Every three months, Prudence Thompson would get $110 to spend on clothes at the fashion retail outlet where she worked, but she would spend double that amount to maintain her working wardrobe.
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While working for a fashion retailer as a university student for two years until 2016, Ms Thompson, 21, said she was expected to be wearing clothes from the fashion label’s latest range.

“You needed to look like you were wearing something new,” she said. “You were expected to not be wearing the same thing every day.

“The idea was that if you look good in something, people come up to you and ask, ‘what’s that?’ “

A new University of Sydney study has found that relatively low-paid retail workers are spending thousands of dollars out of their own pockets to promote the fashion brands they sell. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},”#pez_iframe_tipstar_618″);

The study by Leanne Cutcher from the University of Sydney business school and Pamela Achtel from the Leading Edge found this had led to resentment in close to half the retail workers. But more than half, seemed happy to continue spending their own money on the merchandise they sold, because many saw themselves as an “extension of the brand”.

Professor Cutcher said it was unfair of some companies to expect people in relatively low-paid jobs to buy expensive clothing to model the brand they were selling. She said retail staff should ask prospective employers how much they expected them to spend before accepting a new job.

“With some of the stores the employees couldn’t even buy things on sale. Everything had to be current,” Professor Cutcher said.

“Only one store had a rack of clothing out the back that people could put on for the day.”

The university study based on interviews with female and male employees from 16 major retailers in Sydney found employees were spending a large portion of their wages buying merchandise to wear at work, often with little compensation from employers.

Staff discounts ranged from 0 to 55 per cent.

One retailer offered one free outfit per season.

Outfit costs across the retailers surveyed ranged from $105 to $1150, and included items such as shoes, underwear, jackets, ties, jewellery, belts, and hair clips.

Ms Thompson, from Beecroft in Sydney’s north, was studying communications and public relations at the University of Technology when she worked at the fashion retailer.

She said staff were offered a 35 per cent discount off retail prices.

“Every three months were were given $110 to spend on the most recent season’s clothing, but it didn’t go far,” she said.

“We weren’t forced to buy anything, but every now and then you would get comments like, maybe you should get that dress.

“Because it was my job to get through uni, I didn’t have a massive disposable income to buy clothing I would not wear again.”

A spokeswoman for the clothing brand said it was not compulsory for retail employees to wear the brand at work. However, employees were encouraged to wear the brand where possible and were provided with wardrobe allowances and discounts to assist them.

“Depending on their frequency of work, our retail employees are provided with a wardrobe allowance of up to $1,100 annually,” the spokeswoman said.

“On top of this, employees can use their staff discount of either 35 or 40 per cent (depending on whether they are in a casual or full time role).

“Ultimately, we find that our employees are passionate about the brand and enthusiastic about the product so while there is absolutely no requirement, many choose to wear [the brand] because of the affinity they have with the brand and we offer comprehensive employee benefits to help make this possible.”

Ms Achtel said the study, which has been published in leading international journal Work, Employment and Society, found employees were more engaged if they were given some freedom in what they were required to buy for their “work uniform”. Prescriptive dress codes and disregard for an employee’s personal style had led to “disenchantment”.

“Wearing pieces that fit into the employees’ own personal style, and having fun with the brand really feeds employees’ confidence, and this is communicated to customers in the store”, Ms Achtel said.

“While brand guidelines may be created in head office, it’s the frontline staff that live and breathe them while interacting with customers.”

Priscilla Fujita, 23, from Sydney’s inner west, was studying speech pathology at Macquarie University when she worked for a major cosmetics retailer until earlier this year.

Ms Fujita said she spent up to $2500 of her own money on cosmetics in the two years she worked for the cosmetics brand.

“If you were a full-time student, you didn’t have any extra money and it was quite expensive,” she said.

“I was given an allowance of roughly $80 per month, but I spent up to $200. This was completely up to me.”

Ms Fujita said she received a 40 per cent staff discount and was expected to wear black tailored clothing, which she bought for herself.

“You were expected to be on-season and your make up had to be representative of the products we sell in store and that are in stock,” she said.

