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Brave little Jaxon loses fight with cancer

IT was a story that touched almost every person in the Ballarat community.
Nanjing Night Net

A story of a boy who never let the word cancer get in his way.

For those who knew Jaxon Cooper, you may have heard him say “stuff you cancer”.

That’s exactly what the brave 11-year-old did right up until the end.

Sadly, Jaxon lost his battle with aninoperable brainstem tumour on Friday night after bravely fighting for his life since hewasdiagnosed last year.

Jaxon’s family shared a message to the local community who have followed Jaxon’s incredible journey on Saturday morning, saying “Last night, surrounded by family Jaxon slipped away. He is now free to run, play and talk.

He was only here with us for such a short time, but has taught us so much. He has done more than most adults have done on their lifetime.

Jaxon has shown us to live each day and treasure every moment and that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

Brave little Jaxon loses fight with cancer Jaxon surrounded by mum Jodie, dad Rob and his siblings Grace, 4, Logan, 8, and Tyson, 13.

Jaxon as principal for a day at Black Hill Primary School.

Jaxon spent much of his time focused on raising money for ‘Dream Day’ which raises money for brain cancer research.

Jaxon wearing a beanie for Brain Cancer Action Week.

Jaxon ticked off his watching the New York Knicks from his bucket list.

Jaxon ticked off his watching the New York Knicks play from his bucket list.

Paul Tudorovic gives Jaxon a signed New York Knicks shirt.

TweetFacebookIn his honor make today and everyday count.”

Over the weekend hundreds of tributes flooded in for Jaxon who inspired an entire community to remember justhow precious the gift of life is.

But no one is more proud of Jaxon and his journey thanhis family.

Jaxon’s mother, Jodie Cooper said she will always remember her little star as the cheeky boy who wanted nothing more than to beat cancer and ensure other children would neverbe facedwith the same terrifying reality he experienced.

“He was an average kid, but wanted to beat cancer and was determined to help others and make sure other kids didn’t go through the same thing,” she said.

“He was always positive andwanted to get the best out of life.

“He had an ability to always make us laugh and he was always full of energy.”

Despite being told he had less than 12 months to live after doctors found the inoperable tumour, Jaxon continued to defy all the odds to make a difference.

He made himself amission to prove he couldcomplete his bucket list of everything he would like to achieve.

“We started the bucket list as a little thing to help him and us,” Jodie said.

“How big it got was amazing.”

Thanks to the community’s generosity, Jaxon flew to America last year to watch his favourite NBA team, the New York Knicks.

“When we watched the Knicks, he turned around–it was like he couldn’t talk–and said‘that was the best night ever’,” his mother said.

Jaxonalso explored the Great Barrier Reef, watched his parents get married in Cairns, met the players from Melbourne United and this year went back to school.

But it was his meeting with former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, where he stood tall and advocated for funding formedical research into brain cancer and, ultimately, his goal tofind a cure that really left a imprint on the entire nation.

“We are extremely proud. Even through his bucket list he wanted to do things that would help others,” Jodie said.

“It shows us, even as an adult, that‘you can get on with it’. His determination to be who he could be is something I will never forget.”

But Jaxon and everything he has achieved for brain cancer will never be forgotten.

“We made him a promise to raise awareness for children’s brain cancer and help find a cure,” Jodie said.

Hundreds of tributes have flooded into the Jaxon’s Journey Facebook page with many people commenting on the how‘extraordinary’ Jaxon was.

“Jax you have taught us all so much along the way,” one message read.

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NBL: New Zealand Breakers v Sydney Kings | Photos

NBL: New Zealand Breakers v Sydney Kings | Photos Charles Jackson of the Breakers lays the ball up during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Nanjing Night Net

