Squiz Today / 25 August 2017
Squiz Today – Friday, 25 August
“I have to go to school now to do some extra study and tutoring.”
Said Kait O’Meagher, altogether far too calmly. Kait is a year 12 student of NSW’s Coonamble High School who learned this week she’s been taught the wrong maths syllabus for her HSC exams. Kait probably won’t have time to speak to anyone for a while - exams start in mid-October. Tick-tock.
COATES WASHES HANDS OF AOC’S TOXIC CULTURE
The long-awaited review of the Australian Olympic Committee’s internal culture and workplace practices was released yesterday – and it ain’t pretty. The report by The Ethics Centre is an HR/organisational review-par-excellence that almost fried our brains when we read it. But once we could see straight, three points stood out:
1. AOC President John Coates (who survived a brutal campaign for re-election earlier this year) is seen as the “living encyclopedia of Olympic ‘lore’ and ‘law’.” That’s a strength, but it has also created problems.
2. Words used by staff and stakeholders to describe the worst of the AOC include: petty politics, favouritism, laziness, infighting and gossiping.
3. The staff’s view of the AOC leadership? There is “widespread dissatisfaction with examples of behaviour witnessed or heard about that showed leaders acting individualistically, as driven by self-interest or ego, or undermining each other overtly, or behind closed doors.”
WHAT’S THE REACTION BEEN?
John Coates didn’t muck around in shoring up his position: “There has been some criticism of senior leaders - I'm the president, I'm not the senior leader that is being criticised. There has been no treatment of the staff by me that is objectionable." Wow! CEO Matt Carroll got up from under the bus and said; “We are committed to build a culture that is fit for purpose and aligned to our exposed values and principles." We're not sure what that means but when it comes to HR jargon, it was a gold medal winning performance.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
You mean besides everyone who opposed Coates’ re-election lining up to say; “told you so”? Matt Carroll only took the top-ish job in May after former CEO Fiona de Jong left last December. She subsequently claimed she was threatened on a dozen occasions by AOC media manager and key Coates ally, Mike Tancred (who was later cleared of bullying). And Chef de Mission, Kitty Chiller (who surprisingly isn’t a motivated team foodie, but was the boss of the Olympic team when they’re at the Games) announced she didn’t want the role for the 2020 Olympics. So spare a thought for Carroll as he tries to rebuild the high-profile organisation and manage some rather interesting characters along the way.
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HIGH COURT KICKS OFF CITIZENSHIP HEARINGS
Five of the seven federal politicians with dual citizenship issues started the process of having their cases heard in the High Court yesterday. (We’re talking about Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, former Cabinet Minister Matt Canavan, former Greens Senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters, and One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts. Nats deputy leader Fiona Nash and SA Senator Nick Xenophon are yet to be referred.) The notable points are:
• Barnaby Joyce’s arch-nemesis Tony Windsor can join the challenge against him. Joyce beat Windsor at the last election.
• Matt Canavan’s mum is off the hook for his Italian citizenship – he’s a citizen by descent. And it seems Malcolm Roberts didn’t fill in the official forms to renounce his British citizenship until after he was elected.
• The cases will be heard from 10-12 October. That's a blow for the Turnbull Government who wanted it dealt with much sooner.
It’s enough to make you want to have a few drinks and a lie down on the sofa.
TYPHOON HATO WRECKS HAVOC FOR HONG KONG AND MACAU
Southern China, Hong Kong and Macau have been lashed by Typhoon Hato - one of the strongest ever recorded in the area. Twelve people are reported dead, eight of those were in Macau following surging waves, collapsed scaffolding and flooding. Winds got up to 127kms per hour at Hong Kong’s international airport leading to the cancellation of almost 500 flights on Wednesday night and big delays yesterday. Macau is the world’s biggest gambling hub and is home to 600,000 people. One resident said; "The city looks like it was just in a war." So who's to blame? Macau's weather boss has been sacked.
MURDOCH & GORDON CLEAR COMPETITION HURDLE ON PROPOSAL TO BUY TEN
The competition regulator has given media moguls Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon the green light to bid for the Ten Network. The two men have proposed to take a 50% stake each in the television company. Approval was required given Murdoch's involvement with News Corp and other media companies, and Gordon's ownership of WIN TV. The ACCC isn't stoked about it but basically said “yeah, ok” given the state of the industry. One more hurdle needs to be cleared before it could go ahead – changes to the media laws that the government is currently pursuing.
MAGGIE BEER’S FOOD BUSINESS FACING FINANCIAL LOSS
We really like supercook Maggie Beer’s burnt fig ice cream, and we’re not ice cream people. But we don’t buy it often, and that seems to be a bit of a broader problem that has landed her company, Maggie Beer Products, in some financial trouble. The business sold a 48% stake to listed company Primary Opinion last year, and because they have a ‘continuous disclosure obligation’, (which you’re all over if you Squiz’d yesterday) we know a bit about their strife. Long story short, it looks like they could be heading for a +$2 million loss as cautious consumers steer away from premium food products and keep an eye on the purse strings. We wish them success, we’d hate for our occasional ice cream hit to disappear.
SURVIVING MAYWEATHER V MCGREGOR
You could put on the eye of a pin how many cares we have for this event. But it’s going to be a big deal this weekend (it’s expected the be the most watched fight ever) so let’s get through this together.
Who are these guys? – Floyd Mayweather Jr (40yo) is an American boxer who was undefeated 49-0 in his professional career. He was the man when he retired in 2015 and is making a comeback for this fight. Conor McGregor (29yo) is an Irish UFC fighter-come-boxer. He’s a pretty big deal in the mixed martial arts world.
What exactly is it? – It’s a super welterweight fight, and there'll be a maximum of 12 x three-minute rounds fought under boxing rules. We don't know what that means, but we intend on using it in conversation.
Tips? – The bookies are predicting a Mayweather win.
Where/When/Why? - Las Vegas, baby. It’s on at 2.00pm Sunday (AEST) and costs $59.95 to watch on Foxtel’s pay-per-view. As for why - we're thinking it's money. Speculation is the purse could be +US$200 million for Mayweather and +US$100 million for McGregor.
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
The year is certainly getting away from us. That means Oscars season is gearing up, so for those who like to get ahead of it, here are the movies industry rag Variety says are creating the most buzz so far.
The scented candles preferred by 26 famous people. So effluent. For the record, we're in tune with Beyonce, but we knew that already.
Cougars are so 2015; now it's all about WHIPs (Women who are Hot, Intelligent and in their Prime). Think Brigitte Macron. Here's one WHIP's account of why she's smokin’ in her 50s in a way she wasn’t when she was younger. Spoiler alert – it’s all about confidence.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Management and Organisational Capabilities of Australian Business, 2015-16
Daffodil Day - benefiting Cancer Council Australia
Noosa Jazz Festival (on until 3 September)
5.35pm (AEST) - Wallabies v All Blacks in Bledisloe Cup Game 2 - Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
2.00am (AEST) - Aussie Wallaroos v Canada in the Women's World Rugby Cup game for fifth place
2.00pm (AEST) - Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor Fight - Las Vegas
Opening of the National Gallery of Victoria's House of Dior Exhibition
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