Appen’s growth story under a cloud as WiseTech upgrades

Appen has faced market scepticism over concerns that its heavyweight customers – Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft – that generate 80 per cent of its revenue are becoming less reliant on its services.

The company downgraded its guidance in December and while it told investors on Wednesday that most of the deferred projects should restart in 2021 chief executive Mark Brayan conceded that business uncertainty for its major tech customers has not ended.

“That’s the nature of the uncertainty that we’re flagging, the customers’ decisions around how they invest in their product portfolio,” he said.

“I think what we’re calling out this year is a period of uncertainty in the first half that will most likely cause a skew to the second half (performance).”

RBC Capital’s Garry Sherriff said the result will continue to drag down Appen given the weak 2020 result and the 2021 guidance which is “well below” consensus estimates and banking on a strong second half performance.

Wilsons Equity research also noted that underlying EBITDA guidance “is notably below current expectations” but said the revenue guidance is encouraging with $240 million in revenue and orders-in-hand so far this year.

Meanwhile, one of Australia’s other high-flying tech stocks, WiseTech Global, continued to burnish its credentials on Wednesday with a profit upgrade at its interim results.


WiseTech upgraded its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) expectations to be in the range of 30 to 50 per cent, representing $165 million to $190 million, which is $10 million above previous guidance. Revenue for the year is still expected to be in the range of 9 to 19 per cent, or $470 million to $510 million.

For the half year, WiseTech reported a 16 per cent rise in revenue to $238.7 million and a 26 per cent decrease in net profit to $44.4 million, reflecting changes made to contingent payments on acquisitions.

WiseTech, which provides software services for the trillion-dollar global logistics industry, also announced a 2.7c per share dividend payable April 9. Its shares closed 1 per cent stronger at $29.85.

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18 Feb – 21 Mar Come From Away Award-winning musical telling the true story of a small town that welcomed the world. Theatre Music Go

Come From Away

Award-winning musical telling the true story of a small town that welcomed the world.

Malthouse Outdoor Stage

See Melbourne musicians and artists perform at this new purpose-built outdoor stage.

Live at the Bowl

Spend summer days and nights revelling in Australia’s best acts.

Fiesta del Sol

Enjoy a pop-up Latin festival in the heart of Melbourne.

Melbourne Street Eatz

With weekly rotating trucks, live music and events this is a great day or night out.

What’s free in Melbourne this month

Everything to see, do and enjoy in Melbourne for free this month.

Not-So Silent Outdoor Cinema

A series of striking silent films curated by ACMI, Australia’s national museum of screen culture.

VIDA – Melbourne Latin Festival

A weekend festival of art, culture, food and entertainment from celebrating Latin America.

Friends! The Musical Parody

Celebrate the misadventures of our favourite 20-something pals in life, work and love in 1990s NYC.

Melbourne Music Week – Extended

Experience live and local music over three months and 200 events.

Lunar Feast Festival at Melbourne Central

Celebrate Lunar New Year with Asian cuisine and culture.

Chess the Musical

The hit musical, featuring the music of ABBA, plays the Regent Theatre for one night only.

La Mama for Kids Online: Super Jenny!

Super Jenny delivers preschool children’s entertainment that is engaging, fun and educational.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

This August, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is coming to Melbourne’s Regent Theatre.

Josh Cake

Join Josh Cake for the only sing-along where you choose the tracks.

Melbourne Youth Orchestras

A live-streamed concert by The Melbourne Youth Orchestra, direct from the ABC Southbank studios.

Kaine Hansen – Wonderwall

A brand-new musical comedy show by emerging comedian Kaine Hansen.

Happy Town Korean

Specialising in K-pop albums and related merchandise.

Metropolis – Blood on the Floor

Join the MSO and conductor Lawrence Renes for a night to remember.

Wayward Books

A Kensington bookshop catering for a wide range of interests.

Thanks for checking this article regarding “What’s On in the City of Melbourne titled ”

18 Feb – 21 Mar

Come From Away

Award-winning musical telling the true story of a small town that welcomed the world.



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The forgotten story of America’s first black superstars

This preservationist instinct may have been valid but the assumptions that underpinned it were often paternalistic and segregationist: derived from the singing of slaves, the oral blues was the product of naive, untutored imaginations that would wither on contact with modernity, so they had to be protected, like rare orchids. While black people who migrated from the Jim Crow South were looking for a better future, the folklorists sentimentally fetishised the agony and mystery of the past they had left behind. This problematic assumption has since resurfaced in writing about soul music and hip hop: the sound of suffering is considered more powerful and real than the sound of defiant enjoyment; pain is more authentic than pleasure.