Head coach Joe Connelly of the Kings reacts after losing the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Corey Webster of the Breakers lays the ball up as Julian Khazzouh of the Kings defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Cedric Jackson of the Breakers shoots during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Cedric Jackson of the Breakers shoots during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Head coach Joe Connelly of the Kings reacts during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Corey Webster of the Breakers lays the ball up during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Damion James of the Kings walks off after losing the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Charles Jackson of the Breakersn complains to the referee during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Alex Pledger of the Breakers lays the ball up as Julian Khazzouh of the Kings defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Charles Jackson of the Breakers complains to the referee during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Corey Webster of the Breakers makes a break during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Charles Jackson of the Breakers lays the ball up as Damion James of the Kings defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Alex Pledger of the Breakers lays the ball up as Jerome Hill of the Kings defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Corey Webster of the Breakers passes the ball during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Charles Jackson of the Breakersn lays the ball up during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Damion James of the Kings reacts after comitting a foul during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Julian Khazzouh of the Kings steals the ball off Mika Vukona of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Angus Brandt of the Kings shoots during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Cedric Jackson of the Breakers lays the ball up during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Damion James of the Kings is blocked by Tai Wesley of the Breakers and Alex Pledger of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Damion James of the Kings is blocked by Tai Wesley of the Breakers and Alex Pledger of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Mika Vukona of the Breakers defends with Corey Webster of the Breakers against Julian Khazzouh of the Kings during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Damion James of the Kings is blocked by Tai Wesley of the Breakers and Alex Pledger of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Cedric Jackson of the Breakers defends as Julian Khazzouh of the Kings shoots three points during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Mika Vukona of the Breakers and Alex Pledger of the Breakers secure the rebound during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Jason Cadee of the Kings passes the ball back around Cedric Jackson of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Tommy Garlepp of the Kings tries to dribble past Tai Wesley of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Julian Khazzouh of the Kings tries to get past Cedric Jackson of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Julian Khazzouh of the Kings and Angus Brandt of the Kings collect the rebound during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Tai Wesley of the Breakers complains to the referee during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Charles Jackson of the Breakersn secures a rebound during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Julian Khazzouh of the Kings looks to shoot during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Jason Cadee of the Kings lays the ball up as Cedric Jackson of the Breakers defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Jason Cadee of the Kings lays the ball up as Cedric Jackson of the Breakers defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Julian Khazzouh of the Kings lays the ball up during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Tai Wesley of the Breakers complains to the referee during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Jason Cadee of the Kings lays the ball up as Tai Wesley of the Breakers defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Julian Khazzouh of the Kings lays the ball up as Charles Jackson of the Breakers defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

TweetFacebook Round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings.

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Paris UN Climate Conference 2015: Zombies trying to avoiding a warming apocalypse

Former US Vice-President Al Gore, French Environment Minister Segolene Royal and Californian Governor Edmund Brown at the climate conference. The talks were supposed to finish at 6pm Friday but missed the deadline.
Nanjing Night Net

A weary Segolene Royal, No. 3 in the French government, was having little of one journalist’s query that the fate of the Paris climate talks was now in the hands of sleep-deprived zombies.

“Why zombies? Have you never worked for two or three days straight?,” she told a clutch of reporters deep inside the warren of meeting rooms and pavilions at the summit site.

“The more you work the less tired you are – that’s my philosophy,” Ms Royal added with elan. “It’s fantastic these 10,000 people are trying to save the world.”

The upbeat assessment belies the experience of negotiators, some of them heading into their third day without sleep, as the French hosts drive towards an agreement by some time on Saturday – only a day over schedule so far.

Take Fobissie Kalame​, a senior – and sometimes the only – negotiator seemingly punch-drunk after fighting Cameroon’s corner for 48 hours straight.

“I’m losing my stability – my centre of gravity,” Dr Kalame, who in civilian life teaches at the University of Helsinki in Finland. “I feel sick, I just want to sleep.”

Not much chance of that for the climate policy expert, who says he is toiling so far without success to get text dealing with carbon markets and deforestation in the final text.

As the intense talks dragged deep into Friday morning, idle staffers were grabbing naps in corners or in corridors. “Some were just barefoot – it’s normal,” Kalame said, propping himself up at a table near a well-patronised coffee cart.

Indeed, seemingly endless rounds of discussions that run overtime have become the norm at climate summits. More is at stake this time around given the need to set targets to cut carbon emissions beyond 2020 before dangerous climate change – marked as 2 degrees warming above pre-industrial levels – becomes unavoidable.

Julie Bishop, Australia’s foreign minister, was on hand for consultations up until 4am before breaking off to rest and report back to Canberra.

Many of the Australian delegation stayed on until 6am when they left the freezing conference room briefly to their hotels for breakfast and warmth.

“It was bitter,” one staffer said. “We were cold and hungry.”

