Big picture thinking wins

Clare Dunnicliff, CEO, Winton Consulting, is passionate about achieving sustainable outcomes for organisations.An alternative change management consultancy model specialising in identifying and managing the root-cause of problems in the workplace has been recognised for its excellence at state level.
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Maitland based firm Winton Consulting was a finalist in the recent at the NSW Business Chamber State Business Awards at the International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour on Friday November 17.

Thecompany was among 15 other small business finalists in the Excellence in Small Business Award who represented the category’s regional winners from across New South Wales.

Winton Consulting was selected as a state finalist after being awarded the Excellence in Small Business Award (<20) at the 2017 Hunter Business Awards announced in Newcastle duringAugust of this year.

During the past three years, Winton Consulting has expanded from one to seven employees and has grown its client base from four to 35 across NSW, QLD, ACT, WA, Victoria and Tasmania.

Winton Consulting’s team of highly skilled and respected consultants partners with organisations across public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

The team at Winton work closely with clients to delivera cooperative, innovative and holistic approach to strategic planning, operations planing, process improvement and people management for every client.

Their mantra is to take thelong view, whichis vital to implement solutions to systemic problems andensure sustainable changes that will ultimately take anorganisation into a profitable, robust future..

“There’s a common perception that consultants are engaged to shake things up, change everything, “streamline” staffing practices and then walk away.

“This is completely at odds with the approach we take,” explains CEO, Clare Dunnicliff.

As the founder of Winton Consulting, Clare is passionate about leading, managing and generating change and is driven by a desire to transform organisations by helping to createclarity during timesof uncertainty.

Winton Consulting partners with charities and not-for-profits andworks with corporations and government and councils to achieve best practice and relevant outcomes for today’s competitive markets.

My experience over the years has taught me that the old adage ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’ is true, and perfectly describes what we aim to do her atWinton,” adds Clare.

Winton Consulting is based atSuite 3, 461 High Street, Maitland.

Contact1300 309 170 for more information or head to 梧桐夜网wintonconsulting南京夜网419论坛

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FFA turn to Socceroos legends to find new coach

soccer Wo4rld Cup Germany Socceroos Australia V Croatia End of game Jubilation Marco Bresciano, Vince Grella and Satn Lazaridis 230606 Tim Clayton SMH Sportsoccer World Cup Germany Socceroos Australia V Croatia End of game Jubilation Marco Bresciano, Vince Grella and Stan Lazaridis 230606 Tim Clayton SMH SportFootball Federation Australia will turn to a trio of Socceroos legends to assist in appointing the manager who will lead Australia through the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
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Three members of Australia’s so-called “golden generation” – Mark Bresciano, Stan Lazaridis and Mark Schwarzer – are among a panel of experts who will advise the FFA on the coaching hire, along with FFA’s head of national performance, Luke Casserly, Socceroos assistant coach Ante Milicic (both are also former national team representatives), FFA’s national technical director Eric Abrams and chief medical officer, Dr Mark Jones. It is expected that two international names will join this panel and will be named in the coming days.

The advisory panel, as well as search and consulting firm SRi Executive, are working with FFA on the criteria for selecting the new coach and will be involved in initial interviews. The final decision is expected to be made in February, ahead of friendly matches in March, with the World Cup starting in June.

Australia will take on France, Denmark and Peru in the tournament, their fourth consecutive World Cup appearance since breaking a 32-year drought in 2006. Bresciano famously scored the goal that sent their play-off tie against Uruguay into extra time, before Schwarzer was the hero in the penalty shoot-out, making two saves. Lazaridis was on the bench for both legs against Uruguay, and made the squad for Germany in 2006.

“As you would expect, we have had a high-level of interest already,” FFA boss David Gallop said. “As things stand, no one is ruled in or out. We are open-minded about whether the coach is Australian or someone from overseas but they must live in Australia, embrace the progress on and off the field that has been achieved with national teams over the past four years – especially in the areas of technical development and sports science – and be prepared to be an ambassador for our sport here and abroad.”

One potential candidate is former Argentina and Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa, an appointment that would meet most fan’s expectations, but another big name thrust into the mix is former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

“Yes of course I’m interested. It’s a big job, a big football country, you’re playing in the World Cup – again. You more or less always play in the World Cup,” the 69-year-old told News Corp on Tuesday.

