Cats coaches hail AFL champ Johnson

Steve Johnson’s premiership coaches agree; there will never be an AFL player like him.

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Both Chris Scott and Mark Thompson hailed the retiring AFL champion as a master of invention and one of the league’s wiliest players.

Johnson helped Geelong win the 2007, 2009 and 2011 flags in a decorated 253-game stint with the Cats.

The fan-favourite wasn’t offered a new deal by Scott at the end of 2015 and joined Greater Western Sydney for a two-season swansong.

But Scott, speaking after Johnson announced his retirement on Thursday, was adamant it didn’t change the amount of love from both him or the club.

“He’s one of our favourites,” Scott said.

“Over the history of the game, when you talk about players with wily tricks he’s certainly in the conversation around the best.

“Watching him recently, he’s not as good physically as he was in his prime but he might be a bit smarter than he was in his prime.

“It’s amazing when you are a little bit limited how much you need to rely on those wily little tricks.”

Thompson coached Johnson at Geelong from the forward’s 2002 debut until 2010.

“I love Stevie,” Thompson told Fox Sports’ AFL 360.

“I love people who could do things that other people couldn’t do and they did it on a regular occurrence.

“Stevie was certainly one of them.

“He could mess up as good as any of them, but he could play the best footy on the ground.”

Scott said he grew to understand the depth of love from the Cats faithful for the goalsneak.

“For all the people that loved him on-field, there’s probably just as much off-field love from those who like a little bit of a cunning streak in the personality,” he said.

Johnson sits third on the all-time Geelong goalkickers list (452), and 13th for games played.

Protesters spell out opposition to Adani

Protesters have used white twine and red umbrellas to form a human ‘Stop Adani’ sign outside Parliament House.

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More than 200 activists gathered to speak out against a possible $1 billion public loan for the Indian company’s Queensland coal mine.

“If this mine goes ahead it’s going to be the biggest mine in our history,” said Sarah Ellyard, a protester struggling to keep hold of a number of #StopAdani signs.

“It’s an area about five times the size of Sydney Harbour. It’s not compatible with a safe climate future.”

Labor senator Lisa Singh, a vocal critic of the mine, said government arguments about its economic benefits needed to challenged.

“It’s not just how we feel,” she said. “It’s the science and the economics that is important in this debate.”

Australia should be focused on renewables, especially with India reducing its coal imports in the near future.

“Because that is the future of our country and, indeed, the future of our planet,” Senator Singh said.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale said he would be taking to task representatives from the North Australia Infrastructure Facility – under whom the $1 billion loan would be provided – when they appear at a Senate inquiry on Friday.

“We’re going to be doorknocking in marginal seats right across the country with you, making sure millions of Australians understand why this mine can’t go ahead,” he said.

“If we can’t stop this mine in the parliament we’re going to stop it by standing in front of those bulldozers and making sure this mine never gets built.”

Wandering around the event wearing a giant Malcolm Turnbull mask was protester Matthew Armstrong.

The reason activists were protesting was because of the power wielded by conservative elements in the government, he said.

“The only way we can counterbalance that power they have is through popular protest,” he said in a muffled voice.

Swans AFL coach not fussed by quiet Buddy

Sydney coach John Longmire isn’t concerned by the recent lack of impact from his star AFL forward Lance Franklin and has backed him to return to form.

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Franklin kicked only one goal in successive weeks against Hawthorn and Geelong and recorded his two lowest possession tallies of the campaign, notching just eight touches in last Friday’s win over Geelong.

“(Tom ) Lonergan played well on him last week, you can’t escape that, but we’re really confident that Lance will continue to play a strong part in the team,” Longmire said on Thursday.

“It’s not always about kicking goals for him. Certainly when there’s other players kicking goals, like there was last week, it helps spread the load.

“Sometimes when he’s kicking goals we can be accused of being too Franklin-centric and when he’s not kicking goals you can be accused of him not playing well.

“We were happy with our balance last week and we’re confident that he’ll be playing pretty good footy.”

Franklin leads Sydney’s goalkickers with 52, with the next best Tom Papley on 25.

Longmire was reluctant to be drawn on the future of former co-captain Jarrad McVeigh, who is coming off contract at the end of the season.

McVeigh, the most senior player on the Swans list with 295 games, had been tipped to retire at season’s end after playing just two of their first 13 games due to injuries.

However, the 32-year-old has been in outstanding form in recent weeks, marshalling Sydney’s backline.

Longmire said McVeigh’s manger Phil Mullen met Swans general manger Tom Harley last week and discussions had been ongoing for around 12 months.

“There’s no timeline or anything at the moment, other than just keep talking,” Longmire said.

“He has been very good the last couple of weeks and we’re really keen for that form to continue.”

Blood test boosts cancer screening hopes

Scientists have the first major evidence that blood tests called liquid biopsies hold promise for screening people for cancer.

