“Then on the last night of our 15 days, all of J row surprised me with a fully choreographed version of Waterloo, recreating the moves from Muriel’s Wedding,” Griffiths told CBD.
“It was socially distanced multi-generational joy and it was a fantastic acknowledgment of how close our row of mostly women had become … all in the same moment of a huge range of journeys … some traumatic, some exhausted, some looking to new futures with nothing but a suitcase.”
Griffiths said the facility, which costs individuals $2500 and families $5000, provided “amazing service” without denying the basic human rights of fresh air and exercise.
“The staff were divine, the food more than adequate. The experience was actually enjoyable.”
Sounds like a great idea for an uplifting TV drama, if Griffiths happens to know anyone in the biz who can make these sorts of things happen.
Talk about a rough day at work. Google’s Australian managing director Melanie Silva got handed the hard basket on Friday when she fronted a Senate committee hearing and threatened to close down Google’s local search function if a proposed code that will force the search giant to pay for using news services becomes law.
But the sensational display of brinkmanship – and a threat to walk away from some $4 billion in Australian ad revenues – was far from the biggest event in Silva’s world that week. After wrapping up the Senate hearing on Friday, the heavily pregnant Silva went into labour.
On Saturday morning, she gave birth to a baby boy. CBD is told mum and bub are both doing well. Congratulations.
Senate observers were surprised the usually unflappable tech executive looked uncomfortable at some points during the hearing. After all, handing the federal government a threat at the behest of sneaker-wearing Silicon Valley bosses is hard. But we’d say facing a televised Senate committee while on the brink of labour is significantly harder.
What’s more, Facebook’s Australian boss Will Easton chose not to attend.
Hey Easton, what’s your excuse?
Changing of the guard?
One of the biggest prizes in the Liberal Party – the blue ribbon seat of Menzies – is up for grabs this weekend and even at this late stage no one has a clue if former special forces captain turned barrister Keith Wolahan, 43, will unseat superannuated conservative Kevin Andrews, 65. The former minister for ageing must really love his job if he wants to extend his time on the backbench in proportion to his stints in the ministry, which would dilute his eventual superannuation payout. But politicians, as they continually tell us, are never in it for the money.
Of course, it is a factional power play. Andrews, 65, is backed by the conservative faction, which includes Victoria’s most senior Liberal – Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, while Wolahan is supported by the moderates. Party insiders are wondering just how prominent a display of support Frydenberg will bestow on Andrews. Frydenberg has attended an event in support of Andrews and has let it be known that of course he wants to attend Sunday’s vote as Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s delegate, but also that he has a very full calendar and Federal Parliament sits next week. But of course he has a full calendar. He’s Josh Frydenberg.
Band back together
Former ABC managing director Mark Scott has turned to a trusted protege to fill an important vacancy at his current job, running the NSW Education Department, a position he has held since 2016. Scott, who was Fairfax group editorial director before running Aunty, has tapped former Sydney Morning Herald editor Darren Goodsir to join the NSW Department of Education as executive director of engagement and communications. Goodsir spent the last three years as the University of New South Wales chief communications officer. With a title like that, he must have been well paid. It appears that education is a family affair for Scott. His wife Briony Scott is principal of Wenona School in North Sydney.
Stephen Brook is CBD columnist for The Age. He is a former features editor and media editor at The Australian, where he wrote the Media Diary column and hosted the Behind The Media podcast. He spent six years in London working for The Guardian.
Samantha is the The Age’s CBD columnist. She recently covered Victorian and NSW politics and business for News Corp, and previously worked for the Australian Financial Review.