The Swede led England to two World Cup quarter-finals in 2002 and 2006, losing to Brazil and Portugal, respectively. He also oversaw the Ivory Coast’s campaign in 2010, when they failed to make it out of the group stage.

“The whole world would say France is favourite to win that group, but second I think it’s very tight. Any team there can beat anyone, it’s very open. Why not Australia?” Eriksson said.

Gallop said the prospect of a coach taking over for the World Cup and then passing the team on to someone else, as Guus Hiddink did for the 2005 play-offs and 2006 tournament, is not an ideal outcome for Australia – but didn’t rule it out entirely.

“FFA’s starting point is to appoint a coach for the long-term but we will be advised on this and other matters by our expert panel. We are confident that we will attract the right person to lead the Socceroos at the World Cup and hopefully beyond.”

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New generation at Civic

Prize Fighter: Actors and brothers Pacharo and Gideon Mzembe in a scene from the play, which will show at Tuff’ N Up boxing gym in Newcastle West. Picture: Dylan EvansThe great white and male Australian battler is a character who has always been unique to the cultural mythology of our suburbia. Many of us can so easily relate to his story because it encompasses things that we tell each other about ourselves. Loyal. Hard working. Respectful of family and friends. Disrespectful of anything false or underhanded. An honest, blue collar larrikin just trying to make a living.
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But in a more modern and intercultural suburban landscape, this portrait of the Australian hero is, to say the very least, looking a little outdated.

Commencing in February, the 2018 Civic Theatre season will be a testament to how diversified the heroic, contemporary Australian character has become. It will be a season of stories that are written across the less familiar faces of our present and past.

Across cultures that are colourful and ancient, but too often ignored and unseen. Against the inaccurate assumptions and expired stereotypes that are still attached to race, gender and the nature of theatrical storytelling itself.

LETTERS FROM LINDY One of the more frequently made assumptions that the award-winning playwright Alana Valentine challenges is that the great white battler must inevitably be an Australian male. On July 7 at the Civic, Letters to Lindy brings to Newcastle the heartbreaking,candid story of a woman around whom an entirely different type of suburban Australian myth revolved.

Letters to Lindy: Jeanette Cronin, Alana Valentine and the real Lindy.

Jeanette Cronin plays the once reviled, befallen and then later exonerated Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton – a woman whose name still reverberates with suspicion, religious prejudice and intrigue. As Cronin reads to the audience a selection of some of the 20,000 letters that the public wrote to her over the course of three decades, we are offered an insight into a private and painful struggle that large swathes of the Australian public refused to ever acknowledge or attempt to sympathise with.

“One of the things I love about this play,” says Civic Theatre manager Vanessa Hutchins, “is the attention Lindy gives to all of the letters themselves. She respects the hateful correspondence as much as she does the offerings of love and support. The letters themselves are haunting. They also give the audience an opportunity to hear her story from the mouth of a nation who at the time was absolutely obsessed with her.”

PRIZE FIGHTERFor an insight into a very different struggle, Hutchins points out that Prize Fighter also presents a fascinating example of a compelling and personal story of triumph over adversity. In a production to be presented inSeptember at the Tuff’ N Up boxing gym in Newcastle West, Malawi-bred brothers Pacharo and Gideon Mzembe play young Congolese boxers wrestling with the spectres of their violent pasts. Playwright Future DFidel, who himself had to flee a war-torn Congo before settling in Australia, dedicated the story of his main character Isa to an impressive and talented young man he once met in a Tanzanian refugee camp.

“This is a story about second chances” saysthe Zimbabwean-born, NIDA-trained Pacharo. “My character Isa has come to a place to escape his memories but eventually he learns that place itself is not enough to remove you of your demons.” For his brother, former rugby league playerand New York Acting Academy graduate Gideon, Prize Fighter is a story about the distances that an enormous athletic ability can transport an otherwise disadvantaged individual.

“If you don’t have sporting talent in a country like Malawi or the Congo,” Gideon says, “then you don’t have the same access to education or opportunity. This is why sport is a great way to tell a story. It is the language of success that everybody understands.”

