Laughing Clowns

WATCH: Enjoy a huge weekend of fun at the Gold Coast Show

Get excited Gold Coasters!

The Gold Coast Show kicks off at the Gold Coast Turf Club this Friday, with three huge days of entertainment planned.

Gold Coast Show Manager Lavinia Rampino told myGC organisers have stepped it up this year, with the show set to be bigger and better than ever.

“We are celebrating 11 years this year,” she said. “This year at the show we are celebrating the Gold Coast as we head towards the Commonwealth Games.”

Ms Rampino said families can expect plenty of fun, with something for everyone on offer.

“The thing not to miss is the rodeo on each day of the show. Bring the whole family and have a fantastic day out.”

Watch the video to find out more about what to expect at this year’s event:

For more information, visit: goldcoastshow.com.au/

The Meddler

Celebrating Mayweather – the world’s most famous wife beater

I don’t care about boxing in the slightest, yet somehow, I was unable to escape the hype of the Mayweather/McGregor fight over the weekend.

I don’t care who won or lost.

What I do care about is the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on this fight. These boxers were paid literally enough money to feed a small African country for a year! And one of the boxers, Floyd Mayweather, is a known domestic abuser.

His history of beating the women in his life dates back officially to 2001, when he was charged with punching Melissa Brim over a child custody dispute. It escalated to the point where he served jail time for beating Josie, the mother of three of his other children.

His record for disrespectfully treating women continues: when he and his fiancé Shantel Jackson split up, he publicly posted photos of her supposed sonogram and announced that she had allegedly aborted their twins. The stunt was designed to deflect attention from the fact that she had accused him of choking and beating her, and of pulling a gun on her.

He’s a class act, right?

If he has such a reputation for being such a low-vibration human being, then “why does Mayweather remain such a compelling figure – despite his repeated and documented instances of domestic abuse?” mused one journalist.

“Let us count the ways,” she says. “There are no publicly available photos showing the evidence of his crimes; there’s no central organisation to hold Mayweather and other abusive boxers to account; and there’s an understanding, however contentious, that some boxers are inherently violent, their rage uncontrollable.”

How is this okay?

How is this the society we live in now? How is it so that we continue to reward Mayweather with cultural respect, fame, and squillons of dollars?

How is it possible that my kids’ teachers invest dozens and dozens of hours a week into nurturing young minds, providing structure and care to kids who don’t get enough of that at home – and they won’t earn in a lifetime anywhere near as much as this pair of jokers made in literally one minute? For the record, Mayweather pocketed US$200m from the fight, and McGregor US$100m.

The New York Times summed it up well: “In a city known for circuses and illusions, two men exchanged blows for less than 30 minutes. Nothing mattered; nothing was at stake.

And, when it was over, they hugged and laughed – a pair of business partners who had just pulled off the score of the century.”

Court Sentence

Swings and roundabouts

It’s funny the way things seem to go on swings and roundabouts. In 1945 the troops returned from World War II celebrating victory over fascism and the arbitrary and excessive use of power by the State. By the early 1950s politicians like American Senator Joe McCarthy had fuelled Cold War fears of Communist subversion, and convinced the populace there was “a Red under every bed”. So Americans surrendered their civil rights to avert the Communist threat. But then, a few years later, after a series of reckless, often-unsubstantiated accusations and character assassinations, McCarthy’s public hearings were discredited and shut down. By the early 1960s a new generation was again championing civil rights and libertarianism.

But as with all roundabouts, what goes around comes around again.

In 1974 the big news in terrorism was the Provisional IRA. The British public eventually became so outraged by the havoc wreaked by Irish bombers in the UK, it happily accepted new anti-terrorism laws allowing police detention in custody without charge for up to 7 days, in the hope evil perpetrators would be swiftly brought to Justice.

When bombs exploded in two public houses in central Birmingham on 21 November 1974, killing 21 people and injuring 182 others, everyone was relieved to hear six Irish suspects had been swiftly arrested and whisked into custody. “The Birmingham Six”, as the Irishmen would become known, were held by West Midlands Police behind closed doors for 7 days before being charged with anything. In the meantime they were reportedly deprived of food and sleep, interrogated for up to 12 hours at a time without a break, threatened and beaten repeatedly, terrorised with guard dogs, and subjected to a mock execution.

By weeks’ end four of them had confessed to mass murder. All six were ultimately sentenced to life imprisonment.

But 17 years later, new forensic evidence proved none of them was guilty, and the English Court of Appeal set them all free. A decade later, in 2001, each of them was awarded compensation, ranging from about $1.7 million to $2.5 million. In the mid 90s, I met one of the Birmingham Six, Jonny Walker, while he was in Australia on a lecture tour decrying detention in custody without charge. Walker, a former member of the British Armed Forces, had spent 17 years in prison before he was exonerated. When I asked him if he was bitter about the experience, he replied simply “When I went into prison my daughter was two years old. When I got out she was 19. Of course I’m bitter.”