A spokeswoman for the cosmetics company where Ms Fujita worked said staff were required to “maintain personal grooming standards that befit” the brand. She said there was no reason why an employee would need to spend $2500 out of their own pocket to be “work ready”.

“Staff have access to all in-store products for use prior to commencement of their shift – there is no requirement for staff to purchase products for use in work hours,” the spokeswoman said.

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Gilman Wong Photo Michele MOssopFri 14th October 2011Gilman Wong CEO of Sirtex seen here at St Vincent’s hopsital Sydney with the micro tech SIR microspheres which treats liver cancer without the need for surgery.The board of Sirtex found it “very difficult” to let go of its former chief executive, Gilman Wong, who is being investigated over trades he made in the troubled biotechnology group’s shares ahead of a profit downgrade.
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But it was a “decision that had to be made”, says outgoing chairman Richard Hill.

Addressing the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Mr Hill acknowledged it was a “tumultuous year for Sirtex” but said the board was committed to “achieving the highest standards of corporate governance”.

The company’s share price has been volatile over the past 12 months following a run of bad news. It was down 1.7 per cent on Tuesday late morning at $13.88. This compares to its December 2015 peak of $41 a share.

Following a number of unsuccessful clinical trials, the company in December downgraded sales growth forecasts for its microspheres, which are used to treat some cancers.

Mr Wong was sacked last year after an internal board investigation into his share trading last October.

“It was, understandably, a very difficult decision for many of us on the board to make – at a personal level – having worked closely with Gilman over the past 12 years – however, it was a decision that had to be made and we made it,” Mr Hill said.

The n Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is now investigating Mr Wong’s $2 million of share trades at the time as possible insider trading. Mr Wong has denied any wrongdoing.

Sirtex in September paid a penalty of $100,000 after allegedly breaching its continuous disclosure obligations to shareholders, but without any admission of liability after being issued with an infringement notice from ASIC.

Separate to the ASIC investigation, the company is facing a class action over alleged breaches of its continuous disclosure obligations.

Sirtex would be “vigorously defending the proceedings”, Mr Hill said. The Federal Court has ordered mediation by the end of August next year and a three-week trial will start in late October next year.

Sirtex’s new CEO, Andrew McLean, told the meeting there was “significant growth potential” for its technology.

“It works, it extends the lives of people with liver cancer and yet we have just an approximate 5 per cent penetration of the accessible market,” he said.

Sirtex was now focused on a program in the United States – a market which makes up about 80 per cent of the company’s business – to reduce the time it takes for doses to get to customers.

It was also piloting a program with a key US institution to ensure faster implantations. And, keeping in line with a new trend in America of moving healthcare outside hospitals, the company was trialling Office Based Laboratories across the US, with a small number of patients treated off site so far.

Next year greater revenue is coming from Canada, Brazil, France and Spain. But China and Japan were “longer-term initiatives” since registration and entry requirements were more time-consuming in those countries.

Mr McClean said sales revenue for the first quarter of 2017/18 fell 5 per cent as a result of adverse currency movements, while dose sales remained flat.

But there were “some early favourable results”. “We knew that Q1 was going to be difficult emerging from the distracting events of last year,” he said, but those events were now “largely behind us”.

The majority (87.75 per cent) of shareholders accepted the company’s remuneration report.

Its interim chief executive, Nigel Lange, who stepped in after Mr Wong’s departure, will get $740,000 per annum including superannuation contributions, which is 19 per cent less than Mr Wong’s 2015/16 base remuneration of $875,695 salary plus $33,305 in superannuation.

Mr McLean, who took over in May, gets total remuneration of $885,184.

The hunt for a new chairman is now under way following Mr Hill’s retirement.

Mr Hill has in previous years come under fire over the lack of women on the company’s board.

In September Helen Kurincic was appointed a non-executive director, making her the second woman on the board following former AVCAL CEO Dr Katherine Woodthorpe joining in 2015.

