Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Sat 5 Oct 2019



The Northern Territory news Sat 5 Oct 2019

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT






Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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News Corp Australia

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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News Corp Australia



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12 OPINION SATURDAY OCTOBER 5 2019 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 12 OPINION SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2019 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 12 OPINION SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 21 2019 NTNE01Z01MA - V3 WHAT do Albert Einstein and Jamie Oliver have in common? The same thing as Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, Richard Branson, Leonardo da Vinci and Cher. I could continue to name famous, talented and successful people because its a long list. Dyslexia is certainly no predictor of being a failure so it beggars belief that children are being discriminated against because they have it. Kids didnt catch it by doing the wrong thing or by not trying hard enough. Typically, they are born with the cognitive condition, which creates problems with reading and language. It often runs in families. Let it be said that people with dyslexia around one in five Australians are not stupid. They can be among our highest achievers, including entrepreneur Dick Smith, around-the-world sailor Jessica Watson and author Jackie French. Why, then, is one of Australias most prestigious schools, a Christian one at that, allegedly turning dyslexic children away? Anglican Church Grammar School, in East Brisbane, has come under fire from parents, including third-generation old boys, for allegedly excluding kids with learning difficulties. They are accusing the Prep-to-Year 12 school of chasing academics at the expense of ethics. The worst part? It is causing children to feel unwanted, dumb and inferior. Dyslexia Queenslands Anne Cupitt says rejection of this kind is not uncommon in top-tier private schools, however, it can lead to anxiety disorder. Im not surprised. It has a huge impact on their self-es teem and stress levels psychologists would be rubbing their hands together, Ms Cupitt says. Based in Hervey Bay, she runs correctional courses for dyslexic children who travel from as far away as Darwin. The results can be remarkable, and frankly, they seem to stem from creative thinking and common sense. Schools continue to give reading instruction in phonics (correlating letters with sounds) but dyslexics dont respond well to phonics, she says. They need alternative ways to understand words. The spelling of who, for example, does not match how it sounds, which is hoo. Was is not woz. If we can give a child one good strategy to decode words, then they tend to take off with their reading, she says. Perhaps some schools dont have the resources, including time, to give kids the assistance they need or perhaps they are unwilling to be flexible. A friend whose son is dyslexic recalls their shared delight when he was allowed to present his book report, not in written form but by using Lego. Surely, the point of education is to help every child reach their potential? When kids are able to express themselves it builds self-confidence and this, in turn, encourages them to take what they know and use it to contribute to society. By marginalising people who are different, we are all worse off. In the fierce competition to beat rival schools, justify fee increases, boost enrolments, and appease board members and squeaky-wheel parents, we are creating a narrow definition of excellence that stifles talent. Academy Award-winning film director Steven Spielberg was bullied at school because he was a delayed reader. (He still takes twice as long as others to get through a script.) Movies saved him from shame, he told the Friends of Quinn website, from putting it on myself, from making it my burden when it wasnt. For Jamie Oliver, it was cooking. The celebrity chef struggled in class but knew he was good with his hands, so started working in restaurants in his teens and has never looked back. Oliver doesnt consider dyslexia a disability. I genuinely think that when someone says to you, Johnnys got dyslexia, you should get down on your knees, shake the childs hand and say, Well done, you lucky, lucky boy, he recently told Radio Times magazine in the UK. If Im in a meeting, I just see the problems differently and I obsess about things differently. Sometimes, when it requires a load of stuff to be done, I just do it. Its like Im a massive, 10-tonne boulder rolling down the hill. Being dyslexic or having special needs is not an excuse or reason for you not to prosper. Neither is it an excuse for schools to walk away from children who deserve the same quality of education as their peers, if thats whats occurred. If we all learnt the same way, behaved alike and constrained our thinking by what we are told is normal, then our world would be static, predictable and dull. Its time to shake up the system so that all kids get the chance to shine. Kylie Lang is an associate editor for Newscorp Australia. kylie.lang@news.com.au Every child should receive fair treatment at school Picture: iSTOCK Schools that exclude dyslexic kids are the real failures and we shouldnt be allowing it to continue in our education system Kids dyslexia not a failure KYLIE LANG WHY do bad things happen to good people? Its a fair question, and I can understand it being asked by the grieving sister of a Gold Coast woman who was shot in the stomach and left to die. The family must be shattered. But lets be real here. Ivona Jovanovic, 27, was hanging with a dodgy crowd. When she was fatally wounded in a home earlier this month, there were up to five others there and not one, according to police, bothered to help. The circumstances around the shooting are still being investigated, but as Detective Acting Superintendent Brendan Smith said, its disgraceful; there was a lot of first aid that could have been rendered at the time. When the ambos arrived reportedly called by the homeowner the others were gone. While they were not bikies, they did hang around the fringes of outlaw motorcycle gangs, Acting Superintendent Smith said. Whats the adage? If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Among the friends and family who took to social media to mourn Ms Jovanovics sudden death was Allaina Vader, the partner of former Hells Angel bikie Ben Notorious Geppert. I was just talking to you. This is the worst month of my life. What is happening, she wrote. September certainly hasnt been on her side. Vader, whose legal name is Allaina Dianna Jones, was charged with stealing a rental car at Robina. The charge was later dropped. Her fiances younger brother Harry Geppert was killed in a park, and she and her cousin Rikki Louise Jones were dragged into a fight between Geppert and Jones ex-boyfriend and former Bandidos bikie Brett Kaos Pechey. The cold, hard fact is that the company we keep defines us. It influences how we behave and, indeed, our entire life path. So why do some women persist in hanging out with bad eggs? According to Arthur Veno and coauthor Edward Winterhalder, an American and former Bandido, there are several reasons and several