The Aussies were relying on adrenaline and passion to get through.  Staff were told: “This is a crunchy point”. After 20 years of talks it was “too critical to make a mistake”.

Late-night texting

Mistakes may be less a problem for the outcome of the conference than the determined actions of well-briefed, organised and powerful teams.

A European negotiator said the Americans all seemed  too fit and alert, led by their tireless top climate negotiator Todd Stern.

At about 4.15am, in a small group session, the US chief demanded changes to a crucial article dealing with the aid wealthier nations will be offering to developing nations to nudge them to a lower-carbon growth path and help them cope with climate impacts now and in the future.

Instead of “shall” give aid, donors will only be “expected to” provide help, a change the European delegate said appeared aimed at avoiding any legal obligation.

The repercussions of the change, reluctantly waved through by the EU, would stir angst and drain the energies of developing nation blocs through the rest of the day. It also put at risk the chances of a successful agreement, Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, South Africa’s chief negotiator told Fairfax Media and two French journalists later in the day.

“The key to an agreement is finance,” Ms Mxakato-Diseko said, blaming the Umbrella Group that includes the US and Australia. “Once you unlock finance, everything will fall into place.”

The finance problem – with developing nations expecting to be promised at least $US100 billion ($136 billion) a year by 2020 – joins reviews of targets and their transparency as key remaining issues.

The French say they will release the final text of the agreement late on Saturday morning,  releasing exhausted delegates to get some much-needed rest.

For some of the Australians, a couple of long plane rides awaits, and then days of debriefing in Canberra.

Fairfax Media is a partner of the United Nations Foundation

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Estancia La Bamba de Areco, Argentina review: The real-life Rancho Relaxo

Estancia La Bamba, Argentina. Photo: Craig Platt Estancia La Bamba, Argentina. Photo: Craig Platt
Nanjing Night Net

Estancia La Bamba, Argentina. Photo: Craig Platt

Estancia La Bamba, Argentina. Photo: Craig Platt

The place

Estancia La Bamba de Areco The location

Located 123 kilometres northwest of Buenos Aires, the Estancia La Bamba is located in a gorgeous rural setting, surrounded by sweeping grass plains, babbling creeks and tree-lined paddocks. In fact, the surrounding countryside looks a lot like county Victoria – green farmland, grain silos, corn and chicken farms. Even eucalypts mixed among elms, firs and other trees. The main difference is it’s much flatter – there is little topological variety. The final stretch to reach the property takes us off the main roads and on to a dirt track. The space

We’re met at the gate by a gaucho on horseback who leads us along a beautiful tree-lined avenue to the entrance to the ranch, where the entire staff is lined-up to greet us individually. The colonial-style main building is a striking red, built around a central courtyard and surrounded by vast gardens, including a polo field. The lounge, dining room and library are all located in this building and nearby is La Pulperia, a 19th-Century structure formerly used as a shelter for horses and carriages but now converted into a lodge-style lounge and breakfast area. At the rear of the property are the elegant stables, which almost match the homestead in their grandeur. There’s also a swimming pool – one of the more modern touches for property that dates back to 1830. Estancia La Bamba first became a guest house in the 70s but was purchased in 2007 by a French polo fan (hence the field) and underwent major renovations, reopening in 2010. It features 11 rooms and suites, each named after a famous polo horse. Comfort factor

The room is fairly minimalist, though fits with the feel of the property. There’s a high, wrought-iron four-poster bed, an open fireplace and an antique dresser (but no wardrobe). The bathroom has a classic French feel, with chequered tiles and a bidet. There is a bath with a hand shower, but there is only a cradle for the shower head above the bath taps – there’s no wall fixture to place it in, so showering is a little impractical. This seems to be a deliberate style choice to encourage relaxing baths over quick showers. The food

Meals are all-inclusive, which is a necessity unless you have your own transport. Fortunately there’s no reason you would want to miss any of the meals. The quality of the food is excellent and, as you would expect from a rural Argentinean property, meat features heavily on the menu. Lunch is in an outdoor barbecue area, while dinner is in the communal dining room. It’s a good opportunity to mingle with the other guests (there are also nightly pre-dinner drinks in the lounge and are also included) from diverse backgrounds – during my stay I meet visitors from Australia, the UK, Brazil, France and the US. It’s three course meals at night and the chef is present to tell us about the dishes, which maintain local traditions with modern twists. Stepping out

