I have always struggled to fit in with Australia's swimming culture

These days, summer smells like the scent of star jasmine, like dirt in the air before a storm rolls in. But growing up, summer was associated with dread, the sum of a series of tiny humiliations. Like the time I swallowed mouthfuls of water as I tried and failed to swim freestyle. Or the casual indifference of high-school PE instructors. Or the time I was scooped out of the deep end by a boy in Year Seven at the annual school carnival, despite the fact that I was in the kickboard relay. Nothing sums up how unnatural I’ve always felt in the water as much as the chemical tang of chlorine. The children of immigrants tend to be painfully conscious that they’re different. To me, these differences are encapsulated by the way my Australian-born friends dive joyfully into swimming pools, the way they propel themselves headfirst into the ocean unafraid that the surf will engulf them. In a country whose version of youth is the endless summer beach party, where the national consciousness is steep..

China issues safety warning for citizens living in Australia due to 'a rising number...

Chinese embassy in Canberra issued a safety warning to students in AustraliaIt follows the alleged assault of three Chinese students at a Canberra bus stopCommunist power is also upset following political storm over Sam Dastyari By Stephen Johnson For Daily Mail Australia Published: 10:16 EST, 20 December 2017 | Updated: 10:36 EST, 20 December 2017 Chinese students in Australia are being warned to be on guard for their safety because of 'insulting incidents'. The Chinese embassy in Canberra has issued a public announcement on its website, less than two weeks after Sam Dastyari resigned as a Labor senator over his dealings with a Chinese businessman. The Communist power appears particularly sensitive after the Turnbull Government focused its attacks on Mr Dastyari's links with Chinese billionaire and political donor Huang Xiangmo. Chinese students in Australia are being warned to be on guard about their safety (international students at Canberra's Australian Nationa..

Boxing Day sales: Where to find the best deals

BARGAIN hunters were calm and orderly as the Boxing Day sales kicked off at Sydney’s Pitt St Mall this morning - a far cry from the chaotic scenes seen in previous years. At 6.45am large retailers like Myer and Zara were already well and truly open for business, but while there was a noticeable security presence and crowd control cordons in place, they were not necessary for the largely well-behaved crowd. While numbers picked up significantly throughout the morning, the only retailer with a noteworthy queue was streetwear brand Culture Kings, which had a large line of shoppers waiting at the entrance as the store opened its doors. However, the National Retail Association (NRA) predicted that Australians would spend a staggering $2.36 billion today, making it the most lucrative Boxing Day in recent years. You’ll find a list of the more notable deals below, which we will keep updating. Crowds were also orderly but consistent at neighbouring Strand Arcade, Westfield Sydney and MidCity Sh..

What a Lawmaker's Downfall Reveals About Australian Attitudes on China

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was originally published by The Interpreter, which is published by the Lowy Institute, an independent, nonpartisan think tank based in Sydney. War on the Rocks is proud to be publishing select articles from The Interpreter. The issue of influence by the government of the People’s Republic of China in Australian public and political life reached a turning point with the resignation of senator Sam Dastyari. It concluded a year of forceful reporting and vitriolic debate about China in Australia, fueling a steady flow of controversies and revelations about how deeply China’s interests reach into Australian institutions. In the case of Dastyari, much of the media coverage has focused on partisan party politics and wins and losses for the government and the opposition. However, his resignation is symbolic of a fundamental change in the nature of Australia’s relationship with China, one that is as significant in its own way as Brexit for the United Kin..

In Australia’s relentless culture wars, Tony Abbott strikes again

Nothing, it seems, stirs the blood of the country’s cultural warriors more than an argument about academic license or press freedom if it’s not favourably disposed to their side. ANU: the latest cultural battleground. Photo: Louie DouvisOne is tempted to ask what would these mavens of "political incorrectness" do without academia and the ABC to rail against; although it might be observed that one person’s political correctness is another person’s political incorrectness. Take the question of whether the Australian National University should hav..

Two decades of Federer, and still going strong

Fri, Dec 29, 2017 - 11:37 AM [PERTH, Australia] The amazing Roger Federer will embark on his 21st professional season when he leads Switzerland in the mixed teams Hopman Cup starting in Perth on Saturday. The 36-year-old Swiss is coming off an extraordinary year where he took his majors tally to 19, with a fifth Australian Open title and a record eighth Wimbledon. Federer finished the year at number two in the world behind Spanish rival Rafael Nadal, having started at 16, after a season-leading seven titles, including three Masters at Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai. It was a sensational season by any standards, but especially as Federer has been playing professional tennis since 1998 - a year when Bill Clinton was president of the United States, and James Cameron's "Titanic" won 11 Oscars. Federer will again partner Belinda Bencic at the Hopman Cup, his only event before launching his Australian Open title defence on January 15. "It's totally different this time around," sa..

From flying fists to a culture built for success – Perth Lynx star Alice...

Alice Kunek loves the physicality and competitive nature of sport more than most, but when punches started flying in a team meeting earlier this year, she started to wonder whether she’d made a bad decision. The 26-year-old joined French team, Lyon, in February after finishing her WNBL season with Melbourne. Searching for a different experience after losing some passion for the sport, she was stunned by her introduction to the club midway through the season. Lyon suffered an 87-59 belting and it was obvious the team was in trouble. “In our first film session, we’d come off a loss and there was a punch-on between the girls during the film session. The coaches just sat there and I had my head in my hands thinking ‘what have I got myself into?’,” Kunek recalled “There were some deep seated issues with that team from earlier in the season. They were speaking in French, I was sitting in the corner and then they just went at each other. One had to get taken out of the room and the coach got ..

Why Sydney is the greatest city on Earth right now

[unable to retrieve full-text content] Why Sydney is the greatest city on Earth right now Telegraph.co.ukFull coverage

Starfish eating Australia's Great Barrier Reef alarm scientists

Fri, Jan 05, 2018 - 12:11 PM [SYDNEY] A major outbreak of coral-eating crown of thorns starfish has been found munching Australia's world heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, scientists said on Friday, prompting the government to begin culling the spiky marine animals. The predator starfish feeds on corals by spreading its stomach over them and using digestive enzymes to liquefy tissue, and the outbreak hits as the reef is still reeling from two consecutive years of major coral bleaching. "Each starfish eats about its body diameter a night, and so over time that mounts up very significantly," Hugh Sweatman, a senior research scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio. "A lot of coral will be lost," he said. That would mean a blow for both the ecosystem and the lucrative tourism industry which it supports. The crown of thorns were found in plague proportions last month in the Swains Reefs, at the southern edge of the ..

Morning mail: Labor attacks 'outright lies' over housing

[unable to retrieve full-text content] Morning mail: Labor attacks 'outright lies' over housing The GuardianFull coverage

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