by Phil Doyle
Peter Frilingos crawled out of Rupert Murdoch's preferred orifice this week to have a whine about NRL players threatening to boycott the Dally M awards.
The Dally M awards are a product of the rather appropriately named News Limited, so Frilingos is obviously prepared to comment without fear or favour on an issue with which he has no conflict of interest.
The whole News Limited approach smacks of the arrogance that tore the game apart - when Rupert Murdoch set out to steal the game from the people. Frilingos acts as Rupert's barking head. Sounding off in this week's Daily Terrorgraph about the Rugby League Players Association bringing about the end of the world as we know it.
The fact that the RLPA is setting out to make the game a sustainable proposition, and protect the interests of the many young kids, many of them teenagers, whose dream of playing NRL football is ruthlessly exploited by the corporate entities that now run Rugby League.
The Rugby League players managed to defeat the draft, a move that would have turned them into glorified slaves, and now they want to take back control of their own images - images that have been used to make a few fat men rich since the days of Tina Turner. It's a move that will iron out the sad charade that is the salary cap.
But the saddest charade is "Chippy" Frilingos' laughable attempt at objectivity. In a short and feeble rant, where intellectually he sets out to flay the RLPA with a wet lettuce, this tired old hack invokes the interests of the fans and compares the RLPA action to the 1989 pilot's strike.
Our Tool Of The Week is no stranger to competing agendas, evidence his performance during the Super League fiasco, when Chippy showed where his true commitment lay. While fellow reporter Ray Chesterton (an ARL backer) was hived off to cover the Police Royal Commission, Frilingos, after a brief flirttation with objectivity, ran the company line.
Frilingos invokes the pathetic 'think of the kiddies' argument, urging that the Dally M Awards should go ahead for the sake of the players and their fans. He manages to keep a straight face through all of this by not mentioning who actually sponsors the Dally Ms to start with. We are not ungenerous and are prepared to believe he may just have forgotten to include this fairly relevant piece of information.
He then urges us to consider that what the RLPA is doing - guaranteeing a minimum wage and entitlements for the most vulnerable footballers - is somehow going to "reduce opportunities for young players". It would be interesting to see what his position would be if, for example, he was an Auckland Warriors' player still waiting to get paid two years after his team had gone broke and been revived by some creative corporate accounting.
Then again, Frilingos doesn't actually play the game does he.
Boral owner-driver, Dudley Wellard, unveiled the ground-breaking campaign to NSW Labor Council delegates, inviting other workers to turn up at an opening barbecue outside the Australian Stock Exchange, next Wednesday morning.
While many unions have bought into share registers in a bid to put workers concerns before investors, few have done the preparation work of TWU members at Boral.
The 115 owner drivers, facing Supreme Court action over industrial action in support of contract negotiations, bought shares in the company and formed their own ginger group, Boral Ethical Shareholders.
With the TWU handling industrial strategy, Boral Ethical Shareholders took on corporate adviser, Michael Walsh, who publishes Ethical Investor magazine.
Walsh has helped drivers get seven resolutions onto the agenda of the company's October 21 AGM. They relate to health and safety standards, and executive remuneration, including a call for directors' remuneration to be removed from the company's management team and placed in the hands of shareholders voting at AGMs.
Wellard said health and safety was a key issues for drivers because Boral's practice did not match its theory.
"In our concrete plants we conducted a safety audit of every plant in Sydney and found Boral's safety policy was not being implemented because sufficient funds had not been allocated or processes for genuine consultation were not in place," Wellard said.
"While Boral has won awards for its reporting we believe there is a problem with implementing its policies. In the past month alone, it has been fined $200,000 for breaches of the OHS Act and a driver in Victoria has won the right to sue the company for the skins cancers he developed."
TWU secretary, Tony Sheldon, opened the door to other Boral unions, saying his organisation would speak with representatives of other workers over the next couple of months in a bid to present a united front to shareholders at their AGM.
Workers Online understands another three families have approached real estate agents about the prospects of selling their homes as 93 employees bid to hold out against company demands for massive clawbacks.
Employees confirmed the lockout had also been a "significant factor" in the failure of a workmate's 36-year marriage.
