy Hydro 2.0 scheme.

The Victorian government forces companies that build new wind farms under state-backed projects to use local companies and product for the majority of content  — something Keppel Prince has benefited from previously. 

Implementing a national version of this scheme would bring security to Portland’s workforce, unions believe. 

A group of workers in yellow workwear
Federal member for Wannon, Dan Tehan, met with Keppel Prince workers and union delegates in Canberra in March(

Supplied: AMWU

)

For Dean Wombwell, the fight’s a simple one. 

It’s about sticking up for his mates, and proving that the work they do stands up on a global scale. 

“It’s just so important for Vestas to see that we matter, we’re only a small community of 10,000 people,” he said. 

“It’s It’s a simple task to change the direction that it’s going in.

“And I believe with the action that we’re taking has definitely been noticed. And it’s definitely been highlighted that it needs to change.”

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Harry McKay leads Carlton Blues to win over Fremantle Dockers


Football’s ghouls came to Marvel Stadium on Sunday. They were on the train home by half-time. Things would have been hurtling towards panic stations at Carlton had the Blues lost to middling Fremantle, but the crisis was averted and definitively so. Carlton were the better side pretty much from the outset, although first-quarter inaccuracy kept the Dockers in touch.

The pressure valve was released though after a dominant second quarter from David Teague’s men, which provided a glimpse of what is possible this year at Ikon Park. It took Fremantle until past the halfway point of the second term to register their first inside 50 for the quarter as Carlton controlled every line. By the long break the margin was 35, stretching beyond 10 goals during the third term before Freo belatedly stemmed the tide.

Liam Jones was like one of the towels you see advertised on a late-night infomercial, absorbing every drop spluttered by a sickly Dockers side. Lachie Fogarty – the lowest-profile of Carlton’s trio of trade and free agency recruits last year – was outstanding; a hive of activity both with and without the ball. Sam Walsh was typically excellent, while Patrick Cripps was battered but unbowed responding defiantly to those who questioned whether he could still star in the modern game.

Most damaging of all however was Harry McKay. Helped by his side’s territorial dominance, McKay monstered an undersized Fremantle backline, making mincemeat of Brennan Cox as he raced past his previous career-high of four goals en route to seven. Had it not been for sloppy finishing, he could well have become the second player to reach double figures at the ground for the weekend.

On point: Harry McKay. Credit:Getty Images

For Fremantle, it was a harsh reality check. Without captain Nat Fyfe – missing through concussion – the Dockers looked rudderless. Not that it mattered in the grand scheme of the game, but they also ended the match down to just 21 fit men, with Hayden Young (hamstring) and Lachlan Schultz (head knock) both worse for wear. It’s doubtful Fremantle have played worse in Justin Longmuir’s still relatively short tenure.

WORTH THE WAIT

This moment had been a long time coming. After six seasons away in Adelaide, and then another in which Victorian Blues fans couldn’t watch in person, the faithful were made to wait an extra couple of weeks to see Eddie Betts in the flesh. But like the great showman he is, Betts – in his 200th match for Carlton – delivered the day’s piece de resistance when he dribbled home from deep in the forward pocket late in the second quarter. It was like watching a legendary rock band perform a favourite hit years after their peak, the notes sounding all the sweeter for the years in exile and the knowledge that this is the start of the farewell tour.

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Canadian Screen Awards: Schitt’s Creek leads nominations for 3rd year running


Well into its third year of topping awards shows, comedy Schitt’s Creek led the nominations for this year’s Canadian Screen Awards with 21 nods. 

The show, which saw its sixth and final season run last year, also topped the CSA nominations list in 2020 and shared the honour with Anne with an E in 2019. It swept the comedy category at the Emmys in September, and last month won the Golden Globe for best comedy while star Catherine O’Hara took home the award for best actress.

At the CSAs, the show is competing for best writing and best direction for a comedy, as well as best comedy series. Father-son duo Dan and Eugene Levy are up for best lead actor in a comedy, while Annie Murphy and Catherine O’Hara are up for best lead actress.

