Chobani appoints five new employees to sales and marketing

Source: foodmag

Chobani appoints five new employees to sales and marketing

Greek yoghurt maker, Chobani Australia has appointed five new employees to its commercial team as the company continues to grow from strength to strength.

The new sales team appointments include Joesph DePetro as National Account Manager – Woolworths, Ivan Cook as National Account Manager Foodservice & independents, George Gabriel as National Account Manager (Coles).

Lyn Radford, general manager of sales and category management for Chobani Australia said that she was thrilled to provide customers with an increased sales presence.

“We’re thrilled with the positive response from our customers, who continue to support us with increased ranging, and in turn we are supporting them with an increased team and dedicated resources across our key channels,” said Radford. “Our movement into the foodservice channel in 2014 is also another exciting development that we are looking forward to.”

Within the marketing department, the two new appointments include Mark Malak who will assume the position of Group Brand Manager and Ann Strode as Field Marketing Manager.

Damian Young, general manager of marketing said that the newly expanded marketing team will have a strong focus on developing below the line campaigns for next year.

“Chobani is going from strength-to-strength, with total brand awareness now over 25 percent nationally, which we’re extremely pleased with considering the short time we have been in the market,” said Young. “Together with our Gippsland range we are now number two yogurt manufacturer in Australia and we’re delighted to be expanding our team to support this growth, with a strong focus next year on broadening our experiential efforts across Australia.”

Bollywood’s golden age in Australia’s Greek community

Source: SBS

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    (Source: Courtesy of Peter Yiannoudes)
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    A poster, partly in Greek, for The Son of India (Source: Courtesy of Peter Yiannoudes)
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    Advertisement in Greek for Mother India (Source: Courtesy of Peter Yiannoudes)
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    (Source: Courtesy of Peter Yiannoudes)
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    A poster, partly in Greek, for The Son of India (Source: Courtesy of Peter Yiannoudes)

(Transcript from World News Australia Radio – click on the audio tab to listen to the item):

As Australia prepares for a visit from one of Bollywood’s biggest actors Shahrukh Khan, Greek-Australian Peter Yiannoudes is looking back at another era of Bollywood cinema in Australia.

Peter Yiannoudes imported films from Greece for Australia’s Greek community and then expanded to include Indian films, mainly Bollywood features which played to packed houses of mainly Greek migrants in the 1950s and 1960s.

He’s now setting up a museum in Melbourne with some of his favourite movie posters from that era.

Peggy Giakoumelos has the story.

(Sound effects of movie):

That’s actors Raj Kumar and Nargis, from the 1957 Hindi epic film Mother India.

The movie tells the tale of a poor rural village woman named Radha, whose family is in debt to a money lender.

With her husband losing his arms in an accident, she struggles to raise her children.

This tale of social injustice and rural hardship resonated with Greeks overseas and in Australia at the time, as did many Indian films.

Peter Yiannoudes says so much so, that at the first screening of Mother India in a Greek cinema in Australia, police had to be called control crowds angry at not being able to get a seat.

“Mother India was the biggest success we ever had outside of the Greek film Golfo. It was 1964 when we released the film in the National Theatre on Bridge Street in Richmond. It was a small theatre about 1000 seats. The theatre was pre-booked nearly two weeks earlier. So on that particular day nearly 5000 people came to see the film. So we called the police to send the people away and allow inside the cinema only the people who had the tickets pre-booked. And the Sun-Herald wrote that never before had that happened in cinema like that.”

Peter Yiannoudes, who migrated to Australia in the 1950s from Cyprus, says his love of cinema was forged from necessity.

Forced to leave school early to make ends meet, he took a job at a local movie house before migrating to Australia and running more than 40 cinemas around the country.

His cinemas mainly catered to Australia’s large community of Greek migrants who like those back home in Greece, were mad for Indian musicals.

After a meeting with an Indian superstar, Peter Yiannoudes decided to introduce Indian films to Australia.

“In 1959 I met the Indian actress Nargis. Nargis was the most popular actress in India and in Greece as well and in Egypt. So she persuaded me to go to India and start showing Indian as well as Greek films. So I went in 1959 and I stayed a couple of weeks in India and then I came to an agreement with two studios there, and in 1961 we brought the first Indian film to Australia, just to see how Greeks can accept this Indian film and really it was a very, very big success.”

Why the appeal?

Dramatic themes of social adversity, poverty, migration, meddling families, and of course everyone’s perennial favourite, love – were themes prominent in the films of both cultures.

Add to this a backdrop of highly choreographed singing and dancing – and the allure of Bollywood became a perfect fit for Greeks looking for some escapism after the country’s brutal civil war.