Geelong Wool Combing locked out its workers, under legislation introduced by the Howard Government, after they refused to agree to demands for 25 percent wage cuts, unlimited casualisation and the unilateral right of the company to change hours of work.
TCFUA Victorian secretary, Michelle O'Neill, confirmed that three of her members had had to sell their homes and that three more were actively considering the prospect.
"Three homes have gone," she said. "The support of other members, and other unions, down here has been great but these people have been forced to sell up. They were no longer able to meet their mortgage repayments.
"For a company to be able to starve workers into submission and to cost them their family homes is criminal, whether or not is sanctioned by the Workplace Relations Act," she said.
O'Neill said workers had been sustained by their own strength and the active support of other trade unionists.
A community rally in the heart of Geelong, last week, drew 3000 supporters and raised tens of thousands of dollars. Representatives of the CFMEU, MUA and AMWU handed over substantial cheques representing money raised by workplace collections.
O'Neill related the story of locked out workers addressing unionists at a nearby Shell plant and receiving a telephone call pledging $23,000 within an hour of leaving the site.
Geelong Wool Combing workers have maintained a 24-hour, seven day a week protest outside the company's gates since they were forced off site in May.
Federal Court decisions in two cases stemming from the protracted lockout are expected next week.
The TCFUA is contending the lockout is illegal, alleging it is a front for a stand-down arising from a combination of factors including the drought and the depressed wool market.
Geelong Wool Combing counter filed, accusing the union of attempt to "coerce" it into an agreement. O'Neill, assistant secretary, Jenny Kruschel and 10 Geelong members are named as co-defendants.
The US Department of Labour has received a key report slamming the Australian IR system as an "imbalanced, inadequate system of labor laws that fails to fully protect workers’ core rights".
The submission tabled this week in Washington follows ACTU warnings about the threat posed by the failure of the Federal Government to guarantee collective bargaining.
"This shows that even the Americans think Australia's federal industrial laws don't meet international standards," said an ACTU spokesperson. "They are now posing a threat to Australia's international economic interests.
In Workers Online 190 the ACTU President Sharan Burrow pointed to support for support for trade and investment based on decent standards.
The AFL-CIO report, released on September 2, addressed Australia's labour laws and its compliance with the core labour standards, including standards on child labour.
"Australia's federal labor laws are far from comprehensive, leaving significant gaps in legal guarantees for workers' rights," says the report, which pointed out that it was vital that any free trade agreement between the countries "address these deficiencies".
The report points out that there are no federal laws in Australia prohibiting forced labour, setting a minimum age for employment, or prohibiting forced or bonded labour by children. It also points out that existing laws have been criticised by the U.S. State Department, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), and the International Labor Organization (ILO) for failing to fully protect workers' freedom of association and their right to organize and bargain collectively.
The report addressed the problems facing Australian workers in exercising freedom of association and the right to organize and bargain collectively, the freedom to choose a union, anti-union discrimination and child labour and forced labour.
"Adequate and reliable data related to the size and scale of the commercial exploitation of children in Australia is not regarded as a priority by any state or federal government," says the AFL-CIO.
The AFL-CIO pointed out that individual Australian Workplace Agreements were privileged over collective bargaining agreements and that, in Australia, a worker can be subject to common law court claims and onerous personal damages for strike activities
"Australia has refused to amend its laws to comply with [international] standards despite repeated ILO recommendations that it do so," says the AFL-CIO. "A mere obligation to enforce existing law will simply not be sufficient to ensure that workers' fundamental rights will be respected under the proposed FTA."
Following the submission the US Department of Labor will provide advice to the US trade negotiating team engaged in developing the Australia-US free trade agreement.
"It is imperative that the Department of Labor develop a comprehensive analysis of Australia's labor laws early enough to inform the content of the FTA negotiations now taking place," says the AFL-CIO.
The AFL-CIO and the ACTU released a joint statement calling for the FTA to include enforceable commitments to core workers' rights outlined in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
It is now likely that US Congressmen will be lobbied directly once any proposed agreement comes before the US legislature.
With the US entering a Presidential campaign in 2004 free trade is expected to be a hot electoral topic after the flight of jobs from the US following the NAFTA agreement.
While workers across the vast group controlled by Australia’s largest general insurer were returning an 87 percent vote to continue resistance to the company’s call for some to work an extra half hour a day, directors behind the demand were voting themselves pay increases of between 37 and 43 percent.