The Schitt’s Creek nominations were among a a number of honours given to departing shows. CTV’s Cardinal, which broadcast its fourth and final season last year, had the second-most nods with 15 and tied with CBC’s ill-fated Trickster — which was cancelled earlier this year after its first season.

Best comedy series

  • Baroness Von Sketch Show
  • Kim’s Convenience
  • Letterkenny
  • Schitt’s Creek
  • Workin’ Moms

Kim’s Convenience, the long-running Canadian sitcom, took home 11 nominations for the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards. (CBC Gem)

Slightly further down the list was Kim’s Convenience with 11 nods — it is also nominated for best comedy and best comedy writing and direction, while stars Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Jean Yoon are up for best lead actor and actress. 

The sitcom is broadcasting its final season this year, though two of its other stars — Nicole Power and Andrew Phung — will appear in their own new, half-hour original comedies. Those are set to launch during the upcoming 2021-22 broadcast season.

Phung is nominated for best supporting actor in a comedy series for his work on Kim’s Convenience.

Best lead actress, TV comedy

  • Jean Yoon, Kim’s Convenience
  • Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
  • Dani Kind, Workin’ Moms
  • Catherine Reitman, Workin’ Moms

Best lead actor, TV comedy

  • Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim’s Convenience
  • Jared Keeso, Letterkenny
  • Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek

Also up for 11 awards, including best comedy, is Workin’ Moms, while Baroness Von Sketch Show is in the running for six. 

Blood Quantum, a horror flick about a zombie uprising on a First Nations reserve, topped the film nominations with 10 nods, including best original screenplay, best actor for lead star Michael Greyeyes and achievement in visual effects.

Despite that, the film was not nominated for best motion picture.

Forrest Goodluck, Michael Greyeyes and Kiowa Gordon appear in a scene from Jeff Barnaby’s sophomore feature film Blood Quantum. The film is up for 10 awards at the 2021 CSAs. (Elevation Pictures)

That honour did go to Funny Boy — director Deepa Mehta’s adaptation of the novel of the same name — about a Tamil young man coming of age during the Sri Lankan civil war. 

The film, which is nominated in nine categories at the CSAs, was originally Canada’s submission to the Oscars for best international film, though it was later rejected by the Academy for falling short of their language requirements.. 

Best motion picture

  • Beans
  • Funny Boy
  • Nadia, Butterfly
  • The Nest
  • Souterrain (Underground)

Best original screenplay

  • Charles Officer, Wendy Brathwaite, Akilla’s Escape
  • Jeff Barnaby, Blood Quantum
  • Evan Morgan, The Kid Detective
  • Sean Durkin, The Nest
  • Sophie Dupuis, Souterrain (Underground)

Before its rejection, the film stirred controversy for a lack of Tamil actors in its core cast, as well as what Mehta herself called a “dodgy” representation of the Tamil language. Mehta said the actors’ voices were later re-recorded, and the film showed up among 366 eligible for best picture at the Oscars — the highest number in 50 years.

Charles Officer’s crime drama Akilla’s Escape scooped up eight nods, though it was also left off the best motion picture list. It was followed by the Oka Crisis-inspired Beans and rape-revenge thriller Violation with five nods each.

The last two films garnered their directors — Tracey Deer and co-directors Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli respectively — nominations for the John Dunning best first feature film award. 

Actors Saul Williams and Donisha Prendergast are shown in this undated handout photo from the film Akilla’s Escape. It is nominated for eight awards, including a best actor nod for Williams. (Toronto International Film Festival/The Canadian Press)

The awards moved to a digital format last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced awards shows to impose social distancing guidelines. The live gala events were cancelled and the announcement of winners postponed, in a move that organizers said would likely cause a “disastrous” financial fallout

This year’s awards will take place from May 17-20, as part of a seven-part, genre-based series of presentations streamed from www.academy.ca as well as the Canadian Academy Twitter and YouTube channels. 

