Welsh / Tampering with tradition threatens to tarnish

“Eddies’ old boys were up in arms and social media became busy, marking principal Daniel Lawler’s straight-bat defence an “F” for failure,” writes Seven Days columnist MIKE WELSH  

TAMPERING with tradition threatens to tarnish the reputation of the Christian Brothers St Edmund’s College. The elite school is at the centre of a row over the suspension of a year 12 student who planned a protest over proposed changes to the school’s insignia.

Mike Welsh

Mike Welsh.

Eddies’ old boys were up in arms and social media became busy, marking principal Daniel Lawler’s straight-bat defence – “the school always permits a respectful and open dialogue and encourages the expression of opinion” – an “F” for failure.

THE response to a selfie by PM Malcolm Turnbull of himself and wife Lucy on an early morning walk up Red Hill may result in a rethink of his social media use. The pic posted on the PM’s Facebook page attracted over 10,000 “likes” and hundreds of comments, ranging from the envious (“Red Hill’s exactly where you would expect a harbourside mansion man to be seen”) to the extreme (“Thank you, Turnbull for making Australians live in fear and for letting stinking [immigrants] suck Centrelink dry”).

 THE SUSPECTED absence of a “smoking gun” in independent consultant Mary Durkin’s report on a transition to close the local greyhound industry has been touted as a reason for the delay in its publication.

Greyhound industry spokesman Kel Watt believes the Barr government is searching for a “face-saving” solution from the former Health Services commissioner’s recommendations after hastily following NSW’s total ban (overturned) of the sport last July. The ACT government has withdrawn $1 million in funding to greyhound racing from July 1.

 CHIEF Minister Andrew Barr is clearly comfortable in his political skin, stepping outside his roads, rates and rubbish responsibilities to accuse former tennis ace Margaret Court of bullying. The Wimbledon champ has drawn a volley of fire after vowing not to fly Qantas in protest over CEO Alan Joyce’s advocacy of same-sex marriage legislation.

Barr said Mrs Court was using her profile to “intimidate” advocates of same-sex unions.

Gungahlin’s AFL Jets… totally thrashed.

A FORMER president of the Gungahlin Jets AFL club has labelled the local competition “an embarrassment”. Rohan Wilson says despite assurances by AFL Canberra in 2014 to support the club’s elevation to Division 1 it has been let down and continues to be thrashed by an average of 142 points per game.

Wilson’s comments come after the Tuggeranong Hawks highlighted a similar predicament – the inability to compete with the four major clubs in the comp that benefit from “healthy sports clubs”. Regional manager ACT-Southern NSW AFL Steven Maher says the league was working closely with the Jets but “a Patrick Dangerfield [2016 Brownlow medalist] isn’t going to walk through their door anytime soon”.

ON A BRIGHTER note, Jets junior Preston Singer has been announced as a weekly nominee for the NAB 2017 AFL Auskicker of the year comp. The Nicholls six-year-old made an appearance on national TV during the round 10 clash between Hawthorn and Sydney. As a nominee, Preston will play on the MCG at half-time on Grand Final day and present premiership players with their medals.

AFTER two decades of meeting in the Manning Clark lecture theatre at ANU, Canberra Christian university ministry Crossroads has joined a number of other groups and associations forced to find a new home due to demolition plans on the campus. Crossroads, which began life on Canberra uni campuses 25 years ago, has conducted more than 1500 fellowship meetings for students – including a young Alistair Coe (now ACT Opposition Leader) – under the stern gaze of a portrait of the man for whom the room was named.

THE ABC’s controversial panel show “Q&A” came to town last week and instantly improved the night of Canberra social-media fan Richard Tuffin. Tuffin regularly provides a running “Q&A” commentary from his loungeroom but was able to tweet from ringside. Tuffin says he chose the right night to be in the audience, describing it as “no coincidence” that the discussion was “an absolute intellectual powerhouse” due to no politicians on the panel.

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