Workers Online understands there were no dissenting voices and, indeed, no negotiations before directors determined their remuneration would move from $70,000 to $100,000 a year, and that the base earn of their chairman, James Strong, would leap by $80,000 a year to $300,000.
They also endorsed a $637,000 golden handshake for former chairman, Nicholas Whitlam.
IAG pays people under a market rates system, loosely based on averaging out comparable incomes across the sector. Workers have long been suspicious of the methodology, given the dominance of a company that controls NRMA Insurance, CGU, SGIO, SGIC and is a joint venture partner in IMA.
Finance Sector Union (FSU) organiser, Chris Gambian said the next step in workers campaign of resistance would be a stop work meeting of representative from across the company's offices on Friday.
"IAG directors have been happy to cash in on a nice little earner. We aren't demanding 40 percent increases but our members are saying that they want their efforts recognised," Gambian said. "And that the standards of living of their families are part of this equation."
Mother of two, Anne-Marie, pronounced herself "ecstatic" with this week’s Telstra about-face and said it wouldn’t have happened without the intervention of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU).
"If I had not gone to the union I would not be going back to work," Anne Marie said from Melbourne. "My CPSU reps were adamant about what my rights were and that I should follow it through. They did a great job.
"I'm ecstatic that I'm going back. I'm rapt that I've still got a job there, I'm looking forward to it. I've still got skills and value to add to the company."
The original sacking of the 29-year-old who worked for Telstra to within hours of giving birth, sparked outrage.
ACTU president Sharan Burrow said her situation was "fundamental" to working women around Australia.
Anne-Marie, who refused to give her surname for privacy reasons, said her manager told her she would be a burden as a part-timer.
She said the Telstra representative told her she would be better able to look after sick children if she accepted redundancy, and that her skill levels had dropped during 12 months on maternity leave.
CPSU spokesman, Stephen Jones, applauded Anne-Marie's decision to stand up and fight one of Australia's most aggressive companies.
"It shows what can be achieved when individuals, supported by their unions, stand up for their rights," Jones said. "This case highlights the great difficulties many parents face in trying to balance their work and home lives."
Jones congratulated Telstra on finally seeing "the error of its ways".
In a bizarre twist the company, headed up by Human Resources manager and Australian Industry Group (AIG) board member Peter Ross, is only prepared to guarantee workers' entitlements once its cash reserves have evaporated.
Rheem has been using the pattern bargaining tactic of the AIG in locking out workers for 24 hours after every one hour stop work meeting by the company.
"All we want is a fair go," says Rheem employee James Addo. "We are worried about entitlements."
Addo told the NSW Labor Council that the company had offered to supply its own auditor, a move that Rheem employees were wary of.
"We haven't forgotten what happened at Wellcome,' says Addo, referring to the company whose close relationship with its auditor concealed fundamental financial problems.
Rheem, who are believed to have capitalisation of $167 million, have said that they will look at protecting employee entitlements if their capital value sinks below $79 million
"Here is a boss who says 'I will give you want when I've run out of money'," says Addo.
The 320 employees at Rheem have been attempting to negotiate an EBA for the last three months. The company's aggressive AIG tactics have seen employees locked out on more than eight occasions. Rheem has refused point blank to negotiate on the issue of entitlements.
The lockouts have caused considerable hardship for Rheem employees and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has called for support for the locked out workers and their picket line at Rheem Rydalmere.
"The workers at Rheem have every right to be worried,' says NSW MLC Peter Primrose. "Rheem has refined its union bashing tactics."
AMWU State Secretary Paul Bastian has called for immediate reform of laws allowing employers to lock out workers rather than negotiate in good faith.
Labor Council secretary, John Robertson, said the NRL's failure to guarantee contract payments meant professional footballers were fighting for "basic trade union principles".
"Boiled down, we are talking about protection of entitlements, the same argument we have with employers and governments every day," Robertson said.
"Rugby League players are pushing for a minimum wage, not for superstars but for those who might get $1000 if they run on and have to train fulltime, and they are pushing for security of entitlements.'
Robertson said the issue was particularly important in light of the recent failure of the Auckland Warriors which was reborn as the New Zealand Warriors, leaving players out of pocket by around half a million dollars.