WHO AM I?Who Am I?, which opensat the Civic on June 26, is yet another Australian play that explores the psychology of triumph and the sometimes obsessive pursuit of success.

Back in 1993, born and bred Newcastle performer Russell Cheek became every TV lover’s overnight hero by becoming champion of Sale of the Century. Who Am I? is an irreverent, but compelling foray into the mind of a quiz contestant under a unique and unbearable degree of pressure.

Not only has Cheek written and performed as himself in the show, he has assured that the play maintains the strongest possible link to Newcastle by enlisting fellow former Castanet Club member Steve Abbott (best known as Sandman) as his director.

Cheek speakspassionately about Who Am I? and the creative partnership between himself and Abbottthat first made it possible.

“After dinner parties that the two of us would have with friends at my place in Newcastle, we would always find ourselves watching repeats of me winning the game show,” Cheek says.

“After this had happened a couple of times, Steve began to watch the watchers. He became fascinated by the nervous, edge-of-your-seat anticipation of our dinner guests.

“One night after everybody had left he turned to me and insisted that we do a show. It was a period of transition for both of us. I had time to write. The play emerged from that particular time.”

THE PLACE IN BETWEENAlso in the 2018 season, Newcastle choreographer Cadi McCarthy explores the emotional intricacies of change and transition in The Place In Between. Presented by the local dance company Catapult and featuring a small, talented ensemble of young dancers, the performance measures the disturbances created when change, even when it is predictable and expected, descends upon us and compels us to act and make decisions.

The Place In Between is made more powerful by how carefully it exposes the intimate secrets we share only with ourselves.

They are all shows, Hutchins suggests, that celebrate the unflinching determination of the individual.

“So much of our season in 2018 is about strong and personal stories. Some are quite visceral, blood-sweat-and-tears stories. Others are about how a community can embrace the individual. But they all share with the audience something fascinating about the telling of the story itself.”

civictheatrenewcastle南京夜网419论坛/Season-2018.

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ASX struggles on banks, miners

Investors continued selling the big four banks, with losses in the big four offsetting gains made by the retailers on a day where the Reserve Bank of Australia kept interest rates on hold.
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A lift in both the iron ore and oil prices failed to motivate the resources sector, which was another poorly performing sector over the day, closing down just behind financials.

The big four banks have had a rough week following the announcement of a royal commission into the financial services industry last Thursday, however some investors believe they might have suffered enough.

“It looks like the banks are close to finding a base, there was some pretty lacklustre selling throughout Tuesday,” said Romano Sala Tenna, portfolio manager at Katana Asset Management.

“They look like they’ve run their course for the time being, we’ll have to wait for more news flow about the commission to seel them fall further, I would expect.”

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index and the broader All Ordinaries Index each fell 0.2 per cent, to end the day at 5971 points and 6056 points, respectively.

Westpac fell 1.1 per cent to $30.83, ANZ lost 1 per cent to $28.05. CBA lost 0.2 per cent to $78.74 and NAB dipped 0.4 per cent to $29.36.

Investors look to have scooped some profits from resources giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, which closed down 0.9 per cent to $27.75 and 2.1 per cent to $70.57, respectively.

Elsewhere, AWE Limited shares crashed 10 per cent to 63 cents after China Energy Reserve and Chemical Group Australia withdrew its 71 cent per share takeover offer.

The arrival of Amazon to Australia failed to stifle retailers who shot higher following stronger-than expected retail sales data for October.

Harvey Norman bumped up 6.3 per cent to $4.25 and JB Hi-Fi climbed 6.8 per cent to $25.73.

Telstra enjoyed a strong day, continuing its run after some positive broker comments on Monday. The stock closed up 3.1 per cent at $3.61.

In other equities news, G8 Education rebounded 5.3 per cent following Monday’s savage loss after a profit downgrade. Investors were buoyed by UBS and CLSA maintaining their “buy ratings” on the company.