And while the cross-cultural influence mainly went one way from India to Greece – there was one Greek actress who did manage to break into the Indian market – bleached blonde Aliki Vougiouklaki.

Here she is singing a number influenced by the Bollywood genre.

(Sound of singing)

That’s a song from the Greek film The Lady and the Tramp, released in the late 1960s – reflective of the Bollywood influence on Greek cinema.

The University of Sydney’s Professor of Modern Greek Studies Vrasidas Karalis has written widely on the history of Greek cinema and its Indian influences.

“The connections between Greece and India go back to the historical and especially they can be traced back into the music especially India has influenced Greece in the production of the songs that we have, the most popular Greek songs, are originally of Hindi origin. According to the research of Dimitris Eleftheriotis, He proved that essentially the Greek melodramas of the mid 60s and late 60s were of were essentially modelled along of Hindi musicals and Bollywood musicals.”

Vrasidas Karalis says it was a simple yet successful formula.

“The recipe was so successful that is to say drama, songs, drama songs, and finally in the end you have this huge explosion of both drama and songs that made everyone cry and was really successful.”

Anupam Sharma is an Indian-Australian film-maker and was also one of the judges of Australia’s first Bollywood reality show on SBS TV.

He’s also written a number of research papers about the history of Bollywood cinema.

Anupam Sharma says the connection between Australia and Bollywood goes back to the 1930s when an Australian of Greek and Scottish origin became one of the biggest stars of Indian cinema.

Largely unknown in Australia, Fearless Nadia got around in a mask and hat and with whip in hand, became one of India’s most successful female actors and stuntwomen.

“Blue-eyed blonde from Perth, Mary Evans became the first franchise and lead actress in Bollywood known as Fearless Nadia or the Fearless Hunterwali. SInce then there have been ups and downs, we have had sporadic exchanges, until about 1996 when a major Indian film shot a major song and dance sequence with the Opera House in the background and that kind of ignited interest for Australian locations in Bollywood. And then in 1998 Feroz Khan, India’s Clint Eastwood, decided to script Australia into his film, and shoot here and I believe that was a major milestone. There have been over 300 projects which include feature films, music videos, tv serials, film festivals, seminars, discussions delegations, books and a lot of Australian crew going to India and working in India on Bollywood films lots of specialist crews going there. I call it like an Indian goddess it has many arms.”

Anupam Sharma says Bollywood cinema has been popular in many other countries outside India – mainly in the Middle East, Greece, North Africa and Russia.

But in Australia, except within migrant communities, it’s been slower for the genre to catch on.

The 2011 Australian Census showed there were close to 300,000 Indian-born people living in Australia, up by 200,000 in a decade.

Add to this increased migration from other South Asian countries where Bollywood films are also widely watched, and the popularity of the genre is increasing.

Anupam Sharma says it’s too early to tell how much of an impact Bollywood will eventually have in Australia.

“It’s still to be decided whether they’re getting more into Bollywood cinema as a novelty factor or on a regular basis. And that’s a very important discussion. That’s very important research on its own. A lot of people go and see Bollywood film tongue in cheek with a wine glass, and say ok, we have had a Bollywood experience and they are others who get hooked on to it, something like the Greeks did or the Russians did ages ago. There are others which are getting hooked onto Indian cinema which is more than just Bollywood. So there are different sectors and sub-sections out there. But it is fair to say that Bollywood is certainly the music the dance, the colour is certainly catching on in Australia to good results.”

Peter Yiannoudes is planning to open his Melbourne museum to the general public later this year.

He says it will feature some of his more than 10,000 Greek and Indian movie poster collection as well as other items from his more than 50 years in the film industry.

Όλγα Σαραντοπούλου: Δεν νοείται κενό «λειτουργίας ή ύπαρξης» του ΣΑΕ

Στην «ανωμαλία» που συνιστά η  παρατεινόμενη εκκρεμότητα ψήφισης του νέου Νόμου που θα διέπει την ανασύσταση και λειτουργία του Συμβουλίου Απόδημου Εληνισμού (ΣΑΕ) αναφέρθηκε  η παγκόσμια Γραμματέας ΣΑΕ  Δρ. Όλγα Σαραντοπούλου, σε χαιρετισμό της στο 9ο Τακτικό Συνέδριο της Ομοσπονδίας Ελληνικών Κοινοτήτων και Αδελφόττων Ιταλίας – CINISELLO BALSAMO την Κυριακή, 29.09.2013. Η παράταση δε του “κενού” ύπαρξης νομοθετικού πλαισίου για το ΣΑΕ, που οδήγησε στον παροπλισμό του προεδρείου, εκτός από την καταλυτική αδράνεια στην οποία έχει καταβυθίσει το θεσμό,  οδηγεί και σε φαινόμενα ακραίου “ετσιθελισμού” σε βάρος του, όπως πρόσφατα εκδηλώθηκαν από το Δήμαρχο Θεσσαλονίκης κ. Γιάννη Μπουτάρη που εκδίωξε το ΣΑΕ από τα γραφεία του στην “πρωτεύουσα του ελληνισμού”, αφήνοντάς το Συμβούλιο Απόδημου Ελληνισμού ουσιαστικά ΑΣΤΕΓΟ…