This is a rural escape, so there’s no real need to leave the property. The estancia offers a range of activities to keep guests entertained. Horseback riding is the most popular option, with the resident gauchos available to provide guided rides in the mornings and afternoons. The polo field is also put to use during my visit, with the estancia’s own team taking on another local group in a practice match. A highlight is also a performance by one of the station’s gauchos who shows off extraordinary “horse whisperer” skills to put on a display that can best be described as “horse yoga”. The trust between man and beast as they position themselves into a variety of poses is highly impressive. The verdict

Like the property featured in that classic Simpsons episode, Estancia La Bamba is a real-life ‘Rancho Relaxo’ ideal for recharging the batteries after a hectic visit to bustling Buenos Aires, while also offering some cultural insight to Argentina’s gaucho traditions. How to get there

LAN flies from Sydney to Santiago via Auckland with connections to Buenos Aires. South America Travel Centre (see below) can arrange transfers to Estancia La Bamba from the city. http://梧桐夜网lan南京夜网  See and Do

The South America Travel Centre can create tailor-made itineraries including accommodation, transfers, activities and domestic travel across the continent. See http://southamericatravelcentre南京夜网419论坛  Essentials

Rooms at Estancia La Bamba start from $US590 ($830) per room per night, low season (from $US790 ($1103) per night high season). Prices include meals, drinks (including alcoholic drinks during meal times) and activities. See http://梧桐夜网labambadeareco南京夜网

The writer travelled as a guest of the South America Travel Centre and LAN.

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Missing from the classroom and in court

Research shows education can provide real protection against falling into a life of crime. Photo: SuppliedAlmost 40 per cent of Victorian children charged with criminal offences are not enrolled at school, new research has found.
Nanjing Night Net

Children’s Court president Judge Amanda Chambers said magistrates were frustrated about the large number of young people, particularly boys, who were not in school when they appeared in court.

“Nothing was being done,” she said. “There was no sense of urgency about what was a crisis for the young men appearing in this court.”

The new figures were included in a Victoria University evaluation of an initiative that connects young people with education and training when they appear before the criminal division of the Children’s Court. It found that 43 per cent of clients had not attended a single day of school in the previous month, and 38 per cent had been out of school for more than six months. One 15-year-old boy had been out of school for more than two years.

Judge Chambers said education provided “real protection” against crime, and saved money down the track.

“Incarceration isn’t the answer. Our focus is on rehabilitating them,” she said.

“It’s unfortunate they have an interaction with the court but the positive is that this initiative provides an opportunity … to bring education back in. I wish there was more happening earlier on.”

The Education Justice Initiative, which began in September last year, is funded by the Education Department and managed by Parkville College, a school which teaches young people in custody.

Staff have worked closely with 103 young people in court, helping them contact education providers to determine the best option. They then help the young person set up interviews, which hopefully leads to enrolment.

Many of the clients are from disruptive households or live in out-of-home care. Seventy per cent had attended four or more schools, and many had been suspended or expelled.

The report said that warnings and suspensions issued by schools often discouraged students from attending.

Report author Kitty te Riele​ said young people who were disengaged with school had more time on their hands, which could lead to criminal behaviour.

Living in poverty, being in out-of-home care, and living in disruptive households can also lead to disengagement from education and criminal behaviour.

“Because their life is quite disruptive, and they may not have the family to support them, getting back to school is not always straightforward.”

The Victoria University associate professor said schools were sometimes reluctant to enrol young people who had a brush with the law.

“Sometimes it takes a fair bit of time to get schools on board,” she said.

The evaluation said there was evidence the program helped divert young people away from a custodial sentence. It was likely to also reduce recidivism.

All of the clients involved in the initiative were willing to engage with education, and 75 per cent reconnected with education.

The Age revealed last year that 10,000 vulnerable children were dropping out of Victorian high schools, training and apprenticeships every year.

Victorian students must complete year 10 and then have to remain in full-time education, training or employment until they turn 17.

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It’s time to crunch the numbers as the only measure of success

I’m getting sick of reading that our playing numbers are up again. It’s getting monotonous.
Nanjing Night Net

Up 20 per cent this week and schools programs bursting at the seams. Last week, news that girls’ football has overtaken netball to become No.1.