This obsession with the “genuine” black experience proved fatal for the classic blues. In 1926, Blind Lemon Jefferson became the first solo singer-guitarist to have a hit record (Paramount’s advertisement promised “a real, old-fashioned blues, by a real, old-fashioned blues singer”) and he set a new fashion for earthier “country blues,” followed by Blind Blake, Big Bill Broonzy, Lonnie Johnson and Furry Lewis. With no need for backing bands or stage costumes, the men were much cheaper, too. As Jackie Kay puts it in her biography, “These old bluesmen are considered the genuine article while the women are fancy dress.” At the same time, the classic blues singers were too working-class and sexually frank for some of the urban middle classes. Black Swan, the first black-owned record label, rejected Bessie Smith for being too vulgar, while a leading black newspaper, the Chicago Defender, complained that these “filth furnishers” and “purveyors of putrid puns” were “a hindrance to our standard of respectability and success”.

The classic blues singers were already in decline when the Great Depression finished them off. By 1933, record sales were just 7% of what they had been in 1929 and many of the theatres had closed or been turned into movie theatres. Urban listeners, meanwhile, were abandoning blues for the faster, more sophisticated sound of swing, represented in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom by Chadwick Boseman’s young, impatient Levee. They didn’t need that bridge to the South anymore. According to Thomas Dorsey, the gospel blues pioneer who used to play in Rainey’s band, “It collapsed… I don’t know what happened to the blues, they seemed to drop it all at once, it just went down.”

Erasing women’s voices

As a new generation of black female singers broke through in the 1930s – Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Memphis Minnie – some of the first wave sought refuge in other branches of showbusiness. Victoria Spivey appeared in King Vidor’s 1929 movie Hallelujah, one of the first studio pictures to feature an entirely black cast. Ethel Waters became, at one point, the highest-paid actress on Broadway. Only a handful were still making blues records in the 1930s. Mamie Smith retired in 1931. Rainey was dropped by Paramount in 1928 and returned to the Southern tent circuit, her stolen gold necklace replaced by imitation pearls. Bessie Smith recorded one last session in 1933, for one-sixth of the fee she used to command, before she died after a car crash in 1937.

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A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City



Sponsored by:  
NIMH Division of Extramural Affairs

Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP,  the pediatrician and scientist who exposed the lead water crisis in Flint, Michigan, will present a first-hand account of her research efforts to discover the truth and her fight for justice in the national spotlight, as part of the NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series.

Dr. Hanna-Attisha is the founder and director of the Michigan State University (MSU)-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an innovative and model public health program established to address the Flint water crisis. In 2016, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for her role in bringing awareness to the crisis in Flint and the recovery efforts.

Dr. Hanna-Attisha earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public health from the University of Michigan and a medical degree from MSU’s College of Human Medicine. She completed her residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, where she was chief resident. She is currently an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Human Development and a C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at MSU.


NIMH established the Director’s Innovation Speaker Series to encourage broad, interdisciplinary thinking in the development of scientific initiatives and programs, and to press for theoretical leaps in science over the continuation of incremental thought. Innovation speakers are encouraged to describe their work from the perspective of breaking through existing boundaries and developing successful new ideas, as well as working outside their primary area of expertise in ways that have pushed their fields forward. We encourage discussions of the meaning of innovation, creativity, breakthroughs, and paradigm-shifting.


Registration for this free online event is required. 

More Information:

NIMH will provide sign language interpreters. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations should contact the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339. Submit general questions to the NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series mailbox.

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Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann shares Stolen Generations story on anniversary of National Apology

Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann was just a child when her two-year-old sister Pilawuk White was abruptly taken — but she was too young at the time to understand what had happened.

The 2021 Senior Australian of the Year wouldn’t see her sister again for another 14 years.

“She was snatched from her mum’s lap, where we were on the farm. That was about the time the missionaries came in,” Dr Ungunmerr-Baumann said.

“I was too young to realise what all this meant.”

Pilawuk was taken from Daly River to the Garden Point Mission on Melville Island, before being sent to Adelaide and adopted by a non-Aboriginal family.