Not so long ago, forcible detention in custody without charge was forbidden in Australia. That has changed in relatively recent times, so now police suspects are routinely arrested for questioning, and held for lengthy periods without charge. The latest wave of terrorism, this time Islamic, has convinced many that such drastic means are not only acceptable but necessary. In fact the process has become so familiar no one even raised an eyebrow earlier this month when counter-terrorism police obtained court orders to hold four Sydney men in custody for seven days without charge, as part of the investigation into an alleged plan to smuggle a bomb onto an Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi on July 15. The detention order was made pursuant to provisions of the Commonwealth Crimes Act, which deem terrorism investigations so inherently complex as to justify extended periods of detention in custody without charge.

Of course the British anti-terrorism laws of the early 1970s were motivated by a similar sentiment. The fact that two of the Sydney men held over the Etihad investigation were subsequently released, one without any charge at all, the other apparently cleared of any involvement in the terrorist plot after spending seven days in police custody, demonstrates how careful one must be. None of us would like to be put through that ordeal, particularly if we were entirely innocent. It’s true that criminal investigations can be complex and protracted, but at the same time coerced confessions and forcibly extracted information are, of their very nature, wildly unreliable.

There’s need for caution here. I’d hate to think that, as the carousel comes around in a decade or more, we may see more wrongly convicted victims of detention on the lecture circuit.

Tradesman Work Concrete

Every single tradie – put your hands up (and stretch)

Where would we be without Tradies? When we need something built, demolished, removed or improved, they provide the brains and muscle to get it done. They’re our backbone – so we need to help them look after theirs.

Luke Barden, Gold Coast Organiser of the Queensland Plumbers Union - walking the talk on tradie health and safety.

Luke Barden, Gold Coast Organiser of the Queensland Plumbers Union – walking the talk on tradie health and safety. PHOTO: Supplied

It’s no secret that Tradies are at a heightened risk of suffering injuries as a result of their repetitive and demanding physical work. A staggering 42% of construction workers commonly suffer from back, nerve and chronic pain injuries according to Worksafe Queensland.

Sadly, I’ve lost count of the number of tradies I’ve helped who’ve been injured on a worksite. All too often, their stories are the same.

They’re the loyal work-mate who gets the job done and doesn’t want to let anyone down, so they push through the pain and injure themselves.

They’re battling financially and the stress is putting a strain on their relationship.  Loved ones tell me “he’s a different man after his injury”.

Kids question why their handy parent can’t suddenly fix their bike or kick the footy with them anymore.

They’ve been told to toughen up or snap out of it, the reality is they would love nothing more than to get back to work. They never thought this would happen to them.

For me, the most concerning thing is that most workplace injuries can easily be prevented.

Philippa Gilbert CEO of PhysioMax supporting National Tradie Health Month

Philippa Gilbert CEO of PhysioMax supporting National Tradie Health Month PHOTO: Supplied

It’s an issue very close to my heart because I’m a Tradie’s lady myself – a proud one at that. It warms my heart to see my kids light up when they hear their Dad’s ute pull up and leap into his arms after a long day’s work. It’s those priceless moments that I hope remind my Tradie, and yours, to put their health and wellbeing first.

Tradies National Health Month is a valuable reminder to look after yourself and others in the workplace not just throughout August, but for your entire working life so you are returning safely to those you love each and every day.

For more information on the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s (APA) Tradies National Health month, visit www.tradieshealth.com.au

Cheers The Kitchens

Gastro-pub Malt House set to join The Kitchens

Just when you thought you couldn’t be any more spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding where to dine at The Kitchens (there are over 30 fresh food retailers, cafes, restaurants and bars, after all), the food playground is throwing another contender in the mix.

Enter: Malt House.

This restaurant-meets-bar has been taking shape behind closed doors for the past few months, and is now adding the finishing touches before it opens to the public in the coming weeks.

Dubbed as a gastro-pub (think top quality restaurant food being served in a casual pub-style setting), Malt House is set to be a popular addition to The Kitchens’ dining portfolio, particularly with those whose idea of a perfect day out involves sipping on a cold brew and enjoying gourmet fare.

In case the name didn’t already give it away, Malt House will specialise in all things beer – with an impressive selection on tap and an even bigger range of the bottled variety.

From the signature Malt House ‘The Kitchens’ Lager, to a dizzying assortment of local, craft, gluten-free and international brews (some of which you may never have even heard of!); patrons will have a tricky decision ahead of them when it comes time to order. The pub will also feature a dedicated keg room, which will be on display for all to see.

And while ale may be the star of the show, Malt House will also dish up a formidable gastro fare menu, putting a modern spin on classic pub faves.

Although the full menu is still under wraps, diners can expect everything from slow cooked lamb shank pie, to panko and Parmesan crusted pork schnitzel… even the traditional Sunday Roast is set to make a welcome appearance.

Located at the entrance of The Kitchens on Level Three, Malt House will open seven days a week from 11.00am until late. For more information, visit: thekitchens.com.au