I’m being facetious, of course, but not entirely without some truth in the statement, because the real question is what are we doing with the numbers?

We’ve always been the biggest. It’s just that now football’s popularity is translating into all sectors of society, across both genders, and all forms of the game.

But scale was never the main issue. Conversion was – turning our giant numbers into a unified machine that builds the game into the largest in the country, commercially.

That means crowds and broadcast revenues.

That is the last piece of the puzzle and one that we have not yet cracked.

Yes, every week there are more people playing football, but we can no longer be proud and pleased only at this. Scale is only of substantial value if we all pull together to build our league to the point where the funds start to trickle down, rather than up.

This is what I don’t understand: why the game hasn’t worked out yet that the vast majority of the ills we face are solved by getting everyone into stadiums, by working together for the common good.

The high cost of football is killing kids and parents. Get into stadiums, support a club, raise the broadcast numbers and a television deal 10 or 20 times that of today will deliver funds to every grassroots club in the country to lower the cost to play.

Lower costs means more talent, more participants, higher memberships in A-League clubs, a virtuous cycle.

I’ve written this several times over the past decade and the sad truth and the great challenge is we haven’t yet cracked it. The exciting part is what could we be if we did?

Many see the lack of big names this season as a major problem, whereas I look at the issue from the opposite viewpoint. When we all get into the stadiums, we’ll be able to afford any marquee in the world and compete with the United States’ Major League Soccer. Instead of expecting A-League clubs to spend more, let’s build the game’s revenues so that they can.

We should have 50,000-plus crowds at every game, feeding higher salaries to the players and more to spend on international marquees. A Del Piero for every club, and more than enough funds to feed many mouths.

Perhaps some incentivisation for grassroots clubs. It wouldn’t be difficult to monitor the number of attendees from any club, academy or school, which could translate to rewards that serve to create mutual benefits at all levels. A pull strategy, rather than push.

Whatever the mechanisms, we need innovative thinking, greater communication and more alignment of goals in the game so that everyone wins by working together.

It is simply not acceptable that at the same time as we announce greater and greater numbers of participants, which now happens on an annual basis, the professional competition is as yet commercially unstable.

Incredible numbers should automatically mean incredible strength.

But only if we all work together, at every level.

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Firebrand academic Camille Paglia slams Taylor Swift for ‘obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine’

Taylor Swift has been labelled a “Nazi Barbie” by cultural critic Camille Paglia. Photo: Penny StephensJewish leader condemns Camille Paglia for calling Taylor Swift a “Nazi Barbie”
Nanjing Night Net

Playing the Hitler card usually destroys the credibility of an argument, yet American cultural critic Camille Paglia has won support for criticising singer Taylor Swift’s “obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine”.

In a scathing essay for The Hollywood Reporter, Paglia invokes Nazism and fascism to criticise Swift’s social media posts about her celebrity friends.

“In our own wide-open modern era of independent careers, girl squads can help women advance if they avoid presenting a silly, regressive public image — as in the tittering, tongues-out mugging of Swift’s bear-hugging posse,” Paglia writes. “Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props.”

Comparing someone to Hitler or Nazism usually detracts from an argument, according to Godwin’s Law and its corollaries. But Lizzie Crocker writing in The Daily Beast applauded Paglia for criticism of the 25-year-old Swift.

“The ‘Nazi Barbie routine’ barb aimed at Swift may seem harsh, but Paglia’s shrewd critique is entirely valid,” Crocker writes. “For all of Swift’s talk about girl power, there’s very little feminist substance to the #girlsquad movement on social media.”

A photo of Age of Adaline actress Blake Lively with Swift in Australia was posted last week on Instagram.

Crocker refers to these social media posts as “cutesie, hashtag activism”.

“The image of sisterhood she’s projecting is more popular girl with her posse than genuine female solidarity,” Crocker writes.

However, Swift’s supporters took to social media to defend the singer. Haters gonna hate #CamillePagliapic.twitter南京夜网/7k0a1bBQEN— Kate Young (@Researcher_Kate) December 12, 2015

Glad that #CamillePaglia has found a publication that’s suitable for the intellectual heft of her writing. https://t.co/9KMa3gYGe7— George Colombo (@georgecolombo) December 12, 2015

#CamillePaglia calls Taylor Swift an ‘elitist Nazi barbie’ https://t.co/UbmNEwm6n0pic.twitter南京夜网/oG4eT9pBCO— Melva Miland (@MlvMlnd) December 12, 2015

Proponents of the #girlsquad movement argue it empowers women. But Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, says the practice harms the self-esteem of women who are not rich, famous or attractive enough to belong to the group.