Dr Ungunmerr-Baumann searched for information about what had happened to her sister.

“I was curious about it all and wanted to know why and where my sister was taken,” she said.

“I found out that not only my sister but many other children also were taken from our community.

Dr Ungunmerr-Baumann shared her story ahead of the 13-year anniversary of the historic National Apology to the Stolen Generations, and called for compensation for victims in the Northern Territory.

Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann at her home in Nauiyu, Daly River, in the Northern Territory.(ABC Darwin: Amy Spear)

“Although a formal apology has been made, the Commonwealth has refused to pay compensation to members of the Stolen Generations in the Northern Territory, despite their own recommendations to do so,” she said.

“All other states with similar policies have paid compensation to those affected.

“It’s not just with me; it’ll be with my grandkids. It is with my sister who was taken away, her children and their children. It is just going to continue.”

‘The happiest and saddest moment of her life’

It was more than a decade after Pilawuk was taken that a letter to the Daly River superintendent would start the process of piecing together a family torn apart by government policy.

A 16-year-old Pilawuk had begun to feel the need to find her family again and, while reading the newspaper, she found something she hoped would help.

“Pilawuk saw an article in the paper about a dispute between Tipperary and Daly River [stations],” Dr Ungunmerr-Baumann said.

The Daly River
Dr Ungunmerr-Baumann’s sister was taken from Daly River in the Northern Territory(Matt Brann: ABC Rural)

So she wrote to the superintendent saying that she was trying to find her family and asking if he knew them — which he did.

“[He] wrote back saying yes, he knew her sister Miriam,” Dr Ungunmerr-Baumann said.

“Pilawuk carries this letter with her everywhere.

Reuniting with Pilawuk after so many years was bittersweet, Dr Ungunmerr-Baumann said.

“I remember sitting at a place, in front of the shop, we were all sitting in a circle,” she said.

“And I said to Mum: ‘Mum, this is Pilawuk’ and Mum gasped and hugged and cried.

“We all cried, we were very excited to see her come back to us.

Dr Ungunmerr-Bauman stands outside with young kids.
Dr Ungunmerr-Bauman says her family has come together, years after her sister was taken.(ABC News: Tiffany Parker)

“But she has been traumatised by this as much as we have.

A divided family united

Dr Ungunmerr-Baumann said it was also difficult for her sister to adjust once she had come home.

“Pilawuk wanted so much to belong but being brought up in a Western way of life was a lot different to how we were brought up. She needed to understand our way,” she said.

“I got her around, by walking with her gently, slowly, I didn’t want to scare her and make her feel like she didn’t belong with us.

“Now we are a big, happy family, learning the white people way and, of course, our way.”

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

Play Video. Duration: 6 minutes 59 seconds

Senior Australian of the Year Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann AM

Dr Ungunmerr-Baumann is using the story to call on the Commonwealth Government to listen to survivors of the Stolen Generations.

“Come and sit with me on country and listen.

“It’s not just my community, it’s other communities that are in the same boat and wanting government to come and sit and listen to what the needs are.”

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Senator Jordon Steele-John shares his personal story of growing up disabled in Australia

Mum had been a social worker in the UK for 20 years – in child protection. Because of her, we were drenched in social justice and systems theories. A human rights or social justice perspective on life was always there, mixed with her deep belief in the autonomy of children. 

Mum’s a big advocate for the idea that children are not the chattel of their parents, but independent human beings with their own rights. She created the space for me to come to my own view about myself as a person, and then my cerebral palsy as a subset of that aspect of personhood.

Jordon and his brother Harry.

Supplied/Jordon Steele-John

There was never a thought that I was broken, which I’ve come to understand is a common thought that a lot of kids have as they grow up disabled. I never had that thought about myself. I have gone on a kind of journey with my self-conception of disability, enabled by the space that Tracey [Mum] gave me as a parent, and the boundless affection of my grandparents and my brother. 

They were constant pillars of love and support, and Tracey gave me an intellectual framework in which to think. Not how to think, just ‘this is the space you can think in’. I could ask ‘What is this cerebral palsy? Like really?’ And she’d say, ‘Well what do you think it is?’ And I’d say, ‘Well, I can’t walk like Harry does, instead I crawl about’.’ 

There was never a thought that I was broken, which I’ve come to understand is a common thought that a lot of kids have as they grow up disabled.