The main event, which will feature a “curated selection of prominent awards,” will stream live on May 20 at 8:00 pm ET. 


Select 2021 nominees:

Best lead actress, drama series

  • Kristin Kreuk, Burden of Truth
  • Karine Vanasse, Cardinal
  • Vinessa Antoine, Diggstown
  • Crystle Lightning, Trickster
  • Melanie Scrofano, Wynonna Earp

Best lead actor, TV drama series

  • Peter Mooney, Burden of Truth
  • Billy Campbell, Cardinal
  • Roger Cross, Coroner
  • Hamza Haq, Transplant
  • Joel Oulette, Trickster

Joel Oulette, left, appears in a scene from Trickster. Though the show was cancelled after just one season, Oulette is up for an award for best lead actor in a drama series. (CBC)

Best performing arts program

  • La Bohème
  • FreeUp! Emancipation Day Special
  • Othello
  • We’re Funny That Way: The Virtual Pride Special

Best documentary program

  • Company Town
  • Finding Sally
  • Hockey Mom
  • The Internet of Everything
  • They Call Me Dr. Miami

Best history documentary program or series

  • Cheating Hitler: Surviving the Holocaust
  • Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • Fight to the Finish
  • Unabomber: In His Own Words
  • Witches of Salem

Baroness Von Sketch Show starring Carolyn Taylor, Aurora Browne, Meredith MacNeill and Jennifer Whalen in a witch sketch from the show’s final season. All four are nominated for the best sketch comedy show and ensemble performance category. (Jackie Brown)

Best sketch comedy show & ensemble performance

  • Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne, Jennifer Whalen, Baroness Von Sketch Show
  • Cathy Jones, Mark Critch, Susan Kent, Trent McClellan, This Hour has 22 Minutes
  • Maggie Cassella, Katie Rigg, Carolyn Taylor, Gavin Crawford, Lea DeLaria, Colin Mochrie, Kinley Mochrie, Deb McGrath, We’re Funny That Way: The Virtual Pride Special

Best performance, children’s or youth

  • Lilly Bartlam, Detention Adventure
  • Simone Miller Castoro-Qualizza, Detention Adventure
  • Tomaso Sanelli, Detention Adventure
  • Saara Chaudry, Dino Dana
  • Ruby Jay, Holly Hobbie

Best local newscast

  • CBC Vancouver News at 6
  • CityNews at 6
  • CTV: News Toronto at 6
  • Global News BC

Best news anchor, national

  • Melissa Ridgen, Dennis Ward, APTN National News
  • Andrew Chang, Adrienne Arsenault, Ian Hanomansing, CBC News: The National
  • Lisa LaFlamme, CTV: National News with Lisa LaFlamme
  • Dawna Friesen, Global National

Best news anchor, local

  • Debra Arbec, CBC Montreal News at 6
  • Tom Murphy, Amy Smith, CBC Nova Scotia News
  • Dwight Drummond, CBC Toronto News at 6
  • Chris Ensing, CBC Windsor News at 6
  • Michelle Dubé, Nathan Downer, CTV: News Toronto at 6

Donald Brittain award for best social/political documentary program

  • 9/11 Kids
  • Above the Law
  • Assholes: A Theory
  • Meat the Future
  • The Walrus and the Whistleblower

Brandon Ingram, left, and Rehan Mudannayake appear in a scene from Funny Boy. The film is nominated for nine awards, including best adapted screenplay. (Vidur Bharatram)

Best adapted screenplay

  • Taylor Olson, Bone Cage
  • Patrick deWitt, French Exit
  • Shyam Selvadurai, Deepa Mehta, Funny Boy
  • Catherine Léger, Goddess of the Fireflies | La déesse des mouches à feu
  • Johnny Darrell, Andrew Duncan, Loretta Sarah Todd, Monkey Beach

Best performance by an actor in a leading role, film

  • Saul Williams, Akilla’s Escape
  • Michael Greyeyes, Blood Quantum
  • Alex Wolff, Castle in the Ground
  • Lance Henriksen, Falling
  • Joakim Robillard, Souterrain (Underground)