roles these women play. In their book, Biker Chicks: The Magnetic Attraction of Women to Bad Boys and Motorbikes, they talk to the strippers and groupies in this misogynist scene. They write that some females turn a blind eye to questionable dealings, and keep the home fires burning in the traditional sense, with meals on the table in a tidy house. Others are teachers and accountants who let loose at night and party hard with criminals. Many apparently enjoy mothering unhinged and dangerous men. Go figure. Yet invariably, they are all treated poorly and viewed as play things, the authors conclude. Why the attraction then? Research has found that people with dark triad personalities are more physically appealing than others. Washington University academics examined the link between attractiveness and the traits of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Those obsessed with their looks, own importance and with exploiting people turned out to be the most alluring, initially at least. This gels with a German study that indicates narcissists are more popular than those who arent. Narcissists tend to turn heads, exude confidence and present themselves in a manner that impresses others. Researchers at the University of Durham unpacked the dark triad further. They considered the dirty dozen: a desire for attention, admiration, favours, and prestige; the manipulation, exploitation, deceit, and flattery of others; a lack of remorse, morality concerns and sensitivity, and cynicism. And yep, some women fell for these too. The researchers suggested sexual selection could be at play, with females choosing strong figures, or sexual conflict, in which males convince them to go along with their preferred sexual strategy. Almost makes me embarrassed to be a woman, because as anyone with a brain realises, looks can be deceiving. Get to know even the hottest person on the planet and if they have a black heart, watch how quickly the allure fades. What psychologists call the halo ef fect where we assume that physical beauty equates to inner beauty is short lived. Or at least it should be. Perhaps girls go for bad boys because they were taught growing up that they are unworthy. Maybe they are repeating unhealthy patterns of behaviour they saw between their own parents. They could be conditioned to think that love means pain, a myth that Hollywood insists on perpetuating. Who knows, but one thing Im sure of is that women who believe that nice guys finish last are likely to find that they are in fact, that ones who lose. Kylie Lang is an associate editor for NewsCorp Australia Good girls shouldnt mix with bad guys Gold Coast girl Ivona Jovanovic was killed earlier this month Picture: INSTAGRAM Exorbitant legal fees and drawn-out proceedings add an unnecessary financial burden to family breakups and illustrate the need for law reform THE only winners in acrimonious divorces are the lawyers who prolong cases to feather their own nests. For warring couples to end up with nothing with the family home having to be sold to pay exorbitant legal bills signals a system in desperate need of fixing. How can any lawyer in good conscience urge clients to spend more than they have, knowing full well that the outcome will be disastrous? Unless, of course, youre the lawyer. Its abhorrent behaviour but all too common. Rich couples are prime targets for these legal eagles make that vultures but the shameful money grab is impacting the less well-off too, and almost everyone is having to wait longer than they should for cases to be finalised. The business model that has worked a treat for litigators amounts to an abuse of people at their most vulnerable when they are miserable, angry and frightened. Admittedly, some clients are blinded by the desire to win, but I think there is an ethical responsibility on the objective party the lawyer who knows how things could play out to put the handbrake on unnecessary heartache. This is unlikely to happen without an enforced shake-up of the system, so bring on the parliamentary inquiry announced by Queenslands AttorneyGeneral Christian Porter. The Federal Government has a plan for fixing the broken structure of the family law courts, Porter says, and will be moving ahead with legislative proposals for reform. In a scathing attack on the status quo, he describes it as a failed experiment that is exacerbating delays and consequently increasing costs to families. (We need to ensure) legal fee structures do not create a situation where asset pools are all but diminished, making it extremely difficult for people to move on with their lives once their court matters are concluded, he says. As it stands, lawyers usually charge by the hour the longer it takes, the more they earn. And only one party has to be pig-headed for the case to drag on. This is where lawyers should be trying everything in their power NOT to go to court. Mediation, conflict coaching, even collaborating with counsellors and financial advisers to help people divorce better should be the aim, and judicial involvement the absolute last resort. Expecting people to take the emotion out of a break-up is a tad unrealistic, especially as relationships are built on emotion in the first place. Lawyers should be streamlining the process, not complicating it for their own advantage. They should be asking their clients what they want the future to be for their family, and helping them achieve it. Divorce doesnt have to spell the death of a family, but it does involve a rethink of how that family might look. How is it fair that, in one case, separated parents spent $452,000 in legal costs, exceeding the net value of their assets by $32,500? The system they trusted to fix things has broken them both. In another case, a couple with combined assets of $3.34 million spent $1.38 million or more than 40 per cent of their total on legal fees, prompting the judge to call it grossly disproportionate. And when another pair, according to court records, spent $860,000 to sort out custody, child support and property adjustment, it was suggested that the costing and approaches adopted by each of the solicitors could constitute professional misconduct. Of course, exes who are hell-bent on destroying each other even at the expense of the wellbeing of their children are not innocent bystanders. Take the woman who incurred costs of $2.7 million but was unable to explain to the court how the fees has been accumulated. Or the mother who killed a forest of trees by instructing her lawyers to send more than two communications a week to the fathers lawyers. People can be their own worst enemies, but someone, somewhere, needs to take a stand for common sense. If that means externally regulating legal fees and imposing time limits on cases to stop gauging and pandering to greed, then so be it. One case Im aware of took 11 years to be finalised. Thats madness. Adults are not the only ones bled dry financially and emotionally by bitter divorce. Children and other family members, including pets, are also negatively impacted. Imagine how much better the dollars chewed up by litigation could be spent on helping kids caught in the crossfire? Think of the personal angst that could be avoided by swiftly and sensibly resolving conflict. Adversarial litigation serves no one but the lawyers. The system must change. Legal eagles prey on pain Divorce lawyers are often the only ones to win in separations Picture: SUPPLIED