Workers Online understands players are also owed contract monies from the South Queensland Crushers, North Sydney Bears and Northern Eagles.
The NRL decision to cancel its showpiece awards ceremony came after players theatened a boycott if the game's ruling body did not come up with satisfactory offers by Friday night. After one subsequent negotiating session, on Thursday, the NRL boss David Gallop announced the awards were off.
Key demands, among 20 outstanding issues, included ...
- a minimum wage of $55,000 a year for full timers
- insurance cover
- players rights to their own images
- guarantees that contract payments would be met
When it became apparent that the NRL would concentrate its fire on Rugby League Players Association chief, Tony Butterfield, a number of current stars went public to support claims put forward by the former Newcastle prop.
Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler, Trent Barrett and Steven Menzies were amongst those to close ranks around their organisation.
Workers were sent home from the Laverton site following the appointment of Sim Partners as administrators to the failed business.
Pharm Action joins an ever-growing list of Australian companies that have gone bust leaving their employees without their accrued entitlements.
"This is another classic case of arriving after the fact," said Dave Oliver from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU). "We believe that prevention is better than the cure. This company has a fatal disease."
"It's a pity we couldn't get some agreement to protect entitlements, either through a bank guarantee or paying into NEST."
NEST is an independent not for profit trust facility established to secure employee entitlements such as annual leave, long service leave, redundancy and severance pay.
Pharm action employees, who are members of the AMWU and the National Union of Workers (NUW) now face an uncertain future with lost entitlements including over 3 million in leave and redundancy and almost $1 million of unpaid superannuation contributions.
The AMWU is speaking to the administrator in an effort to rescue the jobs through he sale of the company, but there is no obvious prospective buyer at this stage.
"The taxpayer will be expected to pick u the tab for the employees basic entitlements while the employer will walk off scott free," says the AMWU's Oliver.
Pharm Action was a part of the Cottees Health group, who are believed to be facing difficulty across a number of operations.
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has put forward a five-step plan, in the wake of scandals such as "Children Overboard", to restore key elements of Westminister democracy to the Australian system.
CPSU spokesman, Stephen Jones, says observers need look no further than the hameful" Children Overboard fiasco, during which Federal Government ignored repeated advice that its public pronouncements were untrue, to understand how politicisation of the public service is undermining democracy.
"In this shameful episode, unaccountable ministerial minders harassed public servants to doctor documents and photos then these minders were conveniently excused from appearing before a Senate inquiry.
"This was not an isolated incident," Jones said. "We have regular reports from juinior public service officers who are being directly badgered by ministerial staffers."
His warning comes as ASIC sources suggest a senior cabinet minister leant on the organisation to launch prosecutions against business figures perceived as being ALP-friendly, including former NRMA chief Nick Whitlam.
The CPSU is calling for MPs who personal staff harass public servants to be held accountable.
Specific recommendations put to the Senate Inquiry include ...
- that contact between ministerial staff and public servants be "on the record"
- that there be a formal code of conduct for political employees
- that ministers be required to answer questions on contacts between their staff and public servants
- that the minister be responsible and accountable for actions of his staff when they act on his/her behalf
that when seeking advice from the public service, ministerial staffers direct requests to senior officers.
The unexpected support follows requests from the Museum's trustees for more information over the plan to shelve 30 positions, and for management to identify alternative areas for budget cutbacks.
The job cut proposal flies in the face of State Government policy to rejuvenate the museum and the work of John Gale, who is conducting a restructure and review of the museum for the NSW Ministry of Arts' Steering Committee in line with state government policy.
"The staff are really positive about John Gale," says Public Service Association Industrial Officer Kerri Butson who is looking to meet with the Ministry of Arts and the museum's trustees in the near future to achieve a better outcome than the one currently facing museum staff. "The issue for us is the proposed budget strategies."
A meeting in August of PSA members employed at the museum passed a unanimous vote of no confidence in the museum's current executive. The museum's executive had proposed the job cuts as a solution to a budget shortfall that staff accuse management of being aware of but not making allowances for.
The proposed job cuts come on top of losses in a previous restructure that saw 12% of the Museum's total workforce slashed. At that time museum staff were told that the restructure would ensure the viability of all remaining positions and the continued health of the museum.