Ms Kurincic has over 20 years of direct executive and board experience in healthcare. She is also chairman of Integral Diagnostics Limited, and a non-executive director of Estia Health and of HBF Health Limited.

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The man at the centre of a controversy gripping ‘s wool industry has admitted he should not have secretly watched an anonymous focus group behind a one-way mirror or told an ABC journalist to “f— off” when he was later asked for a comment on the issue.
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Wal Merriman, the scandal-plagued chairman of industry group n Wool Innovation, was grilled in a fiery Senate hearing on Tuesday following the “man in the mirror” controversy and broader troubles allegedly plaguing the taxpayer-funded organisation.

n Wool Innovation chairman Wal Merriman. Photo: Andrew Meares

Earlier this year, leading woolgrowers from across the country were invited to attend a focus group on controversial genetic techniques used in sheep breeding and were subsequently shocked to discover that Mr Merriman and others had been observing proceedings.

Months later, Mr Merriman called ABC agricultural journalist Marty McCarthy a “useless prick” and told him to “f— off” at an industry event, when McCarthy questioned him over the controversy.

“It’s fair to say AWI has had a difficult few months, mostly caused by me,” Mr Merriman said in Canberra on Tuesday.

“Never before have meetings been held in a room with a one-way mirror. This was all very strange to me when I went to observe the process.

“If the AWI knew such a room was booked, it would never have taken place. We don’t do things this way.”

Mr Merriman said the incident was not up to the organisation’s standards and noted the focus group company, Axiom Research, had apologised to participants and “reaffirmed confidentiality”.

The industry group chairman has also apologised to woolgrowers and labelled the episode “not one of our proudest moments”.

Mr Merriman addressed the October incident with the ABC journalist too, saying the language he used “was more fitting for a shearing shed”.

“I’d like to apologise to wool growers and anyone else who was offended by the language I recently used when speaking to a journalist,” he said.

“I confess I am direct in the way I speak, I am from the bush. I occasionally come across in a way that causes offence,” Mr Merriman said.

He acknowledged he had breached his industry group’s code of practice, which requires AWI representatives to treat people with “courtesy and respect”.

But Mr Merriman also targeted McCarthy for criticism on Tuesday, saying he pushed through a crowd of people to question him, after being told Mr Merriman would not address the mirror matter.

McCarthy denied he pushed through people to interview Mr Merriman, and says he had been told he could ask mirror-related questions.

During the hearing, Mr Merriman complained about the presence of photographers from media outlets but was told they were allowed to be there as the proceedings were public.

He was also reprimanded by senators for referring to Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie as “madam” rather than “Senator McKenzie”, and seemingly resisting some lines of questioning.

n Wool Innovation is a not-for-profit company that supports research, development and marketing efforts to help sustain and grow the n wool industry. It is funded by the government and levies paid by woolgrowers.

The industry is currently divided over the practice of mulesing, where farmers cut skin off lambs’ buttocks to prevent flies massing and laying eggs, potentially killing the animal.

While traditional farmers defend the practice as necessary, progressive farmers and high-end fashion retailers are pushing for alternative genetic techniques to be developed with the help of AWI investment.

Western n wool grower David Thompson recently told the ABC that the industry group’s culture was “toxic” and some of the anger at Mr Merriman was due to his staunch defence of mulesing.

“He is punch drunk on his own power and I cannot stand that and I think we will suffer for it,” Mr Thompson said.

Critics say AWI is not supporting enough research and development into alternatives to mulesing, which it has previously committed to phasing out.

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‘Aggressive’ shark throws teen from kayak TweetFacebook‘Aggressive’ shark throws teen from kayakhttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd苏州夜场招聘/transform/v1/crop/frm/e.balnaves-gale%40fairfaxmedia.c/89b3f2d9-1d77-4960-87fe-3f49d1b5df7c.JPG/r0_149_600_488_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg“When I was under the water, I saw the shark’s fin and it’s back tail but it all happened so quickly”shark, great white shark, Normanville, South , kayak2017-10-24T12:42:00+11:00https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=3879528182001https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=3879528182001Sarah’s father Chris Williams, who was driving the boat Sarah was pulled in to, said the shark was so aggressive, he could tell it wanted to eat the kayak or Sarahor both.
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“The shark was still thrashing about after we got Sarah out and followed us around so I screamed to Adrienne (his wife who was also kayaking nearby) to get back to the beach,” he said.