Ειδικότερα, αναφερόμενη στο ΣΑΕ, η κυρία Σαραντοπούλου ευθαρσώς αναγνώρισε ότι «τα τελευταία χρόνια δεν κατάφεραμε όσο θα θέλαμε να αγκαλιάσουμε τον Ελληνισμό του Εξωτερικού, σ’  αυτό φταίνε διάφοροι παράγοντες. Και η Ελληνική πολιτεία φέρει τις δικές της ευθύνες, αλλά και το προεδρείο ΣΑΕ, γιατί πρέπει να παραδεχτούμε ότι δεν είχαμε όλοι τα ίδια όνειρα και οράματα για τον παγκόσμιο Ελληνισμό».

Ακολούθως η Γραμματέας του ΣΑΕ, αναφερόμενη στην σημερινή “στασιμότητα” που χαρακτηρίζει το ΣΑΕ, τόνισε ότι το Συμβούλιο Απόδημου Ελληνισμού, ως  θεσμικό όργανο κατοχυρωμένο στο Σύνταγμα της Ελλάδος, «δεν δύναται να παρουσιάζει κενό λειτουργίας η ύπαρξης».

Σχολιάζοντας , μάλιστα, τη στάση ορισμένων μελών του προεδρείου, που έσπευσαν να παραιτηθούν, είπε ότι μπορεί μεν η θητεία του προεδρείου να έχει  λήξει με 31.12.2012, «…αυτό, όμως,  υπό την προϋπόθεση οτι θα είχε πραγματοποιηθεί αρχές Δεκεμβρίου 2012 η Τακτική Συνέλευση και θα είχε εκλεγεί  νέο προεδρείο».

Καθώς αυτό δεν έγινε, η άποψή της κυρίας Σαραντοπούλου είναι πως τα μέλη του Προεδρείου του ΣΑΕ «ως εκλεγμένοι απο τον οργανωμένο απόδημο Ελληνισμό, οφείλουμε να παραμείνουμε στην θέση μας μέχρι να εκλεγεί νέο προεδρείο και να αποδώσουμε απολογισμό στην Ομογένεια που μας εξέλεξε».

Υπενθυμίζεται ότι ο κυβερνητικός ανασχηματισμός του περασμένου Ιουνίου προκάλεσε την ανακοπή των εργασιών της Αναθεωρητικής και Οργανωτικής Επιτροπής που είχε συσταθεί από τον προηγούμενο Υφυπουργό Εξωτερικών κ. Κων. Τσιάρα, με συνέπεια να ατονήσει και το Νομοσχέδιο που, επίσης, ο π. ΥΦΥΠΕ είχε καταρτίσει και  αναρτήσει σε δημόσια διαβούλευση στην «Διαύγεια».

Να σημειωθεί ότι  τόσο ο νέος  Υφυπουργός  Εξωτερικών, αρμόδιος για τον Απόδημο Ελληνισμό κ . Κυριάκος Γεροντόπουλος, που διαδέχθηκε τον κ. Τσιάρα, όσο και η Επιτροπή για την επεξεργασία του νόμου και την μελλοντική λειτουργία του ΣΑΕ τελούν εν αναμονή διορισμού, από την νέα Τακτική Περίοδο της Βουλής, τη σύσταση νέας διαρκούς “Επιτροπής για την ελληνική Διασπορά”, ο Πρόεδρος της οποίας θεσμικά θα αναδειχθεί και σε πρόεδρο της “Οργανωτικής-Αναθεωρητικής Επιτροπής”, καθώς ο π. πρόεδρος κ. Άδωνις Γεωργιάδης ανέλαβε υπουργικό θώκο.

Καταλήγοντας στο χαιρετισμό της η κυρία Σαραντοπούλου, ζήτησε από τους απανταχού Έλληνες «να ενώσουμε τις δυνάμεις μας ώστε να μετατρέψουμε την αγάπη για τη χώρα μας σε μια δημιουργική στρατηγική με ρεαλιστικούς στόχους για την διασφάλιση της συνέχειας του Ελληνισμού εντός και εκτός των συνόρων,για να διατηρήσουμε τις διαχρονικές αξίες μας που ενώνουν μέσα από τον Πολιτισμό τους λαούς».