The cuts will have an impact on the museum's ability to mount exhibitions and is reported to be affecting staff morale.
"Staff believe that, because of poor management strategies, they are again to going to have to pay the price with their jobs," says Burtson.
Burtson met with the museum's trustees to recommend that the current executive be replaced, a position that the current executive also shared. The trustees, who will meet next week, have made no decision on the future of the executives.
The Museum's controversial director, Mike Archer has been accused of not responding to staff concerns.
The move follows the defeat of a rigorous union-busting campaign at the Seven Network after staff voted to reject a non-union deal. The campaign came in the face of hostile opposition from management and included blocking union email access to members and taking court action to prevent the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) calling members to discuss the ballot.
Ex Packer executive David Leckie announced the cuts in a move designed to placate the TV Network's shareholders at the expense of workers.
Leckie, treading a familiar path Australia's executives employ to achieve profit growth, announced the cuts in conjunction with half-yearly profit figures.
"We think this is an outrageous decision,' says the CPSU's Stephen Jones. "Channel Seven announced an improved profit for the year, and that comes off the back of the workers they're now sacking."
The Adelaide news service will now technically be operated from Melbourne; a move similar to the failed exercise by the Ten Network in having its Perth news read out of Sydney.
The move has created a backlash in South Australia where Premier Mike Rann has questioned the Seven Network's commitment to local production. It was revealed that 34 full-time staff will be axed from seven's Adelaide workforce.
Media reports said Rann accused the network of "ringbarking localism".
"It's about a Sydney-centric or Melbourne-centric view of Australia," says Rann.
PSA acting secretary, John Cahill, slammed the Workcover move as "appalling", while NSW Labor Council secretary, John Robertson, warned "such actions would only serve to intimidate workers out of pursuing legal rights".
The move is seen as part of a trend towards imposing significant legal costs on workers whose claims fail before employment or administrative bodies.
Workcover applied for costs against a former Sydney-based manager it had instructed to work out of Gosford, several days a week.
The Administrative Decisions Tribunal found she had been discriminated against on the basis of her gender but did not uphold her claim that she had been discriminated against because of carer's responsibilities.
"I have read the judgement and the claim, in this case, was anything but vexatious," Robertson said.
"It is completely unacceptable for Government departments to make application for costs orders. It is only one step away from this Government seeking orders against unions representing their members at these tribunals."
NSW Labor Council officials hosted a morning smoko at the Newcastle Workers Club, to draw attention to a delegates education program put together by the United Services Union and TAFE NSW.
Newcastle region local government and energy industry delegates are among 180 from across the state who have earned nationally-recognised accreditation since the program began in 2002.
The delegate training module "Introduction to Trade Unions" has been modeled on recognised competency standards, and is delivered and assessed by qualified educators.
The USU obtained funding from the Commonwealth Department of education, Science and Training to incorporate language and literacy skills training as additional options for its delegates. This allowed delegates to gain additional skills, including computing, potentially benefiting employers as well as their Union.
NSW Labor Council is a sponsor of Adult Learners Week and was highlighting the role of delegate training in the build-up to this year's national Learn at Work Day.
USU delegates who completed the program at Newcastle TAFE spoke at the morning smoko, along with Labor Council, USU and Department of Education and Training representatives.
The World Trade Organisation meeting in Cancun, Mexico, is fast approaching and Oxfam Community Aid Abroad is organising a array of ways in which you can take action to MAKE TRADE FAIR. From Wednesday, check our website at
World trade could be a powerful force in the fight against poverty. But the rules of trade are rigged against the poor. Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign is calling on the WTO, governments and multinational companies to change the rules so that trade can become part of the solution to poverty, not part of the problem.
Cancun is an historic opportunity to Make Trade Fair. Decisive action at Cancun could set globalisation on a different course, reducing the obscene inequalities that divide rich and poor and lifting millions of people out of poverty.
Rich countries are poised to break their promise to make trade fair for the world's poorest countries. Cancun could be the last chance for rich countries to deliver.
Failure in Cancun will be bad news for the whole of the world economy, not just for poor countries. The extremes of prosperity and poverty that are perpetuated by current world trade rules are indefensible and unsustainable.