Best performance by an actress in a leading role, film

  • Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit
  • Carrie Coon, The Nest
  • Carmen Moore, Rustic Oracle
  • Rosalie Pépin, Vacarme
  • Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Violation

Best national newscast

  • APTN National News
  • CBC News: The National
  • CTV: National News with Lisa LaFlamme
  • Global National

Best news or information program

  • APTN: Nation to Nation – Stopping the Ripple
  • CBC News: the fifth estate – The Autopsy (Part 1)
  • CBC News: The National – January 8, 2020
  • CBC Vancouver: Unmasking Racism
  • W5: The Invisible Man

A complete list of nominees in all categories is available at academy.ca.

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Former Labor MP Kate Ellis leads group of female politicians lifting lid on ‘toxic workplace culture’ in Parliament House


It was a cause for celebration when 30-year-old Kate Ellis was appointed as the youngest Australian to ever become a federal minister. But within 18 months things had turned ugly and her career was on the line.

In November 2009 she found herself in the “ridiculous” position of telling a national newspaper editor, “I promise I’ve never even kissed him,” as she pleaded for her political life.

“I still cringe when I think how pathetic it was that I was begging,” she says.

She says weaponised gossip in Parliament House and a rumour that she and her female chief of staff were both having a sexual relationship with a male adviser in their office “was everywhere”.

A major newspaper was going to print the story that the alleged love triangle was “destabilising” the government.

If published, she knew it would be career ending. “I would be labelled as a slut and as someone who isn’t really up for the job,” Ms Ellis tells Australian Story.

Not only was there “zero” truth to the rumour, Ms Ellis also says the inside knowledge of the workings of her office meant the story could only have originated from within her own party. “The only reason was to undermine me,” she says.

The pleas worked and the newspaper editor agreed not to publish, but there was no cause for celebration knowing: “Someone was actively fabricating a story to make sure that it looked like I was some flippant floozy who wasn’t really serious about the job that I’d been promoted to do.”

Ms Ellis suspects the sex rumours originated from inside her own party.(

AAP: Stefan Postles

)

During her tenure as a minister, Ms Ellis was credited with introducing national quality standards for childcare and finalising the national plan to end violence against women and children. But she says throughout her career she and her female colleagues faced harassment, sexual slurs and destructive gossip designed to stop them being politically effective.

Now they’ve had enough.

It wasn’t until Ms Ellis left politics in 2019 that she realised how “toxic” the culture in Parliament House had been.

“It’s really strange how when you leave the parliament and re-enter normal life that you slowly start to realise how the rest of the world operates,” she says.

“Things that I used to accept were part of the job are really not OK.”.

She decided to reach out to other women — MPs and staffers across the political spectrum — to compare notes, and what came to light “would horrify the public”.

The stories tell a tale of systemic inequality, sexism, casual misogyny and sexual harassment.

“Focus on physical appearance is much greater for women, focus on their private lives, issues around motherhood, slut-shaming, personal attacks, rumours and gossip used to undermine women in a way men don’t have to face to the same extent in parliament,” Ms Ellis says.

“It makes it harder for you to actually focus on doing your job. There’s this casual misogyny that shows up in a whole range of ways.

“People are rewarded in politics for bad behaviour. If you undermine someone, then you’re more likely to be promoted.”

Kate Ellis
Ms Ellis says constant derogatory comments interfered with her ability to do her job.(

AAP: Alan Porritt)

)

‘How many blokes have you f***ed’

Ms Ellis was 27 when she was first elected to parliament in the 2004 federal election. In 2007 she eclipsed Paul Keating’s achievement, becoming the youngest Australian government minister when then-prime minister Kevin Rudd appointed her minister for youth and minister for sport.

“I know that would have put a lot of noses out of joint and so it’s probably no surprise that there were people who wanted to undermine me,” Ms Ellis says.

“We just had this great election result which meant that we had a backbench brimming with people with ambition.