REA Group dropped 2.5 per cent after Macquarie downgraded the stock to “underperform” on valuation grounds. Stockwatch

Magellan Financial Group rallied on Tuesday, rising 6.2 per cent to $26.72. The gain followed an upgrade to buy from neutral at UBS with a $30 target price. The broker said that whilst rising global equity markets and strong net flows suggest Magellan is on track for 15 per cent growth in assets under management in the first half of 2018, its shares have declined 13 per cent. The firm has underperformed the ASX 200 by 17 per cent, the broker noted. “With MFG trading at only 17.1 times forward earnings – a premium of only 6 per cent to the broader market compared to 26 per cent over the last three years, we upgrade MFG on valuation grounds.” Nickel

Nickel gained on Tuesday as the metal mainly used in stainless steel got a boost after Chinese steel futures touched three-month highs, but a firmer dollar capped the rise. Steel and iron ore contracts in Shanghai have surged as government-ordered steel production cutbacks to reduce pollution led to tighter supplies for some mill products. The stronger prices might not last long because eventually the steel production cutbacks during the peak Chinese smog season in the winter would mean less need for nickel, said Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics. Benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange closed 0.8 per cent higher at $11,320 a tonne, paring gains after touching an intraday high of $11,470. New Zealand dollar

A speech from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand saw the kiwi dollar jump on Tuesday. A new assumption that global inflation will stay lower for longer means it is more exposed to the risk of prices picking up, said Acting Governor Grant Spencer. “More recently we have been assuming greater persistence in low global inflation and this is contributing to our current flat track for future OCR levels,” Spencer said in a speech Tuesday in Auckland. “This now puts some risk on the upside for inflation and interest rates.” The RBNZ currently sees the official cash rate remaining at a record-low 1.75 percent until mid-2019. New Zealand’s dollar rose after the speech, buying US68.95?? in Wellington from US68.65?? immediately before the speech was published. Asian shares

Shares around the region were mixed, after Japan’s Nikkei share average dropped on Tuesday while Singapore and Philippines shares rebounded. In Japan, semiconductor equipment manufacturers’ stocks were hit by weakness in US tech shares overnight. Singapore shares climbed 0.4 per cent after a survey showed late on Monday that factory activity rose for the 13th consecutive month in November to hit its highest level in eight years. Philippine shares snapped a five-day losing streak and inched up 0.3 per cent after data showed headline inflation slowed for the first time in five months to 3.3 percent, in line with forecasts. Oil

Oil markets nudged higher on Tuesday, buoyed by expectations of a drop in US crude stockpiles and after last week’s deal between OPEC and other crude producers to extend output curbs. Brent crude finished the day at $62.45 while West Texas intermediate was at $57.47 a barrel. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers last week rolled over their agreement to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day until the end of 2018, aiming to erode a global glut and drive up prices. Goldman Sachs said Saudi Arabia and Russia showed a stronger commitment to extending cuts and raised its Brent and WTI spot forecasts for 2018.

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Financial planners could lose from Royal Commission

The scandals at most of the big banks that stretch back more than a decade have often involved their financial planning arms.
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That’s partly to blame for the fact that about eight in 10 adult Australians are not receiving financial advice, even though many would benefit.

They are also put off by the cost of face-to-face advice; though the cost is likely to be outweighed by the financial benefits of receiving good financial advice.

Other likely reasons for not seeing a planner include concerns that products would be pushed their way or a perception of a lack of independence within some parts of the financial planning industry.

Governments have responded to the scandals. They have introduced new laws and tightened others so consumers are better protected than when commission-based product flogging was rife.

Commissions are banned on almost all financial products and the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority is overseeing the professional and educational standards of financial advisers.

Yet, it seems that these reforms, and others, will take some time to work, before consumer perceptions of the financial planning industry change for the better.

The latest Roy Morgan Superannuation and Wealth in Australia survey, which includes surveys of what people think of financial adviser, shows trust in financial planners for ethics and honestly has shown no real improvement since the survey began in 2009.

In fact, after improving a little, financial planners’ trust factor declined 2 percentage points in the past 12 months to 25 per cent, which is where it was in 2009.

Trust is in short supply. Whether it is governments, media and “fake” news, multinationals avoiding paying their share of tax, there is real need for financial planners to gain a greater level of trust among Australians.

Independent, expert advice does set people up for a much more financially secure future than they would have otherwise.