Paglia argues that Swift and other women in the entertainment business should avoid petty rivalries and forge productive friendships based around mentoring, exchanging advice and developing innovative projects.

​”Women need to study the immensely productive dynamic of male bonding in history,” she writes. “With their results-oriented teamwork, men largely have escaped the sexual jealousy, emotionalism and spiteful turf wars that sometimes dog women.”

Paglia also reportedly says that writing about Swift is a “horrific ordeal”.

“[H]er twinkly persona is such a scary flashback to the fascist blondes who ruled the social scene during my youth,” she says.​

Paglia, who has previously criticised Miley Cyrus, is a polarising figure in feminist circles and has frequently been personally attacked for her views on feminism.

Naomi Wolf described Paglia as “the nipple-pierced person’s Phyllis Schlafly who poses as a sexual renegade but is in fact the most dutiful of patriarchal daughters” in a 1992 essay in The New Republic.

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem once invoked the Third Reich in an attack on Paglia: “Her calling herself a feminist is sort of like a Nazi saying they’re not anti-Semitic.”

Paglia reportedly took umbrage at the references to Nazism but invoked the name of another genocidal killer, calling Steinem “the Stalin of feminism”.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Australia v West Indies First Test, day 3Photos

Australia v West Indies First Test, day 3 | Photos Darren Bravo of the West Indies celebrates after reaching his century during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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Darren Bravo of the West Indies celebrates after reaching his century during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Mitch Marsh of Australia bowls during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Darren Bravo of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Darren Bravo of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Jason Holder of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Mitch Marsh of Australia bowls during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Jason Holder of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Mitch Marsh of Australia celebrates dismissing Denesh Ramdin of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Jermaine Blackwood of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Rajendra Chandrika of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Jermaine Blackwood of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Jermaine Blackwood of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Mitch Marsh of Australia celebrates dismissing Denesh Ramdin of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Jermaine Blackwood of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates with team mates after dismissing Jermaine Blackwood of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Mitch Marsh of Australia celebrates dismissing Denesh Ramdin of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Jermaine Blackwood of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Jermaine Blackwood of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Jermaine Blackwood of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Darren Bravo of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Jermaine Blackwood of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Rajendra Chandrika of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Rajendra Chandrika of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Rajendra Chandrika of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

James Pattinson of Australia celebrates dismissing Darren Bravo of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Darren Bravo of the West Indies celebrates after reaching his century during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Josh Hazlewood of Australia celebrates dismissing Jerome Taylor of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Kemar Roach of the West Indies walks off the filed after being dismissed by Josh Hazlewood of Australia during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Josh Hazlewood of Australia celebrates taking the wicket of Kemar Roach of the West Indies during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Darren Bravo of the West Indies celebrates with Kemar Roach of the West Indies after reaching his century during day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

TweetFacebook Pictures from day three of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Blundstone Arena on December 12, 2015, in Hobart.

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Anti-racism activists turn violent at Cronulla rally

A rally at Don Lucas Reserve in Cronulla, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Cronulla riots. Photo: James Brickwood A rally at Don Lucas Reserve in Cronulla, to commemorate the Riots. Photo: James Brickwood
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Anti-fascist activists from the Antifa group confronted anti-Islam protesters in Don Lucas Reserve in Cronulla. Photo: James Brickwood

Members of the anti-fascist Antifa group at Cronulla on Saturday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Who are the Antifa group?Comment: Our diversity is an indivisible part of our national identity

People regarded as being anti-Islam protesters have been set upon by members of a large anti-racism crowd numbering in the hundreds that has gathered to mark the 10th anniversary of the Cronulla riots.

The anti-racism protesters – including a vocal minority called Antifa (anti-fascism) dressed in black with black face masks – have been abusing police, using megaphones.

Riot squad police have been forced to corral the anti-racism protesters at the southern end of Cronulla beach.

Certain anti-Islam protesters found themselves in the midst of the Antifa members who proceeded to push and shove them and call them “f—ing fascists”.