“You can only get promoted when there’s a vacancy and some people might think it helps to hurry along those vacancies.”

Over the course of her 15 years in parliament, she would take on the ministries of early childhood education, sport and the status of women, among others.

She says she never spoke to other women about the sexism she was facing.

“You don’t want to have a focus on, ‘Hey, do you know who thinks I’m a stupid bimbo? Who thinks I’ve slept with half the parliament? Do you know who is spreading rumours that I was caught naked in the prayer room?'” she says.

But gendered stereotyping and gibes were a constant throughout her political life, beginning from day one.

“I’d only been an MP for a couple of weeks and we were out for drinks and this Liberal staffer quite aggressively just said, ‘Kate, the only thing anyone wants to know about you is just how many blokes you f***ed in order to get into parliament.’

Just the fact that he came up and said that to my face when I was an elected MP and he was a staff member, that he still had the confidence to do that,” she says.

Former Labor MP Kate Ellis speaks with Sentor Sarah Hanson-Young
Ms Ellis interviews Senator Hanson-Young as part of her research for a new book exposing life as a woman in politics.(

Australian Story: Olivia Rousset

)

When she first came to politics, Ellis says most of the MPs were men, most of the senior staff were men, and all of the factional powerbrokers were men.

“I remember being a young staff member and being hit on by MPs,” she says. “That wasn’t uncommon.”

“But I know of much worse stories. Certainly when I was a staffer and a volunteer, I saw a lot of things but I also heard allegations of what I’d call serious sexual assault and misconduct from an elected Labor MP.

“This is something that isn’t new. We’ve seen a number of stories recently, but I suspect that there are hundreds and hundreds more.”

Now that Ms Ellis has left politics and “taken off her armour”, she is ready to add to the national conversation around women in Canberra by penning the stories of high-profile current and former female politicians in a new book, Sex, Lies and Question Time.

“I just wasn’t quite sure what I was going to hear,” Ms Ellis says. “Every conversation just started to build this picture that there is something seriously wrong in Parliament House.”

Former prime minister Julia Gillard spoke to Ms Ellis about her arrival in parliament and her naivety in thinking that it would quickly develop into a place of gender equality.

“I was a student at Adelaide University when I first woke to feminism, and if you’d said to me then, ‘When is there going to be a gender-equal world?’ I would have said, ‘Oh, you know, 10, 15 years’ time, no problems,’ but I was wrong about that,” Ms Gillard says.

Tony Abbott stands with a microphone in front of a crowd holding signs. One says 'ditch the witch' 'Juliar Bob Brown's bitch'
It’s been 10 years since Tony Abbott was photographed in front of anti-Julia Gillard protest signs which read “Ditch the Witch” and “Juliar Bob Brown’s bitch”.(

AAP: Alan Porritt

)

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young was appalled by the treatment of Ms Gillard but was herself caught in the crossfire of sexual slurs and sledging.

“It’s like you can’t win either way. There’s no nice balance. Some days you’re a bimbo and other days you’re a bitch,” she says.

Ms Ellis’s Australian Story coincides with a wave of discontent about the treatment of women in politics, triggered by former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, who alleges she was raped by a colleague inside then-defence industry minister Linda Reynolds’s office two years ago.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has apologised to her for how the matter was handled, and announced a series of inquiries into the adequacy of support measures for women in the building, as well as how to improve the broader culture.

Once the former staffer broke her silence, stories of abuse and bad behaviour started pouring out of the national capital. Perhaps the most shocking surfaced last week when a federal Liberal staffer was sacked for allegedly masturbating on a female MP’s desk.

Minister for Science Industry and Technology Karen Andrews told Australian Story the events of the last few weeks were “absolutely the worst I have seen here”.

“We are collectively a disappointment to the people in Australia, and that’s appalling,” she says.

“Things that I would never have imagined would have would have gone on in this building are now being played out in national media.”

Changing an entrenched and destructive culture in a workplace where women are still a significant minority isn’t simple. But Ms Ellis believes silence is no longer an option.