It’s like you go to walk but there’s something not happening there. We used to say my brain telephone doesn’t ring up my legs properly. And I was totally happy explaining that to other people. 

Relatively recently I’ve learnt how comparatively little I know about cerebral palsy because I’ve not been medicalised. It’s not necessary – what I need to know is what it means for me. Again, I’ve learnt that this is rare, not to be medicalised from a very early age.

My family believed I was deserving of love, respect and autonomy, and that I was a good person. And that gave me the space to think, ‘Okay, well, I might not be able to walk, but I’m not broken, I’m still okay. Let’s journey with this thing and see where we go.’ That carried me a long way through my childhood. 

I always used to talk about journeying with disability. I conceptualised it as having this thing I wasn’t ashamed of. I wasn’t broken, I kind of travelled alongside it. And in that process, it shaped and moved me, and I shaped and moved it. From a very secure sense of self – I made my way with it.

Senator Jordon Steele-John is congratulated after delivering his maiden speech in 2017.

Senator Jordon Steele-John is congratulated after delivering his maiden speech in 2017.


I wouldn’t say that I didn’t identify as a disabled person, but as I moved more into the world of disability activism and identity, I noticed something. In one of his memoirs, [Barack] Obama talks about being a black man raised by a white mother and white grandparents in Hawaii in the ’60s, and he reflects on what that did to his racial identity and how unique his experience was. 

He had people who supported him, encouraging him to engage with his identity as a black man. He says he never felt he needed to choose between Black America and White America; he felt able to legitimately live in both those spaces. That chimed with me: that sense of living a really unusual childhood that allows you to embody two things comfortably. Until I started getting involved in disability activism, I could have said with conviction that there is no disabled Australia and non-disabled Australia, there is only the Australian community.

When I got involved in disability activism, it was like I was three-quarters of the way there, but the fourth bit hadn’t slotted in yet. The big problem with that statement of Obama’s is that there is a Black America and a White America. He is just one of a very small number of people who feel their personal lives transcend that. And, there’s a lot of argument in black literature about whether that is a form of self-delusion. 

Personally, I felt like I was finally breaking a self-delusion by getting involved in the disabled community. I even used to claim that while disability was part of who I was, it did not define me – I’d say that proudly. And then I had this lightbulb moment: What are you saying when you say that? It’s not about whether it defines you; you are defined by society, by it!’ And you can either claim your identity as a member of a group within society that is treated differently because of an impairment and understand the social model of disability – its emphasis on the collective creation of the negative aspects – or you can pretend to yourself that this is an individual thing, that you just get to journey with!

It was a bit of an epiphany moment: like, actually you have been individualising this, and when you say ‘it’s part of who I am but it does not define me’, it’s like saying ‘I have got this disease, but I won’t let it change who I am’. It’s not a negative thing. You have an impairment, but you are a disabled person because that is how you self-identify – you claim back that power. As somebody who is a member of a group subject to discrimination, but also as part of a community of people. And then we get to disabled culture, which is kind of a new concept in Australia.

You have an impairment, but you are a disabled person because that is how you self-identify – you claim back that power.

I feel so much more settled in myself since I had that moment of understanding. I think I had fooled myself into thinking that because I didn’t define myself as disabled, I could transcend the discrimination faced by disabled people. I had it impressed upon me less than so many other people because I avoided school (I was home-schooled). But still, it’s there. And it doesn’t mean that I haven’t had, in my life, moments of frustration or anger. 

Jordon Steele-John with demonstrators at Parliament House in Canberra.

Jordon Steele-John with demonstrators at Parliament House in Canberra.

Getty Images

Sometimes the inaccessibility and ableism of the world in which we live really gets you down. And I’m sure that’s the same for everybody. There are moments when you can respond to that with eloquence and logic, and sometimes you just go ‘arghhhh’. I’ve had my share of ‘arghhhh’, as we all have. But I feel so much more comfortable with who I am, and wonderfully connected to the four million other disabled Australians. The prize for liberating myself from the illusion of not being defined as a disabled person is to come into a sense of collective community with other disabled people. And that’s incredibly affirming and wonderful.

Nothing in my life has changed me more for the better than knowing that I am loved by my family. And that’s what I hope people reading this take away. If you are a disabled kid growing up, love yourself. Or if you have just been gifted an incredible little baby that’s disabled, love them. Love the hell out of them. Treasure them as the incredible thing that they are. Treasure yourself as the incredible thing you are. Know that whatever you are, you are enough.