In NSW we will hold a media event to hightlight the plight of cotton farmers in West Africa who suffer as a direct result of the US administration paying huge sums of money to large cotton companies to grow more cotton than the country needs. The USA pays its 25,000 cotton farmers $4 billion a year in subsidies.
This $4 billion is more then the entire national income of Burkina Faso, a country in which more than 2 million people depend on cotton production and where over half of farmers live below the poverty line. The $4 billion is more than America spends on aid for the whole of Africa.
Stop cotton dumping
You are invited to attend our event.
When: Monday 8th September, 2003
Where: Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park
We will have a pinata in the form of a bale of cotton which, when broken open, will show the "goodies' that poor countries would obtain if they had fair access to rich country markets. Following the media event we will walk to the US consulate in Martin Place to present the consul general with a petition.
OTHER WTO EVENTS
Saturday 6th September, 1.00pm. Aidwatch and ATTAC launch Aileen Kwa's book 'Inside the WTO'. Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe. Contact 9557 8944
THE ABC of the WTO -
ATTAC, Aidwatch and Greens Teach-in
6.00-9.00pm Tuesday 9th September. 19 Eve St, Erskineville. Contact Tim on 9557 8944
FAIR TRADE TO A PEACEFUL WORLD - How the WTO undermines peace - A public meeting making the connection between unjust trade and war
Saturday, 13th September, 2003
Pitt St Uniting Church, 264 Pitt St, Sydney
Chaired by Elizabeth Evatt AC
Speakers: Father Brian Gore, Jubilee - Developing country debt and unfair trade: a peace issue
Sally McManus, Australian Services Union - Workers, trade and peace
Rev, Dr Ann Wansbrough, Uniting Care - Trade in services and peace
Cr Gillian Deakin, Medical Association for the Prevention of War - Peace means fair access to medicines
Then 1.00pm assemble on Town Hall steps for a short public statement.
Admission by donation
For more information contact Louise Southalan at AFTINET on (02)9299 7833 or email: [email protected]
FIESTA FOR FREEDOM
Saturday 13th September. Rally at 2.00pm, Town Hall steps, Sydney. Bring pots and pans, puppets, banners and costumes for Mexican "Day of the Dead' inspired march
FUNDRAISER FOR IRAQ
Home Bar Cockle Bay are holding a fundraising event for Iraq. Money raised will be used for continuing relief operations as well as providing clean water, sanitation and food to Iraqi people in need.,
Where: Home Bar, Cockle Bay (right next to Imax Theatre)
When: Sunday 7th September, 2003
Time: 7.00pm til late
Donation at the dooor.
Make Trade Fair
To make a 'Big Noise' about unfair trade rules
NEW Melbourne On Screen
A celebration of Melbourne writers, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Australian Writers' Guild.
September 15 - 19 Australian Centre for the Moving Image Federation Square
Remember when Grace Sullivan was killed? When Scott and Charlene walked down the aisle? When Mrs H was sacked from Channel 12? When Lizzie died in the Wentworth Detention Centre? When Tommy Carson was shot dead?
Homicide, Stingers, The Games, Fast Forward, The Sullivans, Halifax fp, And The Big Men Fly, Phoenix, The Box, The Secret Life Of Us, Moving Out, Death In Brunswick, Spotswood, Prisoner, Music Jamboree and Kath and Kim.
These are just a few of the productions that were born in Melbourne. It's a retrospective look at the enormous impact Melbourne writers have had on the industry, a trip down memory lane, looking at the productions that were conceived and produced in Melbourne.
The event includes FREE public screenings of classic Melbourne film and television productions in the form of:
Lunchtime Screenings - Daytime TV for Melbourne Workers.
Each session will be feature a discussion with the program's writer.
After Work - Acclaimed Melbourne Writers (Everett de Roche and Jan Sardi) and their work under the spotlight.
September 15 - 19 Australian Centre for the Moving Image Federation Square
Daytime TV 12 - 2pm Monday to Friday
After Work 7 - 10pm Monday and Wednesday
Free admission. Information and session details: 03 8663 2200 www.acmi
A celebration of Melbourne screenwriting presented by the City of Melbourne, produced by the Australian Writers' Guild and sponsored by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Film Victoria and Screensound Australia.
NEW Melbourne On Screen -- The Essentials of Writing Funny and Sexy Television.