“I’ve long said that no boys’ club has ever voluntarily dismantled themselves. That’s just not going to happen,” Ms Ellis says.

“But women are standing up, we’re going to call it out and we’re going to demand change. And I want to be a part of that.”

When she started writing her book six months ago, Ms Ellis says she thought it would be “controversial to suggest there might be cultural issues” within Parliament House.

“I now share the sense of rage that women across Australia have,” she said in a recent tweet.

“I know a lot of us feel at the moment that we want to burn the place down, but if that sense changes to we want to take over the place then I hope that women will be able to learn from the experiences of those who’ve gone before.”

Here are the stories of current and former female politicians, in their own words.

Sarah Hanson-Young

Senator, Greens 2008-current

A shoulders-up portrait of Sarah Hanson-Young with hair in bun, serious expression
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young says Parliament House has an air of “tribalism” and “aggression”.(

AAP: Mick Tsikas

)

I ran in the 2007 election. I was 25 at the time and had an 18-month-old baby on my hip

I was shocked at the aggression in the parliament itself. I was genuinely confronted by the deep tribalism in that building.

You’re walking into parliament every day and needing to prepare for sexist slurs that will be thrown across the chamber. It is designed to both silence and shame women at the same time. It takes a lot of energy to put your armour on, you’re going to battle every day.

If we drew the curtains back even further I think the public would be horrified.

Australian Greens Senator
Senator Hanson-Young was criticised in the media for wearing this cut-out dress in the Senate in 2018.(

AAP: Lukas Coch

)

I’ve had names of men that it was rumoured that I slept with whispered to me as they walk past me in the chamber, as we’re sitting down to vote. All those things that are designed as mind warfare.

I became anxious of standing on my feet, particularly in Question Time. We’d been debating a motion in relation to violence against women in the Senate chamber and Senator [David] Leyonhjelm yelled across at me in the chamber, ‘You should stop shagging men, Sarah.’ I was quite shocked. I walked over to him and I said quietly, ‘What did you just say to me?’ And he confirmed that he had said this. I told him he was a creep. And he told me to f*** off.

For years I thought it would be weak if I responded, if I allowed anyone to know that this was happening to me. I asked him publicly in the chamber for an apology. He refused, went on national television, national radio and slandered me even further. I decided I had to take him to court. And I won.

The amazing thing is that calling it out and naming it is taking all the power away from the bullies. I feel like I’m 100 times stronger than I ever was.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 16 seconds

Senator Hanson-Young was overcome with emotion after winning a defamation case against then-senator David Leyonhjelm.

Julia Banks

Former member for Chisholm

Liberal 2016-2019

Julia Banks, in yellow, sits on a chair with her legs crossed and arms folded in her lap, with a neutral expression on her face.
Ms Banks says Parliament House has the “most unsafe workplace culture in our country”.(

ABC News: Nick Haggarty

)

I entered parliament relatively late in life. I was in my 50s and I had behind me a career in the legal and corporate sector. I was immediately struck by the fact that it reminded me of when I first entered the workforce in the late 80s in terms of its attitudes to women.

It is very much an environment that is frozen in time. You go into there and think, ‘Is this really happening?’ I really believe our federal Parliament House is the most unsafe workplace culture in our country. And not only do women have nowhere to go to report misconduct, but they are subject to misconduct every day. I’m less talking about the MPs, I’m talking about the 5,000 other staff that are there.

When I announced I wasn’t going to recontest, I also called out the entrenched anti-women culture. It reached peak toxicity and I thought, ‘I’m going to exit. And if I’m going to exit this place it is going to be on my terms.’ I wasn’t going to limp out.

That was just the beginning of a three-month period of reprisals, retribution, abuse. This behaviour in Parliament House is so endemic and entrenched that men and women can often be blind to it.

If only our leaders would take accountability, rather than hoping that an issue would go away, if they introduced structures that would address this problem, then that is what gives me hope.