Και κατέληξε: « Ο Ελληνισμός της Ιταλίας ειναι ενα φωτεινό παράδειγμα. Η Ομοσπονδία Ελληνικών Κοινοτήτων και Αδελφοτήτων Ιταλίας εχει να επιδείξει αξιόλογο έργο και μαζί με τους φιλέλληνες Ιταλούς εχουν κατορθώσει να γνωρίσουν στο ευρύ κοινό τον πλούτο και την ιστορική διαδρομή που έχει διανύσει κάθε έκφραση πολιτισμού στην χώρα μας».

A Work and Holiday visa agreement with Australia – Xορήγηση βίζας για “εργασία και διακοπές” στην Αυστραλία

Work and Holiday visa: Greek ambassador says negotiations concluded

Visa deal on

L-R: Ms Eleni Lianidou, Greek Consul General for Victoria, Ambassador for Greece; Mr Charalampos Dafaranos. Photo: Mike Sweet.

30 Sep 2013
Michael Sweet

During a visit to Melbourne this week, Greece’s Ambassador to Australia Mr Charalambos Dafaranos reiterated Greece’s readiness to sign a Work and Holiday visa agreement with Australia.
His comments follow last month’s statements given to SBS by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Akis Gerontopoulos that Greece is waiting for Australia to deliver the documentation to Athens.
Whilst there have been false dawns in the past – with both sides inferring that it was the other’s bureaucracies holding up the process – the latest comments from Ambassador Dafaranos suggest a formal signing of the paperwork is in sight.
“Before the end of the [federal] pre-election period we notified DFAT about the conclusion of the negotiations, so now it is just the internal formalities from the part of the Australian side,” Mr Dafaranos told Neos Kosmos.
“It has been a round of negotiations from the Greek side involving not only the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but three other ministries – Employment, Interior and Finance. You can imagine, it took some time…”
Mr Dafaranos said that he had conveyed the Greek government’s conclusion of its internal discussions – and its willingness for the agreement to be signed – to new Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.
Mr Dafaranos’ observations – coming on the back of Minister Gerontopoulos’ comments – suggest the Greek government wishes to end the long-running saga over the reciprocal visa arrangement.
The visa agreement will allow Greek and Australian citizens between 18 and 30 years of age to work in each other’s countries for a period of 12 months.
In May, Victorian Federal MP Maria Vamvakinou was told by Mr Gerontopoulos’ predecessor, Mr Kostas Tsiaras, that the Greek government would sign off the agreement by September.
Mr Dafaranos confirmed that the agreement will state that a maximum of 500 Work and Holiday Subclass 462 visas can be awarded per year.
The ambassador revealed that he had encouraged former Immigration Minister Chris Bowen to pursue an annual limit above that figure.
“When France has 8000 per year [granted by Australia], I think it’s important to have an increased number – which takes into consideration Greece’s population,” said Mr Dafaranos.
“The final agreement will include a figure capped at 500 per year, but the implementation of the agreement will give the opportunity to see how it works, and to improve it.”
Mr Dafaranos said that he wished to see greater awareness in Greece of opportunities offered by 457 visas under Australia’s Skilled Migration Program, which enables professionals to work temporarily in Australia.
Asked what progress had taken place in relation to a double taxation agreement between Greece and Australia, Mr Dafaranos indicated that whilst he had made representations to the Australian Treasury on the matter six months ago, a decision by them to pursue such an agreement was not imminent.
“I raised the issue and they told me that they will take it into consideration – but that a double taxation agreement pre-supposes a high level of investment and trade between the countries concerned,” said the ambassador, who added that the matter would continue to be raised in bilateral discussions between the two governments.

————————

Κατά τη διάρκεια επίσκεψης στη Μελβούρνη την περασμένη εβδομάδα , ο Πρέσβης της Ελλάδας στην Αυστραλία κ. Χαράλαμπος Δαφαράνος επανέλαβε ότι η Ελλάδα είναι έτοιμη να υπογράψει την διακρατική συμφωνία για χορήγηση βίζας για “εργασία και διακοπές” στην Αυστραλία .
Τα σχόλιά του κ. πρέσβη έρχονται σε συνέχεια των δηλώσεων του Υφυπουργού Εξωτερικών κ. Άκη Γεροντόπουλου, τον περασμένο μήνα στο SBS, ότι η Ελλάδα περιμένει από την Αυστραλία να παραδώσει το σχετικό φάκελο στην Αθήνα.

Στο παρελθόν, υπήρξαν αλληλοσυγκρουόμενες δηλώσεις των δύο πλευρών που επέρριπταν την καθυστέρηση υπογραφής η μιά πλευρά στην γραφειοκρατία της άλλης. Από τις τελευταίες δηλώσεις του Πρέσβη κ. Δαφαράνου διαφαίνεται ότι οι δύο πλευρές βρίσκονται πλέον κοντά στην επίσημη υπογραφή  της συμφωνίας.