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Hong Kong doctors have tried it for a type of head and neck cancer and boosted early detection and one measure of survival.

The tests detect DNA that tumours shed into the blood.

Some are used now to monitor cancer patients and many companies are trying to develop versions of these for screening, as possible alternatives to mammograms, colonoscopies and other such tests.

The new study shows this approach can work, at least for this one form of cancer and in a country where it’s common.

“This work is very exciting on the larger scale” because it gives a blueprint for how to make tests for other tumour types such as lung or breast, said Dr Dennis Lo, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

He led the study, published on Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Lo is best known for discovering that fetal DNA can be found in a mother’s blood, which launched a new era of non-invasive testing for pregnant women.

The study involved nasopharyngeal cancer, which forms at the top of the throat behind the nose.

It is a good test case for DNA screening because it is an aggressive cancer for which early detection matters a lot.

About 20,000 men were screened, and viral DNA was found in 1112, or 5.5 per cent.

Of those, 309 also had the DNA on confirmatory tests a month later.

After endoscope and MRI exams, 34 turned out to have cancer.

More cases were found at the earliest stage – 71 per cent versus only 20 per cent of a comparison group of men who had been treated for nasopharyngeal cancer during the previous five years.

‘Ordinary’ social media use can have extraordinary legal consequences

Yvonne* was having a quiet Friday night at home, scrolling her Snapchat feeds and mucking around with lenses when she decided to send a Snap of her breasts.

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Maybe she thought she’d get some Snapbacks, give her friends a laugh. What she got instead was a formal caution from police after being investigated for the NSW criminal offence of disseminating child abuse material.

In other words, because she was 14 when she shared a sexy selfie with her friends and followers online, Yvonne came close to being charged under child pornography laws.

Yvonne is the kind of teenager I see in high school classrooms and at youth services right around NSW: they’re smart, they’re tech-savvy, and they have more likes on Insta than I can dream of. But they don’t always realise that some of what they get up to on social media can have serious, lifelong consequences. Behaviour that some young people see as harmless flirting, or a normal part of dating, is viewed as something more serious under the law.

That’s why Legal Aid NSW designed a workshop that starts a conversation with young people on this topic. It’s not about trying to use scare tactics, or telling kids to stay offline. It is about arming them with the knowledge they need to make decisions that keep them safe and out of trouble.

What I’ve learned talking to teenagers about cyberbullying and sexting is that most young people, most of the time, are using social media safely and making respectful decisions about what they share online.

Many young people are not aware that any picture that shows a person under the age of 18 who is naked, or striking a sexy pose, is considered child pornography under Commonwealth criminal laws.

However, many young people are not aware that any picture that shows a person under the age of 18 who is naked, or striking a sexy pose, is considered child pornography under Commonwealth criminal laws. A similar picture that depicts a person under the age of 16 will be considered child abuse material under NSW laws. Because these laws are designed to protect children and teenagers, teenagers may not realise they restrict their behaviour, too – so a 17-year-old girl who sends a sexy picture of herself to her 17-year-old boyfriend is risking criminal penalties.

0:00 Students go through a role play to explore the grey areas of consent Share Students go through a role play to explore the grey areas of consent

As well as educating young people, Legal Aid NSW’s specialist Children’s Legal Service gives free legal advice to young people who do find themselves in trouble for taking, sending, keeping or sharing sexy images. Some of the situations in which we’ve given advice to young people involve young people taking and sending pictures to their partners. In these cases, we’re often told that the pictures were never intended to be seen by anyone outside the relationship. Other more troubling situations involve intimate pictures being shared without permission, or being used to bully a young person online.

At the most serious end of the spectrum, a person who has been charged and found guilty of these sorts of offences may find themselves being locked up or included on the Sex Offender Register. Being found guilty of a child pornography offence can have a real impact on a young person’s ability to get a job in the future, especially if they want to work with children themselves one day.

As a lawyer and a parent, I know I’d rather have a conversation with a young person in the classroom or in the living room, rather than down the phone line from a police station.

Those of us who work with young people have a real responsibility to help them understand some of the risks and be clear about what the law is. As a lawyer and a parent, I know I’d rather have a conversation with a young person in the classroom or in the living room, rather than down the phone line from a police station.

 

This week’s Insight looks at how people understand consent when it comes to sex and sexting | Consent – 8 August, 8.30pm SBS 

* Not her real name

Julianne Elliott is a Legal Aid NSW lawyer who specialises in educating young people about the law. Legal Aid NSW offers engaging workshops across NSW to help young people, teachers and youth workers come to grips with this area of law. You can request a workshop for your school or organisation.

If you need help with a legal question, call LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529. Young people in NSW who need advice about a criminal law problem, or think they might be in trouble with the law, can call the Youth Hotline on 1800 101 810.