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Karen Andrews

Federal Member for McPherson

Liberal 2010-current

A blonde woman in a tigerprint jacket speaks standing in the House of Representatives
Liberal MP Karen Andrews says there is “constant low-level” sexism that she puts up with “day after day”.(

AAP: Lukas Coch

)

My early days here were a real eye-opener in terms of the way that parliament operated, but also in terms of the environment in which I was working. I started my working life as an engineer. And you were always treated on the basis of whether or not you could do the job.

It’s very adversarial. There is a lot of constant low-level stuff — you just put up with it day after day. It’s the remarks about how you look, how you speak, how you present yourself. Comments that are really just unacceptable to anyone in any environment, let alone in the national parliament.

And that’s what I’d really like to see change. The parliament should reflect the Australian population, and that means that we need people with a wide range of experience, different ages, different genders.

The circumstances in which we find ourselves cannot continue. We are collectively a disappointment to the people in Australia.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 23 seconds

Karen Andrews says she has “had a gutful” of sexist behaviour in the Liberal Party.

Tanya Plibersek

Opposition Minister for Education and Women

Labor 1998-current

A shoulders-up portrait of politician Tanya Plibersek
Tanya Plibersek says there is an “increasing tide of misogynist abuse” in federal government.(

AAP: Dan Himbrechts

)

I came in 1998 with a big group of women. I think you learn pretty early on that not all your enemies are on the other side of politics, and you need to be able to deal with that.

I think one of the reasons that female parliamentarians aren’t focused on calling out sexism on our own behalf is we think, ‘Well, you know, we’ve got power, we’ve got a voice. Our focus isn’t and can’t be on ourselves. Our focus has to be on the people that we’re serving.’

Question Time
Ms Plibersek interjects during Question Time in August 2006.(

AAP: Alan Porritt

)

What does sexism look like in parliament today? It looks like being spoken over, it looks like having your ideas repeated back to you like they’re somehow original. It looks like an assumption that if you’re not aggressive in the same way as a bloke would be aggressive in the same circumstance that you are somehow letting down the team. A lot of it is unconscious. I think there’s a generation of men who don’t even realise that they’re doing it.

I try and call gossip out as soon as I hear about it or it spreads like a cancer. The simple truth is members of parliament staff have very few protections.

Natasha Stott Despoja

Former senator

Australian Democrats 1995-2007

A woman in a yellow two-piece suit stands at a lectern
After leaving politics, Natasha Stott Despoja went on to establish Our Watch, the national foundation for the prevention of violence against women and children.(

AAP Image: Daniel Munoz

)

When I first started working in federal parliament I was relatively young, and clearly in a very male-dominated environment.

I look back and I remember the ire of men, be they politicians or others, who were upset if you wouldn’t go out with them. There’s one married MP who pursued me as a staffer and then bullied me as a senator.

In my day you were called “princess” or “precious” when you complained about bad behaviour of male colleagues or their staff members or indeed members of parliament.

It wasn’t so much a culture of silence, it was a culture of silencing women who complained.

When it comes to our nation’s parliament, I want our leaders to play a leadership role. This has to be top-down and bottom-up, but particularly it has to be led by the people in whom we give power.

Watch Australian Story’s Chamber of Silence on iview and YouTube.



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Beers with mates at the pub leads to shock cancer diagnosis for Melbourne man



A Melbourne man made a shock cancer diagnosis as a result of fooling around with his mates at the pub.

Mark “Cricket” Osler was enjoying a couple of beers with mates at the pub in the lead-up to Christmas.

“One of the guys was leaving and walked past me and gave me a bit of a sidekick to the backside as he left just to say, ‘see you later’, and it started from there,” Mr Osler said.

In the weeks that followed, the 59-year-old was in excruciating pain and he was encouraged by his chiropractor to get an X-ray.
“I walked in there thinking I was going walk out with either a fracture or a bruised coccyx,” Mr Osler said.
“It absolutely floored me, and I was sort of numb for about two days … I just couldn’t comprehend what I’d been told.”