Most consumers probably feel that just seeing someone called a financial adviser is not sufficient to ensure they will receive a certain minimum level of professionalism.

Consumers want planners’ professionalism to be validated by an independent party, which explains why in recent years websites have appeared that rate financial planners.

The Royal Commission into the banks and other financial services entities, announced by the government last week, will most likely be revisiting the scandals that have involved financial planners and the financial planning arms of the banks, stretching back many years.

Already, the banks have paid millions of dollars in compensation, settlements or refunds.

Who knows what the Royal Commission will turn up.

It could very well uncover other scandalous practices involving the financial advice operations of the financial institutions.

It’s likely the reputation, not only of the banks but of financial planning as a whole, is set to go lower.

But it would be wrong for consumers to avoid getting financial advice in the belief that many of the problems in financial planning industry have not been cleaned up – they have.

Twitter: @jcollett_money

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Dutton concedes error in Martin case

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has conceded there was a legal error in the decision to deport father of AFL superstar Dustin Martin, a judge has been told. Photo: AAPThe father of AFL superstar Dustin Martin is hopeful but by no means certain he’ll be able to return to Australia after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton conceded a legal error was made when deporting him.
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” I want to believe it but until I’m on that plane and sitting in Australia … I’ll be jumping, partying then,” Shane Martin told Melbourne radio 3AW.

In the Federal Court in Sydney on Tuesday, Justice John Griffiths was told the minister had agreed the deportation decision should be quashed.

Mr Martin, who had lived in Australia for 20 years, was challenging the decision which led to his deportation to New Zealand last year because of his links to the Rebels motorcycle club.

After the court was told of the minister’s concession, Mr Martin’s barrister, James Forsaith, stood up to make a submission.

“You are not going to do much better than that,” the judge quipped.

Mr Forsaith said there still was one issue related to the class of visa held by Mr Martin, and he wished to discuss the legal consequences with senior counsel.

The judge adjourned the case to December 19.

Mr Martin later told 3AW he was confused and his lawyers were still in negotiations.

“I don’t want to say I’m back when I’m not, you know what I mean?” he said.

Shane Martin has spoken to his Brownlow Medal-winning son about the concession.

“He’s happy and that but like I said, we’re not there yet. I can’t get too excited.”

His deportation meant he missed Dustin play in the 2017 AFL grand final when Richmond claimed their first flag since 1980.

Mr Dutton has been contacted for comment.

The minister in October said he based the decision to deport Mr Martin on information that wasn’t publicly available.

“I have information that is provided by the intelligence agencies, and by law I am prohibited from giving you the detail,” Mr Dutton said.

“I’ve made a decision which I am not going to change. I made a decision based on all the facts and I believe it is the right decision.”

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Fiona Nash wants back in as Nats jockey to replace her

Former Senator Fiona Nash arrives at the campaign office for Barnaby Joyce to support his campaign for the New England by-election, in Tamworth on Friday 1 December 2017. fedpol Photo: Alex Ellinghausen News. Retired Major General Jim Molan next to a Long Range Patrol Vehicle in the Conflicts 1945 to Today Gallery at the Australian War Memorial. 26 December 2012 Canberra Times Photo by Jeffrey Chan
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Half a dozen National MPs are jockeying to become Barnaby Joyce’s new deputy but the party room could hold off on a vote until it becomes clear whether Fiona Nash – who lost the job to dual citizenship – has a pathway back into the Senate.

Outspoken Queensland cabinet minister Matt Canavan, who survived his own dual citizenship scare, is considered the frontrunner, but is facing a likely challenge from NSW MP Michael McCormack and Victorian Bridget McKenzie.

Junior ministers David Gillespie and Keith Pitt, as well as backbencher Kevin Hogan, may also have a tilt at the job, which comes with a guaranteed spot in cabinet.

Absent from the list is fellow cabinet minister Darren Chester, who lacks the necessary party room support and is understood to be backing Senator McKenzie.

The party room will meet on Thursday morning, with Mr Joyce back in charge following his thumping win at the New England byelection on Saturday.

But while the MPs were expected to elect their new deputy during the meeting, some are now pushing to delay a vote until Ms Nash’s future becomes clearer.

