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Issue No. 257 01 April 2005  

Icarus Rising
Right now John Howard is flying. Watch him soar in his Vodafone track-suit, further than the Hawke into unchartered skies.


Interview: Australia@Work
Labor's Penny Wong has the job of getting more people into the workplace and keeping companies honest. In her spare time ....

Unions: State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson unveils the annual survey of attitudes of workers to their jobs, thier lives and the union.

Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Jim Marr unpacks the unlikely claim of a suburban house to be considered the New Mecca of the New Right �

Legal: Leg Before Picket
Chris White looks at how the federal industrial changes will impact on the basic right to strike.

Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Neale Towart asks why the only form of legitmate welfare seems to be going to the top end of town.

Health: Cannabis Controversy
Zoe Reynolds looks at how drug and alcohol testing is leading to some addled outcomes.

Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
As the indicators head south, Frank Stilwell wonders whether it is the way we do economics that is to blame.

History: Politics In The Pubs
Phil Doyle reports on the increasingly-popular Struggles, Scabs and Schooners day out.

Review: Three Bob's Worth
Doing their best Margaret and David, Tara de Boehmler and Tim Brunero have different takes on the new Australian flick Three Dollars.

Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
Workers Online bard David Peetz teaches how workers to dance to Howard's industrial laws.


 Health System to Subsidise Shonks

 Who Likes Bing Lee?

 Death Threats Shut Campsie

 Thumbs Down for Union Busters

 Advocate Pours Salt on Wound

 United Front Beats Drug Boss

 Kev Backs Double Standard

 Victorian Morality Shafts Teacher

 Doctors Prescribe More

 Multinational Banks Jobs

 Working Class Idol

 Greens Protect Entitlements

 Activist�s What�s On


The Soapbox
Notes From a Laneway
Mental Health Workers Alliance member Toby Raeburn shares a week on the frontline.

The Locker Room
War, Plus The Shooting
The Socceroos aren�t their own worst enemy after all, or so says Phil Doyle

Life Imitates Art
The jokes have been around for some time about the economic rationalist's approach to the orchestra, writes Evan Jones.

The Westie Wing
Ian West takes the secret passage out of Macquarie Street to deliver his take on NSW Parliamentary Committees and other goings on.

 Students Bear Brunt
 Security Lacking
 Bus Lanes On Vic Rd
 Dirt Cheap Right On Money
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Working Class Idol

Adelaide wharfie Viron Papadoulos has taken out first prize in the MUA Working Class Idol competition with his short film

The winner was selected by a panel of eminent film makers and historians including Tom Zubrycki, John Hughes, Norma Disher and Dr Lisa Milner selected the best of 10 entries from ships and ports around the nation this week.

While Australian Idol has been attracting record crowds, the MUA has been quietly holding a talent quest of its own - not for the latest rap or rock singer, but for wharfies and seafarers who could help relaunch the union film unit first set up in the fifties.

"Our union has a long history of supporting workers in developing their full potential in every aspect of their lives," says MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin. "Cultural issues are inseparable from industrial and economic issues and we must record and preserve what is ours, ensuring our national identity is not lost in this age of globalisation."

Viron Papadopoulos, 30, a casual wharfie and freelance film maker is an honours graduate in film studies at Flinders University and has been working on documentaries and films for the past 10 years (including the Working Lives series for ABC TV, McLeod's Daughters and the Secret Life of Us). He has also taken out awards for short films in state festivals.

"People's work is their life," said Viron. "That goes for wharfies especially. There is a culture that goes with being a waterside worker. It's iconically Australian. That is one of things that made me want to work on the waterfront. And it's what really made me want to be involved in the establishment of the union film unit."

Sydney wharfie Cooper Silk, 29, works full time for P&O, Darling Harbour while also doing a bit of acting for a film-making friend.

"One of my mates was in Race Around the World on ABC and freelances for television," he said. "I've done stuff for him in front of the camera. So when I saw the union was running a film competition I thought I'd be good at it and I'd give it a go."

Actor and wharfie John Teague, is studying part time at the Actors' PlayHouse in Melbourne while working part time for Toll Stevedoring, Geelong. He took out third prize for his entry MUA News. John has appeared on Blue Heelers and stage plays as well as short films including the 2002 Dendy Awards winner, China Face. He also appears on Hard Yakka and Fox Footy.

"It's hugely important that working people have their say," said John. "A lot of people just clock on and clock off. Work can be really mundane. So I thought I'd highlight some really positive things happening around the place like the wharfies helping out Tsunami victims."

The winning entries will be mailed out to all MUA members, available on the website and screened at stopwork meetings in coming weeks.


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