Footy codes show results of years of planning & development

Well, the dust has settled on the semi-finals for Australia’s 2 major football codes, the NRL (National Rugby League) and the AFL (Australian Football League).  The results are no doubt pleasing to the hierarchy of the codes respective managements as proof of their plans to develop truly national competitions.  The grand finals of both codes will not have a team representing the traditional strongholds of each code.

The NRL Grand Final will be played out between the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm.  As a New South Welshman, I have mixed feelings about this result.  As a follower of rugby league from my early childhood, it is hard to swallow a grand final that will not have a NSW based team in it.  On the other hand, I am happy to see the game growing in strength and widening it’s support base, although most of that growth at this time stems from areas that are traditional rugby league supporters anyway (that being NSW and Queensland).  As to who I want to win?  Given that I don’t support either team, it’s a decision that I really don’t care about too much.  Ahh, stuff it!  Old rivalries come to the fore, and I simply cannot back the Broncos.  Go Storm!

The AFL Grand Final will have the Sydney Swans defending their 2005 title against the West Coast Eagles.  Not being an avid follower of AFL and being based in Sydney, it is difficult for me to do anything other than say, Go Swans!

Good luck to all the participants.

Ban called to prevent parents from smacking their children

The Australian Childhood Foundation has called for Governments to make laws banning parents from smacking their children.  There are already laws in place to prevent parents hitting their children above the shoulders and I, for one, support that ideal.  However, to suggest taking away from parents what is perhaps one of the most effective tools they have for stopping children getting out of hand seems to lack an understanding of what parents have to endure.

I do NOT for one minute condone physical abuse of anyone, especially children.  However, using the palm of one’s hand to deliver a bare-handed smack to a child’s posterior is quite often the only effective deterrent available to a parent.  A smack is one thing, delivering a beating is something entirely different and cannot be tolerated.

Mr Joe Tucci, the CEO of the aforementioned Foundation, claims positive behaviour reward techniques are more effective.  Perhaps so, but how do you create the right sort of environment when your child has decided to chuck a tantrum while you’re at the supermarket?  A quick smack brings the child to brook quickly and effectively.  Once the parent and child are home, then the parent can sit the child down and talk with the child about the child’s misbehaviour (assuming the child is old enough to comprehend fully). I never suffered detrimentally as a child from the occasional smack, and neither have my children who are today well behaved, polite young adults.  Smacks are just one small part of a parent’s armoury of correcting a child’s behaviour, and I grant they should be used sparingly.  But for heaven’s sake, these bloody interfering “welfare” groups should mind their own bloody business.

Historic fourth consecutive term to Queensland Labor Party

The Queensland Labor Party, led by the incumbent Premier, Mr Peter Beattie, has succeeded in winning an historic fourth consecutive term.  Mr Beattie has become the first Labor Premier to achieve this feat in 65 years.

Even though I might not agree with a lot of Labor policies, I cannot argue with the skill of Mr Beattie in looking after his State.  Clearly the voters think he is doing the right job.  Congratulations, Mr Beattie.

A sad week for Australians

This has indeed been a sad week for all Australians, and even more so for those who follow motor sport.

The man who was perhaps Australia’s best known “wildlife warrior” was ripped away from his family in incredible circumstances on Monday morning, September 4.  Death from sting ray barbs are extremely rare.  Trust Steve to find a way to die that is so incredibly newsworthy.  This is not meant to be disrespectful to Steve, rather it simply demonstrates Steve’s uncanny knack of being able to focus people on Australian wildlife, or indeed any wildlife, and just how dangerous it can be.

Still reeling from the shock news of Steve Irwin’s untimely demise, Australians were stunned on Friday afternoon, 8 September, as we lost another Australian icon in circumstances just as untimely.  Peter Brock’s death at the Targa West rally on Friday has shocked Australian motor sport fans, no matter what camp they support.  Known as “Brocky”, or “Peter Perfect”, to all his fans and detractors, he was an icon in the sport – a true legend.  His racing career spanned more than 30 years, both on the local circuits and internationally.  Locally, he was a hero, and perhaps demi-god, to the legions of Holden fans.  Perhaps an even more telling measure of his skills and popularity amongst the motor racing fraternity is the grudging respect that even the most ardent of Ford fans gave to him.  Let’s face it, it’s pretty hard to say the guy was a “nothing” driver given his record of achievements in the sport.

On behalf of my own family, I proffer our heartfelt and sincere condolences to the Irwin and Brock families.  Take solace in the knowledge that your loved ones died in the process of doing things they loved, and rejoice in the positive influence they had on so many people around the world.

Vale Steve Irwin R.I.P.

Vale Peter Brock R.I.P.