This article is the result of an interview by Chilla Bulbeck and is an edited extract from Growing Up Disabled in Australia, edited by Carly Findlay and published by Black Inc. Books earlier this month.

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Nyakim Gatwetch: Exceptionally Talented Supermodel talks about her Success Story

Photo Credits: Prince Love; MUA: Stephvt, Stylist: Nicky Good

Namita Nayyar:

You were born in Gambela (Ethiopia) and now an American model of South Sudanese descent. You later migrated to Kenya where you lived in refugee camps, until you finally migrated to the US, when you were 14 years old. You originally settled in Buffalo, New York, and later moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was in Junior year of high school when you felt to really pursue modeling. The career clicked with you when you strutted down the runway in your friend’s designs at a school event.  You finally considered a modeling career after taking part in a fashion show at St. Cloud State University. You did overcome all the hardships and adversity and went on to become one of the most widely recognized social media stars in the digital world and as a supermodel. This later propelled your career to the height where you have been at the top of the world of modeling and social media when you became a member of the 2019 L’Oréal League—L’Oréal Paris’ influencer ambassador program. Tell us more about your professional journey of exceptional hard work, tenacity, and endurance?

Nyakim Gatwetch:

My professional journey into the modeling industry was not easy. Being from a refugee camp and facing many hardships, I came to America with a dream to be a model. I struggled with being bullied through high school and into college which made me feel like I couldn’t do it…like I wasn’t cut out for it. I had given up and eventually felt I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t possess the beauty standards that the Western World celebrated, so as time passed I just decided to work on self-love, self-esteem and self-confidence and at some point I no longer cared what anybody had to say. I just loved on myself and worked on being the best me. My real journey started when I stopped caring about other people’s negative opinions of me, my background or my skin color.

When my authentic love-of-self began, that’s when I started modeling. I took so many pictures which I submitted to the different agencies in New York and L.A. Years passed, and I wasn’t getting any responses because once again, I wasn’t the typical look seen on the cover of VOGUE at that time. People would say you’ve been trying this for years, you should give up, but I didn’t. In the back of my mind, I knew I was going to succeed.  This is something that I was meant to do! Especially after the struggle my family went through coming to America for my siblings and I to get an education and for me to follow my dream.

I blew up in 2017 when one of my pictures went viral. God opened that door for my professional modeling journey to begin. If agencies are not going to sign you and brands don’t want to work with you, I’ll open a different door to show you that you can still pursue what you love. And that was through social media.

From there, He opened another door that I wasn’t expecting, but I was prepared. So when the L’Oreal Paris team reached out after seeing me on social media, I jumped at the opportunity to become a Brand Ambassador for this iconic brand.

I told myself I’d been through the hardest times in life, sitting here in America and listening to what other people said about me. My family has been through too much for you to give up on yourself. Not now, not tomorrow not the next year and that’s when my career took off. That’s when I felt like this is what I needed to do and would always do.

Namita Nayyar:

You once said, “A little girl wrote me a paragraph thanking me for loving myself. She told me that because I love myself she started to love herself too.” You further said, “I empower dark-skinned little girls who are bullied for having skin they can’t change,” Tell us about this spectacular achievement of yours where you have started a movement of self-love and female empowerment?

Nyakim Gatwetch
Photo Credits: @eBranchphotography

Nyakim Gatwetch:

Seeing a post on Instagram or a girl in an ad won’t automatically make you okay with who you are. My personal movement started when I decided to love myself, became comfortable in my own skin and starting believing in myself. Now nobody can tell me otherwise. I’m happy with who I am, but it wasn’t always this way. I can talk about the struggle I went through, how I cried myself to sleep every night and didn’t want to wake up the next morning and face all the negativity I received daily. But I prefer to use my platform to spread happiness, female empowerment and self-love because I know there are a lot of people like me suffering in silence. Nobody talks to them about it, so I wouldn’t say that I started the movement for girls with dark skin, but I am a big part of it. There’s so many other amazing models on social media and in magazines helping young girls fall in love with themselves and become comfortable with who they are.

Namita Nayyar:

You are the world-leading supermodel, social media personality, and brand ambassador. How do you manage such a remarkable multi-dimensional lifestyle?