Ms Nash was ruled ineligible by the High Court but her replacement – Liberal Hollie Hughes – was also ruled out under section 44 of the constitution. The court will publish the reasons for its Hughes verdict on Wednesday but it is unclear whether it will make orders about a replacement.

If the court orders a countback, the replacement will be hard-right Liberal and Tony Abbott ally, Jim Molan. But if it orders a casual vacancy the Coalition would get a choice. In that scenario, the Nationals would fight hard for Ms Nash’s return, setting up a clash between the Coalition partners.

“There potentially is a pathway back,” Ms Nash told Sky News on Tuesday.

“If there is a casual vacancy I’d be very keen to come back. And I know the National Party would be very keen to keep the National Party seat in the Parliament.”

Asked if she wanted the party room to hold off on voting, Ms Nash said: “I certainly believe I have done a good job and I hope people think I’ve done a good job as deputy leader. I would hope that colleagues would think about that while they’re considering whether or not they need to change deputy leader this week.”

The jockeying within the Nationals came as Labor came under further pressure to refer at least three of its MPs to the High Court over citizenship doubts. Senator Katy Gallagher and lower house MPs Justine Keay and Susan Lamb all remained dual citizens when they nominated as candidates last year.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said Labor had not ruled out referring Senator Gallagher to the court, but maintains it would be a waste of time and taxpayers’ money. Labor maintains their MPs are protected from disqualification because they took “reasonable steps”.

If Labor refuses to refer the MPs, the government could do it itself with the help of the Greens.

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List of touted candidates grows as FFA appoints Socceroos coach selection panel

Former England boss Sven Goran Eriksson is the latest name to be flagged as a short or perhaps long-term fix for the Socceroos.
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He joins the likes of Marcelo Bielsa, Gianni De Biasi, Christoph Daum, Jurgen Klinsmann, Guus Hiddink and former Serbia coach Slavoljub Muslin as high-profile, experienced managers who have been mentioned in dispatches as potential candidates for the Socceroos’ top job in recent days.

And they are just the foreign contenders. Graham Arnold, Tony Popovic, John Aloisi and Kevin Muscat have also been put in the frame as potential successors to Ange Postecoglou.

It’s hardly surprising as the seat vacated by Postecoglou is attractive, given it guarantees participation at the World Cup.

So it’s also no surprise that the FFA, which said it was in no hurry to replace the man who quit a week or so after securing Australia’s place in Russia, wants to make sure it leaves no stone unturned in its search for the right man, who it plans to appoint by mid-February, a month before Australia play their next international friendly in March.

On Tuesday the FFA announced it was appointing former Socceroos Mark Bresciano, Stan Lazaridis and Mark Schwarzer to a panel of experts who will advise the FFA on the appointment of a new coach.

It is a second FFA post for former winger Lazaridis, who is also an external member of the FFA board’s football development committee.

The trio, who have 253 international caps between them, were part of the “golden generation” for Australia and were together in the squad for the 2006 World Cup. Schwarzer and Bresciano were part of the team in South Africa 2010, while Bresciano made it to Brazil

They will be working with FFA’s head of national performance Luke Casserly, Australia’s assistant coach Ante Milicic (both of whom are also former Socceroos), FFA’s national technical director Eric Abrams and FFA’s chief medical officer Dr Mark Jones. The appointment of two international experts is expected to be finalised soon.

International search and consulting firm SRi Executive will co-ordinate the process.

“As you would expect, we have had a high level of interest already,” CEO David Gallop said.

“We are open-minded about whether the coach is Australian or someone from overseas but they must live in Australia, embrace the progress on and off the field that has been achieved with national teams over the past four years – especially in the areas of technical development and sports science – and be prepared to be an ambassador for our sport here and abroad.

“FFA’s starting point is to appoint a coach for the long term but we will be advised on this and other matters by our expert panel.”

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Government shaving super benefits a risk

Recently you made some alarming comments in relation to the future of super and the age pension. I agree that the age pension is vulnerable to government cuts, however surely super is our own money, not the government’s. Can you explain what you meant by the words “government cutting super benefits” and the possibility of our not being able to “rely on super” as a future investment vehicle?
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Every investment you make has advantages and disadvantages. For example, if you leave your money in the bank, instead of investing in shares, you negate the risk of your capital falling in value in a market downturn but you forgo potential capital gain and the tax effectiveness of franked dividends.