One middle-aged woman draped in an Australian flag caught in the crowd was surrounded by 20 to 30 Antifa members who shouted at her to “take that fascist flag off now”.

A man in the crowd yelled “burn that flag and burn that woman”.

There were other chants of “police protect the fascist filth” and “Muslims are welcome, fascists are not.”

Police had made two arrests at the protests by 2pm.

A 58-year-old man from Warilla, south of Wollongong, was arrested for offensive behaviour and a 25-year-old man from Seaforth was arrested for breaching the peace.

A police spokeswoman could not confirm whether the two men were part of the anti-Islam or anti-racism groups.

In a volatile and confusing situation, members of the Antifa crowd were being instructed to “mob up”, running from one side of the park to the other in an apparent effort to confuse police about their intentions.

An Antifa member told Fairfax Media: “I believe we have more to fear from the bosses and the state and the police than from different cultures.

Asked about their confrontational tactics, he said “peaceful confrontation is not going to work with these people. We have tried that in the past. We will not tolerate any fascism in our country.”

Antifa members carried red, black and white flags with the words Antifaschistische Aktion, the name of a German anti-fascist organisation that reportedly has its roots in the German communist party in 1932, was dissolved in 1933 by the Nazis and resurfaced in the 1980s in Europe.

Antifa Australia’s Facebook page has as its most recent post on November 17: “These deranged far-right scum want to damage society and bring everyone down. If the Authorities won’t stop hate speech, the leftist community will now need to implement their own authority via grassroots action.”

Police have provided the anti-racism crowd with free transport at the train station and asked them to leave Cronulla.

At the other end of the beach, a crowd of 120 anti-Islam protesters were outnumbered by members of NSW Police, the Riot Squad and weekend joggers.

“I’m here to celebrate a free Australia and freedom of speech and to celebrate Australian culture with a halal-free barbecue of a pig on a spit,” said Nick Folkes, chairman of the anti-Islam Party for Freedom.

Folkes had announced plans to hold a rally at Cronulla but was blocked by a Federal Court order on Friday. Holding the barbecue was “a compromise”, he said, confirming that he would not be addressing the crowd but that he could talk to the media.

“Everyone in Australia should have the right of assembly,” said Folkes, who claimed that the tyres on his car had been slashed overnight, “no doubt by the useful idiots on the left”.

The meeting was attended by Danny Nalliah and Rosalie Crestani of the Rise Up Australia Party, Kim Vuga of the Love Australia or Leave It Party, and independent Sergio Redegalli, who become known for his “Say No To The Burqa” murals in Newtown.

“I have studied Islam for the five years and I can tell you that it is impossible to reform,” said Redegalli, who arrived early in a ute on the back of which was a large pig on a spit.

Nalliah addressed the crowd before an Australian flag, leading them in a chant of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie”. He then denounced multiculturalism, the media, the United Nations (“United Nonsense”) and the politically correct left.

He also described a trip to Saudi Arabia where he witnessed three beheadings.

He said he wanted to tell all Muslims that “If you are dying in jihad you are not going to get your 72 virgins in heaven but 72 devils who will torture you in hell.”

Some in the crowd voiced regret for the violence of 10 years ago.

Others saw it differently. “What we are here for is to commemorate those riots which came out of Islamic thuggery,” said a 17-year-old Toby, who had travelled from West Ryde. “If today does end like that though, they’re going to need bullets to stop us.”

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Mark Philippoussis believes Nick Kyrgios, Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis ready to grow up

Plenty of baggage: Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis arriving at Canberra airport in July. Photo: Jamila ToderasMark Philippoussis understands the challenges of growing up in the spotlight, but believes he had it better than current Australian stars Nick Kyrgios, Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
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“You need to understand the tennis life is a beautiful thing, but it’s also tough, especially these days,” Philippoussis said.

“You’ve got social media. Nothing happens without it literally going worldwide in a second with Instagram and Twitter. It’s not easy. When we were playing, we didn’t have all of that stuff, I couldn’t imagine.

“Nick is a powerful personality. He’s going to learn, he’s young. When someone trips over they need to realise they’ve tripped over, learn from that and grow.