Nyakim Gatwetch:

It wasn’t easy for me in the beginning. I didn’t think it was going to be a big career because mind you I’d been trying for so long. But as my career took off, I had my brother helping me and now I have my manager who makes sure that everything is in line from every message I receive and respond to, to keeping my schedule and getting me to and from jobs. So I feel like I have a team around me that helps me be my better self and maintain who I am. That’s how I’m able to do all this stuff in my life without losing sight of where I came from and where I’m going. I have people around me who support and generally care for me.

Namita Nayyar

What exercises comprise your fitness regime or workout routine you may wish to share?

Nyakim Gatwetch
Photo Credits: JarrelleLee

Nyakim Gatwetch:

When I was younger, I had this body that didn’t change at all no matter what I ate. I used to eat junk food and my body would just stay the same. I guess you would say it was God-given, but when I reached the age of 27, I started seeing changes in my body. I was like, okay, now I have to go to the gym. So I hired a trainer and I started doing workouts: sit ups, running and all types of exercises to keep healthy. I had to change my diet as well, but this is all very recent so I’m still working on developing a routine where I wake up every day and exercise.

Full Interview is Continued on Next Page

This interview is exclusive and taken by Namita Nayyar President and should not be reproduced, copied or hosted in part or full anywhere without an express permission.

All Written Content Copyright © 2021 Women Fitness 

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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‘No limits’: Aus Open’s most inspirational story

It‘s usually the domain of the likes of Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic, but given the interest in Francesca Jones’ incredible story she found herself front and centre under the bright lights.The fascination with the 20-year-old British qualifier is understandable because you won’t find a more uplifting and emotional tale at this year’s Australian Open.Jones was born with the rare genetic condition, ectrodactyly ectodermal dysplasia syndrome, leaving her with three fingers and a thumb on each hand and a total of seven toes.She has had to endure multiple surgeries and, due to her dominant right foot having only three toes, has struggled with balance throughout her career.At the age of eight doctors told her she wouldn‘t be able to become a professional tennis player but she ignored them, moving to Barcelona the following year without her parents to chase her dream.Now Jones wants to send a message to the world after gaining a spot in her first Grand Slam tournament by winning through Australian Open qualifying in Dubai.“It‘s great to be here and to be able to get my message across, which is: Please don’t have any limits and keep pushing yourself,” Jones says.“Do what it is that you want to do and just commit to it. Look, if I can have any positive impact on children, adults, and they can take strength from my story and create their own, then that would be great.“My objectives are bigger than just qualifying for here, and hopefully I can continue to spread the word over the years.”
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She refuses to use her condition as an excuse, making it very clear that she sees herself exactly the same as the other 127 women in the Open draw.“I think every human being faces their own challenges, you know. I don‘t want to put myself in the spotlight and say, ‘Oh, I’ve gone through X, Y and Z’.“Every human being has barriers that they have to find a way to get over. I‘ve had my barriers and I’m still challenged by those barriers.“I’m still working my way to get over them and move onto the next.”Jones, who will play American Shelby Rogers in the opening round, says mental strength is her greatest asset.“(My) medication is mental strength. Some of the obvious barriers when I was a child were balance and just the way that I would put weight through my feet.“And obviously grip, I needed to have quite a few modifications done to my racquets when I was a child and still do today.

“In terms of the day-to-day, as I‘ve said previously, every athlete faces their challenges.“I have strengths and I have weaknesses, and I work on my weaknesses like the next female tennis player that walks in here will, as well.“It‘s just progress, a work in progress that I’m constantly trying to evolve.”After getting out of her hotel lockdown Jones — who is now guaranteed a $100,000 payday, which will double her career earnings — didn‘t waste time in hitting the shops.“I‘ve been trying to rein it in a little bit and remind myself that you don’t just start buying everything that you see,” she said.“But I definitely needed pyjamas, that was the main thing as I only brought one pair of pyjamas with me.”

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The Secrets of Shakira and Gerard Piqué’s Private Love Story – E! Online

The most recent foray into spousal terms was in January 2020, when she posted a video with trainer Anna Kaiser.

“Well, ‘the Kaiser’ doesn’t let me turn on my phone until I finish with my workout and spend the whole morning with my kids,” Shakira said, to which Anna added, “Yes, ’cause it’s time for you!” Shakira smiled and said, “Yeah, and my husband can’t find me.”

Kaiser even commented on the post, “I love thinking of the hunky husband searching for you.”