As part a celebration of Melbourne writers, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Australian Writers' Guild, the AWG presents two stimulating seminars on the essentials of writing funny and sexy television.
Join some of Australia's most successful writers as they share the secrets of creating unforgettable TV shows that capture the public's imagination.
1. Sex, Lies, and Television - The Secrets Revealed
The team from The Secret Life Of Us, Amanda Higgs (Producer) and Judi McCrossin (principal writer) present a 3-hour case study on the secrets of creating a successful television drama.
Amanda Higgs is a graduate of the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and has worked predominantly as a script editor. Her television credits include: Police Rescue, Fallen Angels, High Flyers, Wildside, and Water Rats and the Australian feature films Praise, Angst, and Walking On Water. Amanda is the producer of The Secret Life of Us, a project she co-created with John Edwards.
Judi McCrossin has been the principal writer on The Secret Life of Us for the past three years. Her first short film Fetch was in competition in the 1998 Cannes Film Festival and she has written and produced a number of other documentaries and short films. She is currently developing a new six-part series for SBSI.
2. Make 'Em Laugh - Writing Comedy
Two of our best funny men give us three dangerous hours and the secrets of writing comedy. How do you know if your stuff is funny? Can you turn comedy into cash? How do you make sure it's forgettable? Mark O'Toole and Guy Rundle give you the juice about writing comedy for Aussie TV.
Mark O'Toole has been writing comedy for most of his adult life and his first feature film credit for Takeaway follows his vast experience in writing for television on Full Frontal, Totally Full Frontal, Shock Jock, John Safran's Music Jamboree, and Comedy Inc. Mark has written another feature film, You and Your Stupid Mate, scheduled for production in 2004.
Guy Rundle has worked as a writer on Full Frontal, Get a Life, Totally Full Frontal, Backberner, Shock Jock, and worked on Comedy Inc as a writer and producer. Guy has also written for Max Gillies in areas of political satire and social commentary.
Date: Saturday September 20, 2003
Time: Seminar One 9:30 - 12:30;
Seminar Two 1:30pm - 4:30
Where: RMIT School of Creative Media, Large Auditorium Level 1, Building 94 23 - 27 Cardigan Street South Carlton
Cost: One seminar $65 AWG members
$85 Both seminars $115 AWG members/$145
Bookings: The Australian Writers' Guild - Victorian Branch by email to [email protected] or telephone (03) 9328 5671
fixed term contracts or ongoing employment?
choices and pitfalls
presented by acirrt, University of Sydney and law firm Cutler Hughes & Harris
These briefings aim to give participants a focussed and detailed analysis of latest trends combined with an assessment of the current legal issues relating to topics.
Date: Thursday 2 October 2003
Time: 8.30 - 11.00am
Venue: Quality Hotel SC Sydney (formerly the Southern Cross Hotel), cnr Castlereagh & Goulburn Streets, Sydney
Cost: $155 inc gst, continental breakfast and notes
Alternatives to the traditional model of the permanent or ongoing employee have become increasingly popular over recent years. Casual employment has been growing, but so has the use of fixed-term contracts. However, the number of fixed-term employees in Australia remains relatively low by some international standards. This situation may change dramatically if proposed limitations on casual employment proceed. This briefing is designed to explore issues including:
What will happen if restrictions on casual employment are introduced?
What are the pros and cons of various forms of employment, permanent, casual and fixed term?
What are the key legal issues with fixed term contracts?
What do workers think?
Why is the fixed term contract model of employment most popular and why?
What are the legal remedies for employees dismissed during the course of a fixed term contract?
click here to register
more about acirrt >> www.acirrt.com
South Sydney Speaks
Cross Media Laws is a Free Press under threat? Packer and Murdoch a threat to democracy? Does The ABC have a future?
All these questions will be discussed on Sunday the 21st of September at 2pm at the Tudor Hotel Redfern St. Redfern the panel will be
Margo Kingston Sydney Morning Herald Peter Manning former head of abc news and current affairs and channel 7 witness programme now an adjunct professor of media studies at UTS A spokesperson from friends of the ABC have been approached.
more info Trevor 0416 347 501
In reference to your article "Telstra Pigs Out on Indian", you should check your facts before going to print - what does this have to do with Telstra ? IBM is buying out its' two minority partners in GSA, it's their decision. Maybe your editors aren't aware that none of Telstra's call centres are outside of Australia.....