“Πριν από το τέλος της  ομοσπονδιακής προεκλογικής περίοδου επισημάναμε στην  DFAT τα βασικά σημεία των εσωτερικών διαπραγματεύσεων και  τώρα απομένουν τα διαδικαστικά από την πλευρά των Αυστραλών”, είπε ο κ. Δαφαράνος στην ομογενειακή εφημερίδα “Νέος Κόσμος”.

Έχουν γίνει διαπραγματεύσεις στην Ελλάδα που συμπεριέλαβαν όχι μόνο το Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών, αλλά και το Υπουργείο Εργασίας, Εσωτερικών και Οικονομικών. “Μπορείτε να φανταστείτε,  αυτό πήρε κάποιο χρόνο”. Ο κ. Δαφαράνος υποστήριξε ότι τα συναρμόδια υπουργεία είναι σύμφωνα για την υπογραφή της συμφωνίας και απομένουν να υπογραφεί η συμφωνία με τον νέο Υπουργό Μετανάστευσης κ. Scott Morrison.

Οι παρατηρήσεις  του κ. Δαφαράνου, ως συνέχερια των δηλώσεων του κ. Γεροντόπουλου, δηλώνουν ότι η ελληνική κυβέρνηση επιθυμεί να τερματίσει τη μακρά ιστορία πάνω από την αμοιβαία ρύθμιση των θεωρήσεων βίζα.  Η συμφωνία για την απλούστευση χορήγησης βίζας, θα επιτρέψει  σε Έλληνες και Αυστραλούς πολίτες, ηλικίας μεταξύ 18 και 30 ετών να εργαστούν στο άλλο κράτος για μια περίοδο 12 μηνών.  Τον Μάιο , η Ομοσπονδιακή βουλευτής Μαρία Βαμβακινού είχε ενημερωθεί από τον προκάτοχό του κ. Γεροντόπουλου , κ. Κώστα Τσιάρα , ότι η ελληνική κυβέρνηση θα υπέγραφε τη συμφωνία μέχρι το Σεπτέμβριο.

Ο κ. Δαφαράνος επιβεβαίωσε ότι η συμφωνία θα θέτει ως ανώτατο όριο τον αριθμό των 500 θεωρήσεων ετησίως για Εργασία και Υποκατηγορία Holiday 462.  Ο πρέσβης αποκάλυψε ότι ο ίδιος είχε ενθαρρύνει τον πρώην υπουργό  Μετανάστευσης Chris Bowen να ακολουθήσει ένα ετήσιο όριο πέραν του ορίου αυτού .
” Όταν η Γαλλία έχει 8000 ετησίως [ χορηγήσεις από την Αυστραλία ] , νομίζω ότι είναι σημαντικό να έχουμε έναν αυξημένο αριθμό – που θα λαμβάνει υπόψη τον πληθυσμό στην Ελλάδα “, είπε ο κ. Δαφαράνος .
” Η τελική συμφωνία θα περιλαμβάνει έναν αριθμό 500 ετησίως , αλλά η εφαρμογή της συμφωνίας στην πράξη θα δώσει την ευκαιρία να δούμε πώς λειτουργεί , και να το βελτιώσουμε . ”
Ο κ. Δαφαράνος είπε ακόμη ότι θα ήθελε να δει μεγαλύτερη ευαισθητοποίηση στην Ελλάδα για τις ευκαιρίες που προσφέρονται από τις 457 θεωρήσεις, στο πλαίσιο Ειδικευμένου μεταναστευτιού προγράμματος της Αυστραλίας , η οποία επιτρέπει στους επαγγελματίες να εργαστούν προσωρινά στην Αυστραλία.

Ερωτηθείς, εξάλλου, τι πρόοδος έχει πραγματοποιηθεί σε σχέση με την υπογραφή σύμβασης αποφυγής διπλής φορολογίας ανάμεσα στην Ελλάδα και την Αυστραλία, ο κ. Δαφαράνου ανέφερε ότι ενώ είχε προβεί σε διαβήματα προς το Αυστραλιανό Υπουργείο Οικονομικών για το θέμα πριν από έξι μήνες , η απόφαση τους να ακολουθήσουν μια τέτοια συμφωνία δεν ήταν του παρόντος . “Έθεσα το θέμα και μου είπαν ότι θα το λάβουν υπόψη – αλλά μου πρόσθεσε ότι μια σύμβαση αποφυγής διπλής φορολογίας προϋποθέτει ένα υψηλό επίπεδο των επενδύσεων και του εμπορίου μεταξύ των ενδιαφερομένων χωρών », είπε ο πρέσβης , ο οποίος πρόσθεσε ότι το θέμα θα τεθεί σε διμερείς συνομιλίες μεταξύ των δύο κυβερνήσεων.