Yet going by Shakira’s previously comments about marriage, it’s merely a go-to term of endearment. She faced the same sorts of questions while she was still with de la Rúa, and she stated her actual goals (no pun intended) very clearly.

“I think I felt trapped in a golden cage for many years,” Shakira told USA Today in 2009 while promoting her album She Wolf. “The culture, the education, the upbringing, what society expects from you…Over the past year, I’ve been asking myself the question, ‘What does Shakira really want? What are her desires and how do I fulfill them?'”

And she was figuring it out.

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The inside story of how the Blue Jays landed George Springer, against all odds

Ross Atkins learned the hard way how emotionally exhausting it can be to get your hopes up about an incoming ballplayer, before the ink is dry on the contract and a doctor has signed off on the physical.

Nothing is done until it’s done, the Blue Jays general manager knows now, having jumped the gun on smaller deals in the past.

And yet, he says he allowed himself to dream just a little before officially closing the biggest deal in Jays history with outfielder George Springer this past week: six years, $150 million (U.S.).

It was after Atkins had reached a verbal agreement with Springer’s agent Casey Close, and following a conversation with the centre-fielder himself while awaiting the results of the physical, that the GM started to imagine what the acquisition of the former Houston Astros star would mean for the organization, the city of Toronto and fans across Canada.

“That’s when I felt it was absolutely real and felt elated,” Atkins recalled hours after Springer was officially introduced Wednesday.

The front office had promised throughout the off-season that the Jays would be making a splash. That was part of the long-term blueprint ever since Atkins and Mark Shapiro, the club’s president and CEO, took over more than five years. They would spend when the young core is ready to win.

Despite the financial impact of the pandemic, the Jays continued to have the support they needed from owner Rogers Communications, Shapiro said. And Springer, perhaps the most valuable commodity on the free-agent market, was always a target. The reasons were clear to see:

  • Centre field had been an area of need since the days of Kevin Pillar’s prime.

  • Sign-stealing scandal aside, Springer’s former club, the Astros, rose to the top by building around a core of young position players, especially infielders, much like the Jays’ template.
  • Bench coach Dave Hudgens spent four years on the Houston staff working with Springer, including their championship season in 2017. Outfielders Teoscar Hernandez and Derek Fisher plus pitcher Trent Thornton also know Springer from their days with the Astros.

Conversations between Springer’s camp and the Jays began soon after the market opened on Nov. 1. But it was never going to be easy.

The big-market New York Mets, who made a splash of their own by trading for Cleveland all-star shortstop Francisco Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco, were among the other teams interested and offered something the Jays couldn’t: the chance for Springer to play close to his home state of Connecticut, which was reportedly a priority for the outfielder.

There were also concerns that uncertainty around where the Jays would play in 2021, with Canada-U.S. border restrictions still in effect, might turn Springer off. That’s on top of the usual resistance of American-based players when it comes to playing in Canada.

But those issues never threatened to derail the deal, Springer said, in part because the Jays made a good first impression with him.

A conference call with Atkins, Shapiro and manager Charlie Montoyo gave the outfielder a clear idea of what the club had in mind, and left him believing the roster he would join is something special. Springer said later that the call felt comfortable, honest, and that the message he heard was consistent.

“All the conversations that I’ve had, not one person has said that they don’t want to win, that they don’t go out every day and play as hard as they possibly can,” said the newly signed Jay.

That first impression, Atkins says, was the product of hard work behind the scenes. Before that call, the front office spoke to as many people as they could track down who know Springer well — teammates, roommates and others.

Springer still shopped around, of course, and soon found out which teams were serious and which ones were kicking the tires. In the end, from the Jays’ side, the fact that those closest to the outfielder spoke so highly of him helped seal the deal.

“Then it just gives you a lot more conviction,” Atkins said.



The GM added that it’s the kind of signing that gets the attention of players and agents leaguewide, and can lead to more down the road.

Not long after the Springer deal, the Jays came to terms with top free-agent infielder Marcus Semien — whose one-year, $18-million deal became official Saturday. Veteran reliever Kirby Yates, who signed with the Jays hours before the first reports about Springer, says the club’s approach is exactly what a player wants to hear.

“I felt like they were definitely putting a strong effort,” Yates said of his negotiations, culminating in a one-year deal worth $5.5 million. “They were pretty aggressive with me … It’s just exciting to be a part of that, a team that’s trying to push really hard to go to the next level.”

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