Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Doyle harassed women, report finds

A Melbourne City Council investigation has found former lord mayor Robert Doyle sexually harassed two female councillors and created an “unsafe work environment”. Investigators found Doyle had drunkenly groped councillors Tessa Sullivan and Cathy Oke, both of whom went public with their complaints in December. A summary of the 100-page report, tabled to council yesterday, found the incidents “occurred in the context of the lord mayor having consumed substantial amounts of red wine”, and that the harassment occurred despite “Doyle’s strong denial of engaging in the alleged inappropriate conduct”. Taking to Twitter after the summary was released, Sullivan said “Robert Doyle is a sexual predator with a serious history of offending”. In a statement on Doyle’s behalf, his wife, Emma Page-Campbell, said he “fervently rejects that any such conduct was intended to be inappropriate or sexual in nature”.

Channel Seven breakfast program Sunrise has been widely criticised after airing a segment in which an all-white panel of commentators recommended placing Indigenous children with white families. Drawing from comments by assistant children and families minister David Gillespie that Australia should consider more “open adoptions” of Indigenous children in unsafe families, the Sunrise segment asked Brisbane radio host Ben Davis and commentator Prue McSween for their opinions. McSween appeared to endorse a return to Stolen Generations-era mandatory removal policies, saying “just like the first Stolen Generation where a lot of people were taken because it was for their wellbeing ... we need to do it again, perhaps”. Writing for IndigenousX, BuzzFeed Australia Indigenous affairs reporter and Dharumbal/South Sea Islander woman Amy McGuire noted that “neither McSween, Davis or Armytage have any expertise … in Aboriginal affairs. Their credibility rests on just one thing: they are all white.”

The first day of the royal commission into the banking, superannuation and finance industries has heard allegations of misconduct, dishonesty and lack of co-operation by major banks. The commission heard evidence that National Australia Bank employees ran a bribery ring to solicit loans and falsify documents for ineligible customers, and that NAB did not report their activities to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission for three months. Counsel assisting the royal commission, Rowena Orr, criticised Commonwealth Bank for flooding the commission with irrelevant spreadsheets after being asked to provide further information on incidents of misconduct, while noting that NAB also “failed to provide comprehensive information”. Watch today’s hearings from 10am here.

And in the United States, President Donald Trump has fired secretary of state Rex Tillerson. The former ExxonMobil chief executive reportedly discovered he was fired hours after it was first reported by The Washington Post ($), and only minutes before Trump announced his departure on Twitter. Speaking to reporters, Trump said he and Tillerson “disagreed on things” and had “a different mindset” on many issues, saying “I think Rex will be much happier now”. Tillerson’s exit is the latest in a wave of high-profile departures from the Trump administration, and comes during feverish diplomatic preparations for the proposed meeting between Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong Un. CIA director Mike Pompeo will face confirmation hearings before he can replace Tillerson.

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The global wave of #MeToo

“The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements might’ve found their start in Hollywood, but they certainly didn’t end there. Millions of women around the world have used the hashtags as a rallying cry, exposing sexual abuse and harassment, building communities around advocacy, and challenging repressive laws and power structures ... we asked five correspondents to find women who are taking steps to empower other women and bring real change to their communities.” the washington post

For decades, our coverage was racist. To rise above our past, we must acknowledge it

“I’m the tenth editor of National Geographic since its founding in 1888. I’m the first woman and the first Jewish person – a member of two groups that also once faced discrimination here. It hurts to share the appalling stories from the magazine’s past. But when we decided to devote our April magazine to the topic of race, we thought we should examine our own history before turning our reportorial gaze to others.” national geographic

Are home renovations necessary?

“Previously contained to affluent households and the glossy pages of architecture magazines, remodeling has been transformed ... Whether presented as a self-improvement project (update your house lest you be judged for owning a dated one) or a form of self-care (renovate because it will make you feel better), the home remodel is presented as both remedy and requirement. Instead of falling prey to this thinking, take a moment to consider this simple idea: There is nothing wrong with your house.”curbed



Why does this country eat its young?

“One of Australia's top retail industry groups wants the country's lowest-paid workers to be denied any pay rise this year. In an extraordinary submission to the workplace umpire, the National Retail Association – one of the nation's major retail industry organisations – has called for a 0 per cent increase to the minimum wage on July 1.”  fairfax


Pay us in decent wages and benefits, you vampires, not in yoga and ping pong.

“Students and graduates are forking out $1000 to undertake unpaid internships with a one in 64 success rate of picking up a full-time job and which don't even take place at the company's office ... An ad run by Industry Placements Australia last week advertised an eight-week unpaid web development internship that cost successful applicants $990. Under remuneration, the ad listed ‘communal lunches’, ‘yoga’, ‘table tennis’ and ‘hotdesking’.”  fairfax


and finally:

Dear Sunrise: Some alternative pitches for the Hot Topics segment

“Hey Sunrise! Long time viewer, first time caller. I saw you had an illuminating segment about placing Aboriginal kids in out-of-home care. I thought it was great that you not only included majority white perspectives (because heavens knows we need it), but also how you didn’t let qualifications and facts get in the way of a good yarn. Inspired by your ambition, I have a few pitches outlined below that I think would be perfect for your show.” nitv

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor, and a former editor of Junkee.