Is Arthur Sinodinos stalking self-managed super?

Source: businessspectator

The new minister for superannuation Arthur Sinodinos says that he plans an inquiry to make sure that self-managed funds do not have an advantage over retail and industry funds.

Arthur Sinodinos is in danger of making the same mistake as the 2009 Labor superannuation minister Nick Sherry. Nick Sherry had close links with the industry superannuation funds and set up an inquiry into superannuation without any representation from self-managed funds. I pointed out at the time that Sherry’s committee was set up to be a “Kangaroo Court” on self-managed funds (Super’s kangaroo court, July 2 2009).

Later Chris Bowen became superannuation minister and he quickly added sound self-managed fund expertise to the inquiry. The outcome – the Cooper Report – was an excellent document which understood the vital role of self-managed funds in Australian savings.

Arthur Sinodinos’ connections are among the big retail superannuation funds and, like Nick Sherry, he is in danger of appearing to plan a “Kangaroo Court” to pass judgement on self-managed funds. The Coalition equivalent of Chris Bowen is none other than Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Wisely, and without using words that would undermine his inexperienced superannuation minister, Abbott has assured Australians that if Arthur’s “Kangaroo Court” advocates significant adverse changes to superannuation then those recommendations will be sent to the dust bin (No ‘adverse changes’ to super: PM, September 26). Tony Abbott knows that if he goes back on his solemn vow to the electorate on superannuation he will set the stage for whoever wins the ALP leadership contest to make superannuation the ‘carbon tax lie’ issue for the 2016 election

Nevertheless, today I am going to save the Abbott government time and money by setting out some of the enormous advantages self-managed funds have over industry and retail funds, and help Arthur Sinodinos understand why one million Australian have shifted away from big funds to the self-managed movement.

If Arthur’s Sinodinos’s inquiry was fair and not a Kangaroo Court it would rediscover what the Cooper Report found and what I explain below: that most of the advantages that accrue to self-managed funds stem from the poor management, bad customer service and high fees of the big funds and their customer advisers.

Arthurs Sinodinos was an excellent chief of staff for John Howard and had a strong grasp of administrative detail. In time he will make a good minister.

The one million Australians who voted with their feet to set up their own funds are now the biggest force in superannuation with over 31 per cent of the market and, according to Macquarie research, are headed for much higher numbers.

Moreover, half – yes Arthur, half – of those who use superannuation for what it was intended for (the provision of pensions) have found it best to use a self-managed fund. Most big funds, until recently, have been reluctant to launch self-managed fund products and services, particularly in the pension mode area.

So let’s list some clear advantages – all of which could be eliminated tomorrow if the retail and industry funds woke up and changed their ways. Instead, the big funds prefer to lobby superannuation ministers like Nick Sherry and Arthur Sinodinos (plus the government advisory bodies) trying to convince them to make it more difficult to set up or run a self-managed fund.

The Australians are not fools – they saw the real advantages. Here are some of them:

  • The big retail funds and their associated sales forces either charged exorbitant commissions/fees or, in the case of the industry funds, spent a fortune on promotion. The fees to agents/financial planners were often so high that the previous government had to legislate for fairness. The big funds should have done this without requiring government action. Australians didn’t wait around for governments to act and voted with their feet.
  • The accounting profession showed the million Australians that they could run their own fund efficiently and at low cost, plus they could comply with all the rules without hassle. The accountants have been so efficient that it is now economic to have a self-managed fund with $200,000 and even less. This really annoyed the big funds but is a huge benefit to the nation.
  • Most of the one million Australians with their own fund have discovered to their delight that there are very low-cost ways of investing superannuation in equities, including investment companies like Australian Foundation and Argo and indexed funds like Vanguard. Similar overseas and local property investments are also readily available. You don’t have to pay large amounts, although self-managed fund people can also appoint high-risk, high-reward managers for a portion of their portfolio if that’s what they want to do. Its what I did when I was younger. And of course those with their own fund can buy their own shares and property trusts etc., often with the help of a broker. Naturally, many self-managed funds have gone outside the accountancy area for extra advice – particularly in financial planning. This makes perfect sense but most are careful not to be ripped off with fees that are a percentage of assets. In addition, disclosure by many big funds is mediocre to bad.
  • Until the last year or so bank deposits have been offering between 5 and 8 per cent, government guaranteed. But few retail and industry funds had a bank deposit category because they could not extract fees out of it. No one ever thought of customer goodwill or service. The only way superannuation savers could access these high government guaranteed returns was set up self-managed funds. Of course, at the moment bank deposits offer low rates, but in time advantage number four will return.