Chris said if the rescue had taken just a second longer, Sarah could have died.

“We still can’t believe we got her out, that’s how close it was…we had a window of 10 seconds to stop her from losing her legs or being killed,” he said.

He said his family would never take their kayaks into the sea again.

“I don’t want anyone to endure what we went through, or what Sarah went through…who knows how long this will psychologically affect her for,” he said.

“This incident will have a lasting effect on our family and our friends.”

While he did not condone culling sharks, Chris questioned how the authorities could allow a shark to “menace the population”.

“It really scared me how big and aggressive the shark was…it will probably kill someone before anything is done about it,” he said.

“Anyone who protects these aggressive sharks has never had to pull their child from a scenario that could have killed them.”

He said he was concerned about what the incident would do to tourism at Normanville and the entire Fleurieu Peninsula.

“What does something like this do for Normanville, there’s no one in the water there today,” he said.

“And now the Victor council want a Tuna Pen… how ridiculous.”

His message for the public was to be more careful entering local waters.

“We couldn’t have been more provoked…I think this is a rogue shark and it’s very dangerous,” he said.

Sarah said she would not rule out getting back into the water in the future, but would steer clear for some time.

Victor Harbor Times

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Senator Eric Abetz responds after Defence Minister Senator David Johnston delivers a statement on ASC and shipbuilding, in the Senate at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 26 November 2014. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Dr David Gruen Deputy Secretary, Economic and G20 Sherpa in Canberra on Friday 2 December 2016 Photo: Andrew Meares for AFR
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Good Weekend portrait of Senator Eric Abetz in his office at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 25 February 2016. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen ### Photo for Good Weekend ### GW – march 26

Hardline former minister Eric Abetz has used Senate estimates hearings to extensively question public servants over a new union access policy, claiming employees could have information “foisted upon them whether they want it or not”.

Senator Abetz said the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet should dump a policy to give trade union representatives time to provide advice and information to public servants during business hours, suggesting it could contradict the federal government’s workplace bargaining policy.

The access policy was part of a suite of information agreed to by department employees during enterprise bargaining negotiations, but Senator Abetz said it should have been provided to the n Public Service Commission, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Public Service Minister Michaelia Cash.

He objected to staff receiving emails from the Community and Public Sector Union, new employees receiving written material when they join the department and union officials attending orientation sessions.

Appointed to oversee the public service in the Abbott government, Senator Abetz used Monday night’s hearing to ask how an opt-out email system worked, how long it would take for employees to stop receiving union information and how much time delegates could spend assisting colleagues during work hours.

Senator Abetz questioned why taxpayer-funded telephone, printing and email facilities could be used by the union, as well as meeting rooms, lunch areas and video conferencing.

“Please don’t try to brush me off,” he said to Deputy Secretary David Gruen during the questioning, before later suggesting “someone had tried to pull a swifty” with the agreement.

The department’s chief people officer Emma Greenwood said emails from the union would be facilitated using a centralised system and the union would not be provided with a department-wide email list.

“We would expect those emails to be sent out through a central email address that we would have,” she said.

“We would actually send that information on behalf [of the union] and we would only send it on an opt-out basis, so staff would obviously be able to opt-out and to choose not to receive any information.”

First Assistant Secretary Yael Cass said no exchange of letters of agreement had taken place between the union and the department, and the policy was not yet in place.

Senator Abetz accused the department of having a “secret side-deal”.

On Tuesday he said the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources was implementing similar access rules.

“This secretive new policy should be dumped as a matter of urgency because it flies in the face of not only the Workplace Bargaining Policy but also the spirit of freedom of association,” he said in a statement.

“As confirmed by the officials, this policy has not yet been implemented and on that basis I am hopeful that it will be dropped as a matter of urgency.”

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