If nothing else, it would be more than a little helpful if gross stereotypes were left out of reporting. It's not clever, it's not funny; at best it's insensitive and at worst it's racist. You don't need to do that to provide a story and it only perpetuates the difficulties many people still endure in their workplace and society - instead of leading the way for us all to truly value diversity.
Tony Abbot spends a lot of time defending the indefensible. In doing so he provides a good example for the voters of why the people are not well represented.
I also read on Sunday that Pauline Hanson got off lightly for a crime "that affects the public trust".
How ironic, the political road to justice for her journeyed through the Civil court, presumably because the electoral commissioner wasn't interested enough.
The price the Mad Monk and his cronies paid for justice was around $100,000. A bitter pill for those voters who would prefer to believe in a Westminster system that is not a victim of something out of the pages of Macchiavelli's the Prince.
I have written to the major supermarkets to try to persuade them to reduce the use of plastic by helping to market fibre bilums.
I am working with Kevin Mas, a UPNG graduate, to help everyday villagers sell their craft to the world.
We are operating on the basis that the bulk of the proceeds from sales is to go to the bilum makers themselves.
Please have a look at our humble web sites and if you wish please reply to us so that we may use a few of your words to help promote Bilums PNG.
It would be the greatest thing if you could help us.
The group of social misfits we now have running this country are indeed an insult to the intelligence, even to a grade seven drop out like me. But even a fool like me can see the present Labour Party especially in N.S.W. is just as far to the right as the Government. Even some of the more blue-blooded amongst the Conservatives are starting to see they don't believe there own bullshit any more, however I admire them in as much as when they are doing you over at least they have the courtesy of using a top of the line vaseline.
You can throw all the shit you like at the likes of Howard Abbot et all and I have no doubt some of it is begining to stick, however no matter how you carve it up INTEREST RATES is what killed the Federal Labor Party - simple.
I, like many other Australians, nearly lost my house when interest rates went to double digits and the Conservatives are going to beat this over the Labor Party until we put a man on Mars. Of course when we do the Astronaut, I have no doubt, will run into Simon Crean there and they can talk about Ethanol until the cows come home. I could go on, but I will leave that to the Federal Leadership. They had better get their act together or we are stuck with the Howard Government and all its venom, for the next generation.
The story of political debate over the past hundred years has been a recurring contest of competing ideologies: the free market versus socialism, the state versus the individual and religious fundamentalism versus secularism.
In practical terms, these debates have all been about applying an over-arching worldview into a set of laws to govern a society, with citizens of that society viewed very much as the passive consumers of the system.
With the triumph of market-based democracies, citizens do get the opportunity to vote for their preferred provider of legislative services, but as political parties have converged this choice, it has become more one of style and nuance than of fundamental difference.
In the past two decades the faultlines in Australia have further blurred, with two parties with different traditions (social democracy and liberalism) competing on their credentials as economic managers and service deliverers.
It is hardly surprising, that for the majority of people squeezed into their roles as economic units in the market of life, politics means less to them than ever before. They just don't have the time.
What has been missing in the political debate is an engagement with the lives of the people the system is meant to service, particularly the crisis in people's ability to maintain relationships in a global world.
We talk about Medicare as an abstract, Telstra as a business, education as an aspiration. Yet we don't strip back the debates and look at how political and business decisions affect the lives of individuals.
The experience of modern Australia is that while all the economic indicators say things have never been better, the people who are meant to benefit are over-worked, stressed and increasingly alone.
These are the crucial issues that Federal Labor frontbencher Lindsay Tanner grapples with in his new book, Crowded Lives, launched this week.
It's an ambitious and courageous work, not because it has a big picture solution, but rather the opposite: it calls for a new view of citizens, that sees them as members of a group, not just a subject or a consumer.
It is based on the notion that the best things in life are not things - but intangibles like friendship, time with families, and community participation.
According to Tanner the first step is for governments to view the impact of their decisions on the relationships between people at all different levels as a threshold. From there good policy must inevitably flow.
If the time has come to construct a new politics that links the state and individuals by focussing on the state's role in building and maintaining relationships, then Tanner's contribution could be an important building block.