Overall, the performance of self-managed funds has been around or above most of the big funds. The million Australians really cared for their retirement funds, although because so many are paying pensions, they often take less risk.

The big funds hate self-managed funds but in more recent times some retail funds and their advisors have started to provide products suitable for self-managed funds. It’s unbelievable that they took so long. Even now there is no love lost and when you hate your customer it rarely works.

It’s true there are several special advantages enjoyed by self-managed funds. But those advantages are not anywhere near sufficient to have caused self-managed funds to become the major force in Australian superannuation.

For example, there is a capital gains tax advantage, not in the rate but in the timing, but once again if the big funds had got off their tails they would have designed products for self-managed funds that were tax efficient.

Family businesses often have their commercial property owned in family superannuation fund. There are strict rules but as small business minister Bruce Billson knows this has been a very important measure to provide capital for his beloved small enterprises who are an essential lynchpin for the Abbott job creation plan. And again this has not been a major driver of the self-managed funds explosion.

I must say I am worried that some self-managed funds are gearing into housing in unsuitable situations. There are a lot of situations where gearing superannuation into real estate makes a lot of sense – particularly when you keep changing residences for work. The Reserve Bank has expressed concern about the effect of this on the housing market. What Arthur Sinodinos could have done was call and inquiry into this specialised and new area of superannuation.

Of even more value, he could have recognised that because so many Australians have chosen to save via self-managed funds the nation has an incredible advantage. I will discuss it tomorrow.

New name, more beds for Perth Children’s Hospital

Source: PerthNow

perth children's hospital

perth children's hospital

Lighter and brigher, the Perth Children’s Hospital gets a new name and an extra 24 beds in a $35 million expansion. Source: PerthNow

PERTH’S new children’s hospital will have 24 more beds after a $35 million reconfiguration to its floor plan to add the extra room to its surgical ward.

The State Government announced today it had increased beds at the facility from 274 to 298 to meet the revised demand forecast for 2021.

Premier Colin Barnett also announced that the new Nedlands hospital on the QEII site would be named Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) – the original name of the children’s hospital when it opened in 1909.

The $1.2billion hospital will replace Princess Margaret Hospital in Subiaco and will serve as the hub of WA’s paediatric network for the most complex and critical cases.

“The key clinical and research areas at PCH will be 52 per cent bigger than that at PMH, including an Emergency Department (ED) which will be 88 per cent bigger,” Mr Barnett said.
The Family Resource Centre will be more than three times the size of that in PMH, and three out of four rooms will be single rooms.

“PCH is the centrepiece of the WA child health care system.  As a world-class tertiary hospital, it will provide the specialty medical treatment required for the most serious medical cases,” Mr Barnett said.

Health Minister Kim Hames said the expanded capacity at PCH was part of the Government’s program to boost the total number of paediatric beds across the metropolitan area to about 400.

“PCH will be supported by six other public hospitals – Fiona Stanley Hospital, Midland Public Hospital, Joondalup Health Campus, Peel Health Campus, Armadale-Kelmscott Memorial Hospital and Rockingham General Hospital – all with dedicated paediatric beds,” Dr Hames said.

Ten of the most dominant seasons in rugby league history from historian David Middleton

Source: Thetelegraph

2013 Dally M Try of the Year nominations 1:23

Check out the three nominees for the Dally M Try of the Year from the 2013 season.

Hayne 2009

Jarryd Hayne runs on to the field for kick-off in the 2009 preliminary final against he Bulldogs. Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: DailyTelegraph

WITH the Dally M Awards looming tomorrow night, rugby league historian DAVID MIDDLETON names 10 of the most dominant seasons ever seen.

DALLY MESSENGER 1911

This was acclaimed as Dally M’s greatest season. Messenger led Easts to their first premiership title and scored 148 points in the competition and 273 in all matches. In July that year, sporting newspaper the Referee stated that: “There is only one Messenger. The famous three-quarter back’s form in representative football this year has probably been better than ever. It has been characterised by all his customary brilliant and delightful unexpectedness, and allied to this is a matured football judgement, which has been particularly noticeable in defensive situations. Besides, his goal kicking has been truly phenomenal compared with that of the average first-class player.”

What is the most dominant season you’ve ever seen from a player or team? Leave your comment below.

 

Dally M

Easts player Herbert Henry ‘Dally’ Messenger kicks for goal during a first grade match in Sydney. Source: DailyTelegraph

FRANK BURGE 1918

Admittedly, the quality of the competition suffered through the loss of players to the fighting forces in France, but the performances of Glebe forward Frank Burge stood out like a beacon in 1918. After his attempt to enlist in the AIF was rejected because of a speech impediment, Burge devoted his energies to football and proceeded to cut a swathe through the opposition. He crossed for 24 tries (from 14 games) in 1918, a record for a forward that has never been beaten.

