Advice ain't cheap: when you'll need to spend more than $3000

Australian Financial Review | Saturday 4 May 2019

Michael Croker says Bill Shorten is impugning accountants.  Supplied

Michael Croker says Bill Shorten is impugning accountants. Supplied

The wealth wars took a bitter turn when Labor leader Bill Shorten, in full campaign mode, described tax deductions for accounting advice as "one of the rorts we want to shut down".

A clearly incensed Michael Croker, the tax leader with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, accused Shorten of impugning an entire profession with comments that scraped the "bottom of the political barrel".

Battle begins for voters’ hip pockets

The Australian | Saturday 13 April 2019

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Bill Shorten’s high-taxing manifesto has come under attack over concerns that Labor will deny ­investment opportunities for struggling parents and impose tough new penalties on small business owners over their tax affairs, as the election fight erupts into a battle over the hip pockets of working Australians.

The first official day of the election campaign centred on the competing tax agendas of the major parties, with real estate agents, accountants and business groups hitting back over Labor’s policies, which the Opposition Leader claims are aimed at the top end of town.

'Devastating': Robots to take 6.5 million jobs

Australian Financial Review | Monday 1 April 2019

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Microsoft Australia managing director Steven Worrall and Telstra executive Michael Ebeid warn that business, governments and workers are woefully unprepared for robots to displace up to 6.5 million jobs.

The pair join tech heavyweights such as Atlassian's Mike Cannon-Brookes and venture capitalist Daniel Petre who warn "we need to act now", ahead of a major conference kicking off on Monday to urge action.

Pick, pack and stack: the robot warehouse has arrived

The Sydney Morning Herald | Saturday 30 March 2019

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Something roared to life last month that, if it works as expected, will change how one of Australia’s biggest companies does business forever.

Surrounded by empty farmland on Melbourne's outer south-east, the robots in Woolworths' brand new distribution centre started to churn out their first deliveries to supermarkets around Victoria.

NCOSS calls on Berejiklian Government to prioritise social issues

Architecture & Design | Friday 29 March 2019

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The new Government should focus on social cohesion, economic equality and creating more inclusive communities, says NSW’s peak social services body, the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS).

Congratulating the Berejiklian Government on their re-election, NCOSS says the people of NSW have given them an opportunity to work with the social services sector and disadvantaged communities to build a fairer, more cohesive state.

Bank call centre's education facelift

The Examiner | Friday 29 March 2019

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A FORMER banking call centre has been transformed into an education hub.

Oakwood School in Launceston has recently refitted out the property, at the Technopark at Kings Meadows, over the past 12 months. Oakwood School is a school used by the Brethren community, who typically restrict access with the wider community and use of technology.

The school has campuses in Launceston and Hobart, and is part of the global network of OneSchool established by the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.

As part of OneSchool Global's ecosystem, Oakwood School delivers a mainstream education to Brethren students, utilising Zoom video conferencing to provide students with choice from a broad range ofsubjects.

Oakwood Launceston regional principal Damien Barry said the campus was unique because it was built around a "learning centre of virtual classrooms."

"Our learning centre is connected to all virtual classrooms working in tandem," he said.

"We are the only school in Australia that has a learning centre attached to multiple virtual classrooms."

Oakwood Launceston was established in 1995 and offers education to Brethren students from grade 3 to year12.

Mr Barry said all the spaces within Oakwood School are versatile and adaptable to cater for different students, year levels, subjects andteachers.

"Our primary school and high school are under one roof, creating exceptional opportunities for collaborative learning and mentoring.

"You do not get this opportunity at larger school campuses,"he said.

Launceston's learning centre offers a range of different learning and collaboration spaces as part of the school's self-directed learning approach.

Mr Barry said this approach required students to prepare themselves ahead of class, for example through watching prescribed video or pre-reading course material and bring to class questions to seek guidance from their teachers. Teachers at the school were non-Brethren members who have years of experience working in independent and government schools. Mr Barry said the success of the development of the campus and its ongoing operations is largely due to the partnership between the school's professional staff and the supportive Brethren community.

Asha Boswarva takes centre stage in Strictly Ballroom play

The Daily Telegraph | Thursday 28 March 2019

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Balgowlah's Asha Boswarva will grace audiences tonight as the loveable Shirley Hasting for the opening night of Redlands' Strictly Ballroom musical adaptation.

After five months of intensive rehearsals for up to 16 hours per week since October last year, more than 120 students from years seven to 12 will bring to audiences a musical adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 1992 iconic award-winning film at The Concourse in Chatswood.

The Family Law’s Trystan Go’s juggling act

The Daily Telegraph | Sunday 24 March 2019

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The Family Law actor Trystan Go will take the lead in the St Andrew’s Cathedral School musical, Fiddler on the Roof from April 4-6.

The rising Coogee star has also only recently wrapped up filming for sci-fi feature film Occupation Rainfall, the highly anticipated follow-up to the Australian-produced sci-fi blockbuster Occupation, alongside Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals) and US actor Ken Jeong.

Clinton aide says Democrats must stick to the centre

The Australian | Tuesday 19 March 2019

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More than a dozen candidates are seeking US Democratic Party nomination to take on Donald Trump next year. More, including former vice-president Joe Biden, are expected to announce they are joining the race. But this contest is shaping up to be as much a battle for the presidency as it is for the soul of the Democratic Party.

The moderate centrist politics personified by the two-term presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama may be a thing of the past. The Democratic Party is shifting leftwards and is becoming radicalised, as its congressional and gubernatorial leaders advocate a new era of big government spending, regulation and redistribution, even socialism.

Lacrosse judgment widens cladding insurance exposure for construction

Australian Financial Review | Sunday 17 March 2019

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Governments may have to step in to bridge a combustible cladding-related insurance gap that is widening in the wake of the Lacrosse judgment.

Insurers last year started raising premiums and inserting cladding-related policy exclusions for professionals such as building surveyors and certifiers, but last month's judgment finding building surveyor Gardner Group, fire engineer Thomas Nicolas and architect Elenberg Fraser liable for the use of combustible non-compliant cladding on the Lacrosse residential tower in Melbourne, has accelerated the process.

Musical Fiddler on the Roof will feature Sutherland Shire rising theatre stars at NIDA

The Leader | Thursday 14 March 2019

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Two talented students from St George and Sutherland Shire are preparing to take centre-stage in NIDA's production of Fiddler on the Roof in April this year.

The St Andrew's Cathedral school musical will feature Sutherland Shire teenagers and students of St Andrew's, Lara Winsbury and Olivia Vouris, who will perform in the production at NIDA's Parade Theatre at Kensington.