The news was in mid-January that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer that had already spread to his lower spine.
Mr Osler is currently undergoing chemotherapy before starting radiation in the coming months and says he wants other men to learn from his experience.  
“My goal is to try and get guys to just lose the attitude of ‘she’ll be right’ and get out and get checked twice a year, go to your GP,” he said.

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Honda Classic: ‘Tired’ Lee Westwood misses cut as Aaron Wise leads


Lee Westwood’s son Sam has been caddying for him this week
-12 A Wise (US); -9 B Hagy (US), M Jones (Aus); -8 S Ryder (US), -7 S Lowry (Ire), D McCarthy (US), R Henley (US), S Harrington (US)
Selected others: -4 A Scott (Aus); -1 P Mickelson (US); L T Lewis (Eng); Missed cut: +2 R Knox (Sco); +3 I Poulter (Eng); +8 L Westwood (Eng)

England’s Lee Westwood says he felt tired as he missed the cut at the Honda Classic in Florida after successive runners-up finishes on the PGA Tour.

He finished one shot behind Justin Thomas at the Players Championship and lost by the same margin to American Bryson DeChambeau a week earlier.

The 47-year-old finished eight over par after two rounds on the Champions Course at PGA National on Friday.

Aaron Wise leads by three shots at 12 under par at the halfway stage.

Fellow American Brandon Hagy is at nine under, alongside Australia’s Matt Jones, who led heading into day two after tying the course record of 61.

Ireland’s 2019 Open champion Shane Lowry is a further two strokes back at seven under.

Westwood, who won the European Tour’s Race to Dubai last year, carded a level-par 70 on Thursday but was eight over for his second round.

The former world number one made three double bogeys and three bogeys, with his sole birdie coming on the par-four eighth.

“This was probably a tournament too far for me, after the run I’ve had the last two weeks,” he said. “But I felt like I should play here this week.

“In an ideal world this would have been a week off after finishing second the last two weeks. What can you do? It just felt like one I had to play, I kind of glazed over out there I was so tired.”

Westwood took his son, Sam, to play Augusta National earlier this week and he was caddying for him in Palm Beach Gardens in preparation for doing so at the Masters next month.

“Sam is enjoying himself and looking forward to this run of tournaments where he’s getting to caddie,” said Westwood, whose fiancee Helen Storey was on his bag for his two second-placed finishes, before the tournament.

“I just like being out there with the both of them. Both keep me relaxed. We have good chats out there. It’s good bonding time.”

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Darcy Vescio leads Blues to new high


CARLTON 13.9 (87) defeated GOLD COAST 4.3 (27)

Darcy Vescio has kept Carlton’s flickering finals hopes alive, booting five goals to defeat a winless Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on Friday night to produce the AFLW’s highest score.

In the teams’ first meeting in AFLW history, it was crunch time for Carlton following a heartbreaking four-point loss to Fremantle despite a strong performance on home turf, when they lost in the final minutes.

Nicola Stevens gets a kick away for the Blues at Metricon Stadium on Friday night.Credit:Getty Images

The Suns handed the Tigers their second-ever win last week and with only two rounds left to get a victory on the board they were hungry, made clear by Suns co-captain Sam Virgo opening their account moments into the first term.

Gold Coast’s Maddi Levi returned forward last week and continued her impact up front, booting a second for the Suns. Teammate Alison Drennan followed suit, leaving a stunned Carlton side making haste to get the ball to Vescio, who slotted a clean set shot to get them on the board.

Vescio notched two majors in a row to send the Blues ahead in a dominating display.

An impressive solo effort by Lucy Single gave the Suns a goal, but the Blues retaliated with one from former cricketer Natalie Plane, leaving them two points ahead at the main break.

Vescio added yet another to open the second half, young gun Lucy McEvoy also slotting an untouched ball to extend Carlton’s lead.

The Blues’ All-Australian, Nicola Stevens, continued her career-best season with a major, having scored in each game this season, and returning Blue Brooke Walker added another.

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