 

Frank Burge

The Burge brothers in their Glebe jumpers (L-R) Laidley, Peter, Albert & Frank. Picture: Courtesy of Ian Heads Source: Supplied

SOUTH SYDNEY 1925

The year has been described as the greatest in South Sydney’s history. During the season, the Rabbitohs won the first grade premiership, the City Cup (knockout), reserve grade premiership and third grade premiership. They went through the first grade competition undefeated, winning all 12 games and leaving a 10-point gap between first and second. As a result, the NSWRL introduced a finals series the next season, in order to maintain interest in the competition.

 

Rabbitohs

Members of the 1925 South Sydney first-grade pack (L-R) George Treweek, Alf O’Connor, Alby Carr, Ern Lapham, Eddie Root & Harry Cavanough. Source: Supplied

DAVE BROWN 1935

Brown was tagged the “Bradman of League” in the 1930s and in 1935 he was at the height of his powers. Some of his extraordinary achievements for Eastern Suburbs remain in place today. He scored 38 tries for the season (a figure that has never been approached) and finished the year with 244 points. He twice scored six tries in a game and in one period of unparalleled brilliance he crossed for 22 tries in a mere five games. In one match that season, Brown scored 45 points (five tries and 15 goals), another record that has stood the test of time.

 

Dave Brown

Dave Brown gets a kick away during an Easts v Balmain game in 1935. Picture: Courtesy of Ian Collis Source: Supplied

ST GEORGE 1959

The St George legend was still in the making in 1959 but it was that season that is hailed as the greatest in the Dragons’ unprecedented era of success. Saints swept all before them that year, taking out their fourth successive title with an undefeated record. The careers of Reg Gasnier and Johnny Raper were in their infancy but their combination with Norm Provan, Ken Kearney, Brian Clay, Billy Wilson and Eddie Lumsden carried the club to greatness.

 

Dragons 1959

Johnny Raper of St. George goes over for a try with Brian Clay behind him in 1959. Picture: News Ltd Archive Source: DailyTelegraph

EASTERN SUBURBS 1975

Guided by coach Jack Gibson and led superbly by Arthur Beetson, the Roosters produced a premiership record 19-game winning sequence in 1975, on their way to a second successive premiership title. Easts’ all-star line-up included John Brass, Russell Fairfax, Mark Harris, Ron Coote, Johnny Mayes, Bill Mullins and Elwyn Walters.

 

Easts 1975

Members of the Eastern Suburbs 1975 first-grade premiership team. Source: Supplied

ALLAN LANGER 1998

The prodigious halfback achieved a season of remarkable accomplishment in 1998, leading Brisbane to the premiership, Queensland to State of Origin success and Australia to victory in the series against New Zealand.

 

Alfie

Brisbane Broncos captain Allan Langer is carried from field on shoulders of Wendell Sailor and Kevin Walters after beating Canterbury in the 1998 grand final. Picture: Trent Parke Source: DailyTelegraph

PARRAMATTA 2001

Despite falling at the final hurdle, Parramatta produced a season of rare dominance in 2001, smashing all-time records for tries and points scored in a season and beating the rest of the field home by five competition points. Their for and against differential was among the best ever recorded (433 points) and they cruised into the grand final with comfortable wins in the prelims.

 

Eels 2001

Nathan Hindmarsh (C) with teammates are disappointed after Newcastle defeated Parramatta in the 2001 NRL grand final. Picture: Mark Evans Source: DailyTelegraph

JARRYD HAYNE 2009

Few players have excelled as Jarryd Hayne did late in the 2009 season, his run of form catapulting the Eels from a near hopeless position halfway through the year all the way to the grand final. During a period of unprecedented individual dominance, Hayne won six consecutive man of the match awards. He took out the Dally M Medal, the Brad Fittler Medal (as NSW’s best in the Origin series) and the RLIF International Player of the Year.

 

Hayne Dally m

Parramatta Eels NRL player Jarryd Hayne with his 2009 Dally M Medal. Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: DailyTelegraph

BEN BARBA 2012

Barba was a marvel for the Bulldogs in 2012, igniting his team’s charge to the grand final with his speed and evasive skills. His ability to turn defence into attack proved a remarkable asset for the Dogs and ensured that he was at the top of the leaderboard when the final Dally M votes were read out at the end of the season.

 

Ben Barba

Dally M Awards in Sydney in 2012, with Bulldogs player Ben Barba winning the top gong. Picture: Mark Evans Source: DailyTelegraph