Apart from lack of access, the main disadvantage of placing money in superannuation is “legislative risk”, which is a fancy term for saying the government may change the rules. Just this year they have dramatically reduced the amount that could be contributed to superannuation, increased the contributions tax on concessional contributions made by high-income earners, and severely reduced the amount that can be held in the tax-free pension mode. This is why I believe a prudent investment strategy involves investing both inside and outside the superannuation environment.

Is there a general rule on how best retirees aged 65 or more might fund the purchase of a new motorcar? Do we sell shares, or cash in super or is there a smarter way to fund purchase of a depreciating asset?

It’s best to avoid borrowing at your stage in life so my preference would be to withdraw some money from your super. The reduction in the balance may well increase your age pension if you are getting one, and if your assets are in excess of the age pension limits I see no reason why you should not enjoy your money while you are alive. Just keep in mind the best value motorcars are normally fairly new second-hand ones.

If I were to invest in a managed fund using a family discretionary trust and nominate profits to be automatically reinvested into the fund, how would the reinvestment be taxed? Is it better to nominate for the profits from the managed investment funds to be paid out to the trust and have the trust distribute it to the beneficiaries?

It is my understanding that all managed investment funds send you a statement for the 2016/17 tax year and, you subsequently distribute the returns from the fund to the beneficiaries of your family trust. Do the beneficiaries declare these in their 2016/17 individual tax return even though it would have been received after June 30, 2017?

If a discretionary trust is taxed on its profits rather than distributing them, the profits will be taxed at the maximum tax rate so in most cases a trust is simply a conduit from which the income of the trust is distributed to its beneficiaries. The term “discretionary” trust means that the trustees have the discretion at the end of each financial year to decide which beneficiaries the trust income is to be distributed to. They also have the power to vary the distributions between beneficiaries for tax minimisation purposes.

If the income from the managed funds owned by the trust is reinvested, it will still be considered to have made a profit for tax purposes just as if it had been paid in cash to the trust. If the entire income has been reinvested the trust may not have the funds available to make cash distributions. If that is the case the beneficiaries will probably lend the money back to the trust as a journal entry. This could create a problem if one of the beneficiaries is a company.

Unless specified differently in the trustee’s distribution statement the tax statement provided by the fund will be apportioned between the beneficiaries on the ratio of their share of the trust’s income.

I am a pensioner aged 73. My partner is 58 years old. She could possibly get a reasonable inheritance in the near future. If she puts this money into super would it still be protected up to her pension age if I had to go into aged care? I am concerned that she would have no money after I passed on if it was used up on my aged care.

Money in superannuation is not assessed for Centrelink purposes until the member reaches pensionable age, provided the money is in the accumulation phase. However, it does become assessable if the member commences a pension from the super fund. Just keep in mind there are limits on the amount of money that can be contributed to super.

Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature. Readers should seek their own professional advice before making decisions. Twitter: @noelwhittaker

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Bird of the Year? Forget the ibis, here are the world’s best

There’s no shame in being a bird lover. At least, that’s what I tell myself, because I’m kind of into them. I don’t go full twitcher – I don’t tick species I’ve seen off a list, and I don’t even own a pair of binoculars. However, I do still get pretty excited about spotting birds.
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Clearly I’m not in the minority here either, given the amount of recent attention some of “best bird” competitions being held around the world have been getting. New Zealand just announced its national “Bird of the Year” for 2017 – the legendary kea – and the mighty white ibis is currently on its way to claiming a similar crown in Australia. People are into this stuff.