“I’m sure that’s what’s happening. Everyone makes mistakes and there’s not much you can do. You just have to come up stronger, so the next time the same situation comes up you know what decision to make, you’re learning from the last one.

“It’s so easy these days to criticise people. We want the best for these guys, we want them to do well for their country, for their Davis Cup side, for themselves.

“We also need to support them as they do that.”

Philippoussis won his second Davis Cup in 2003, but Australia has not come close since. But the emergence of Kokkinakis, Kyrgios and Tomic has raised hopes of a return to the halcyon days, despite the latter’s reluctance to play in some of the campaigns. The man dubbed the Scud, who will take on Goran Ivanisevic in a Fast-4 encounter at the Apia Sydney international in Sydney, believes all three have the potential to become top-five players.

But to do so, Kyrgios and Tomic must learn from the indiscretions that have affected their tennis.

“When you’re a kid, you just want to be a professional, that’s all you want,” Philippoussis said.

“You want to play in front of the crowds, on centre court, for your country. Davis Cup, lifting the trophy on the Sunday, you dream of that stuff.

“You don’t realise that’s it’s like ‘careful what you wish for’. You’re not ready for the things that come along with it, let’s be honest. You train for hours a day to get to the next level, but you’re not trained to handle certain situations, to handle the expectations. That’s something that happens along the way.

“If someone is to trip, you can’t crucify them as long as they have learnt their lesson.”

A generation ago Philippoussis, along with Lleyton Hewitt, carried the hopes of a success-starved nation. Tomic was the first of the new breed and he is finally beginning to fulfil his undoubted potential as Kyrgios and Kokkinakis compete for the local spotlight.

“Our future is bright considering that a few years ago everyone was freaking out a bit, thinking what’s gone wrong?” Philippoussis said.

“For so long we were spoilt with amazing talent, all of these amazing characters in the game, and we took things for granted. It’s natural that it would take a little time for those next guys to come up and that’s what’s happened.

“These kids are doing their work and it’s starting to pay off now. These guys are incredibly talented. With Nick, Thanasi and Tomic, they are three different personalities, three different games, which is great.

“It’s up to them to see how far they can go. They have the talent to go top 10, top five.

“It’s very important as they grow and get more mature physically and mentally that they take their tennis to another level as well.”

Tomic, despite well-publicised dramas, has begun to do so. The 23-year-old achieved a career-high ranking of 18 in a season that included a night in an American lock-up and yet another stoush with Tennis Australia.

“This is a kid who has been in the spotlight for a long time,” Philippoussis said.

“In my eyes it feels like he’s 27 years old, but he’s still so young, he’s just been around for a long time.

“He’s got a very unique game, a game that troubles guys because nobody plays like him. When you’re practising for someone you can find someone similar, but no one plays like him.

“He’s old school – an inside-out forehand, but then he can come over it.

“I’ve been impressed with his year, he’s been very solid and stepped it up. He’s stronger, he’s more focused, he’s hungry. More importantly, I think Nick and Thanasi are pushing him to get to that next level. Before it was just him, now it’s a case of ‘don’t forget about me, too’.

“They are all pushing and helping each other.”

Philippoussis, part of a Sydney legends field that also includes John McEnroe, has also taken a keen interest in fellow Greek-Australian Kokkinakis. The pair spent time together while on the same International Premier Tennis League team.

“I’ve seen a bit of him this year and he’s improved every month, he’s gotten better and stronger,” said the former world No.8.

“The good thing is he’s got a really good head on his shoulders, he’s got a huge heart and he’s a fighter. He wants it, he wants to work hard. I believe 2016 will be his breakout year.”

With Lleyton Hewitt appointed Davis Cup captain, Australia should have a strong squad for its 2016 campaign. However, success will depend on Tomic and Kyrgios’ desire to be a part of it, with history suggesting their commitment can waver.

“For me, I was a very different personality to Lleyton or Pat [Rafter], I liked doing things differently or on my own,” said the Wimbledon and US Open finalist.

“When tennis was done I wanted to do my own thing, I had my own friends, but when we came together as a team we became strong. We put our different personalities aside because we were on the same mission.

“It’s important for these guys to understand that and feel the same thing. It’s good that guys are different, it makes a stronger team when you bring different things to the table.

“You put everything aside for that week and do what you have to do.” Sponsored: Australian Open tickets available from just $75 at Queen of Tickets

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