Travellers should be, too, because you don’t have to be a hardcore twitcher to appreciate the awesomeness of certain avian life. I’d happily go searching for any of these. Kea, New Zealand

What keas lack in size, they more than make up for in personality. These cute little fellas, the world’s only alpine parrots, are incessantly curious, and will approach any humans they see to find food or to just check out what’s going on. Their lack of a strong survival instinct makes them a lot of fun to interact with – and sadly, it also makes them an endangered species. Scarlet macaw, Peru

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

I haven’t opted for a lot of extravagant plumage on this list, because pretty colours are no match for personality, but the scarlet macaw is the exception. This huge parrot, found most often in Amazonia parts of Peru, Bolivia and Brazil, is one beautiful beast, and a riot of colourful feathers: scarlet, blue, yellow, green and more. Seeing them in the wild is pretty cool. Watch out, too, for the lavishly billed toucan, which hangs out in the same areas. Atlantic puffin, North Atlantic

Photo: Shutterstock

Puffins have to be about the most adorable birds out there. They’re small, a little rotund, they have chubby cheeks, colourful beaks and oddly sad eyes. They’re also pretty fearless, so if you happen to stumble upon a colony of these little guys in, say, Iceland, or Canada, or even Ireland, you’re more than likely be able to approach for a closer look. And, of course, a photo. Blue-footed booby, Galapagos

Photo: Craig Platt

As with all of the wildlife in the Galapagos, you can get so close to a nesting blue-footed booby that you could almost take a turn sitting on its egg. But there’s more to the booby’s greatness than proximity. These guys are cool to look at on land, but they’re absolute weapons in the air: you’ll spot them hovering above the ocean at heights of up to 30 metres, and then diving in – hitting the water at 100km/h, plunging 25 metres deep – to snaffle a fish. Seriously impressive. Andean condor, South America

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

One of the most memorable experiences you can have in South America is gathering on the lip of Colca Canyon in Peru at dawn, waiting for the sun to warm the air far below, and then watching as huge Andean condors – as big as 3 metres from wingtip to wingtip – rise up out of the depths right in front of you. There’s no place you’ll get closer to these magnificent but high-flying beasts in the wild. Penguin, Antarctica

Photo: Craig Platt

If you don’t love penguins, we can’t be friends. Penguins are objectively the coolest. They’re often no bigger than a football, and about as aerodynamically sound, and yet they’re packed with personality. The slide around on their bellies, they waddle about in unwieldy, tuxedo-clad packs, they nibble on your trouser legs, and then they splash into the water and all of a sudden they make complete sense. Guinea fowl, southern Africa

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

I love guinea fowl, purely for the fact that they really don’t seem like they have any right to exist. They’re sort of portly and ungainly and can barely fly, and they live in a part of the world chock full of predators, and yet they just keep on keeping on. That and they tend to waddle around in large packs, which makes them look even cooler. Cassowary, Australia/PNG

Photo: Shutterstock

Australia, being the natural dwelling of anything senselessly dangerous, is obviously home to the cassowary, a bird that seems unnecessarily vicious. Cassowaries are generally plant eaters; however, like most vegetarians they’ll attack when threatened, which in the big birds’ case involves charging, kicking and slashing at people with sharp toes. Cassowaries are also beautiful, and sadly endangered. Yellow-billed hornbill, Southern Africa

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

You’ll always know when there are hornbills around in Southern Africa. They’re loud, for starters, making all sorts of noise. They’re also pretty keen to scavenge scraps from campers, which is why you’ll often see hornbills darted down from the trees to pick up biscuit crumbs or whatever has dropped onto the ground while you weren’t really paying attention. They’ll eyeball you for a second, peck the ground a few times, and off they go back into the treetops. HALL OF SHAMEMagpies, Australia

Photo: Howie Tien

Magpies, to me, seem unreasonably popular among a certain set of Australians. What’s to like? They’re vicious psychopaths. Yeah, I get that they have a nice song, but if Michael Buble dropped out of a tree and started trying to peck your ears off you wouldn’t like him so much, would you? Cuckoos, everywhere

Cuckoos are dead-set evil, the way they lay their eggs in another bird’s nest and then the cuckoo chick pushes all of the other eggs out to ensure its survival. They also have a pretty annoying call. Pigeons, everywhere

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

The infamous “rats with wings” are no doubt hanging around your nearest tourist attraction right now, pooping on everything. Canadian geese, North America

These fairly harmless looking migratory birds are actually unreasonably aggressive, and will often attack humans if they feel threatened. They’ll also chase you for food.

What do you think are the world’s best birds? Would you travel somewhere just for the avian life?

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